The Indian Space Research Organisation on Thursday released the first illuminated image of Moon’s surface taken by Chandrayaan-2’s Imaging Infrared Spectrometer payload. The spacecraft has started spectroscopic studies of the lunar surface, it added.

“The image covers part of the lunar farside in the northern hemisphere,” said the space agency. “Few prominent craters are seen in the image.”

ISRO said the infrared spectrometer was designed to measure reflected sunlight from the moon in narrow and contiguous spectral channels. Its major ibjective is to understand the origin and evolution of the moon in a geologic context, the agency added.

The image contained a graph indicating the region of reflected and thermal emission component, and the spectral region of the reflected solar radiation. It also showed few prominent craters such as Sommerfield, Stebbins and Kirkwood.

“Preliminary analysis suggests that IIRS could successfully measure the variations in the reflected solar radiation that bounces off the lunar surface from different kinds of surface types,” ISRO said, adding that more detailed analysis was expected to “yield important results on the heterogeneity of lunar surface composition”.

The spacecraft’s Vikram lander had attempted a soft landing on moon on September 7 but lost communication with the space agency minutes before touchdown.

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