Moon Mineralogy Mapper or M3 | ScienceMonk

Moon mineralogy mapper, which is also known as M3 was one of the most successful payloads from Chandrayaan-1. M3 from the Brown University and JPL was an imaging spectrometer designed to map the surface mineral composition. It confirmed the traces of water vapour, which was a significant contribution of the Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Moon mineralogy mapper
The image shows the distribution of surface ice at the Moon’s south pole (left) and north pole (right), detected by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument. Blue represents the ice locations, plotted over an image of the lunar surface, where the grayscale corresponds to surface temperature (darker representing colder areas and lighter shades indicating warmer zones). The ice is concentrated at the darkest and coldest locations, in the shadows of craters. This is the first time scientists have directly observed definitive evidence of water ice on the Moon’s surface. Credits: NASA

M3 provided the first high-resolution spatial and spectral map of the entire lunar surface, which helped in understanding the elemental composition of the Moon. M3 was used to map almost over 95% of the lunar surface in its low-resolution called Global mode, while some region was studied in the high-resolution Target mode.

From the spectral analysis of M3, it is also believed that Hydroxyl ions and water molecules formation is on-going process on Moon. The confirmation about water vapour from M3 made Chandrayaan-1 a vital mission in the history of space science.

Read More- Chandrayaan-2 to be launched at 02:51 am on July 15, 2019 | ISRO

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