The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released the first images of the Moon’s surface on social media. They were received by the Pragyan lunar rover of the Chandrayan-3 mission. But the photographs show a 4-meter-diameter crater, as well as tracks from the rover’s wheels in the regolith (the top layer of loose lunar soil).
The images were taken on August 27 by navigation cameras located in front of the lunar rover. The device also measured temperature fluctuations in the regolith from the surface to a depth of eight centimeters. The recorded temperature was much higher than expected.
“We thought the near-surface temperature at the landing site was 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, but it’s actually much higher – 70 degrees,” ISRO said.
During the day, the temperature of the moon’s surface varies greatly. Closer to night, it can drop below -100 degrees Celsius and by noon rise to plus 100. The Vikram lander of the Indian automatic lunar station Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the surface of the Moon on August 23. India became the fourth country to successfully land a device on the Moon (after the USSR, the United States and China), and the first whose device landed near the Moon’s South Pole.
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