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Chandrayaan detects halo around landing site of Apollo 15

September 10, 2009 13:52 IST

India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-I has captured a halo around the site where US spacecraft Apollo-15 had landed on the lunar surface nearly four decades ago.

The Terrain Mapping Camera onboard Chandrayaan-I has detected a halo around the Apollo-15 landing site on the moon which scientists claim was because of the surface disturbance caused by humans.

The halo has been reported earlier by the Japanese Aerospace Agency using the Terrain Mapping Camera on its lunar mission Selene.

"However, our finding brings out the surface disturbance caused by Apollo-15 landing on a much improved resolution using three different view angles and digital elevation data derived using TMC stereoscopic observations," scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation's Space Applications Centre said, reporting their findings in Current Science.

"As a matter of fact, for the first time at the end of Apollo programme, surface disturbance caused by humans have been brought out on such a large scale," said SAC scientists Prakash Chauhan, Ajai and A S Krishnakumar.

They studied the images taken by Chandrayaan-I on January 9 of the Rima Hadley rille and surrounding regions of Apennine Mountains where the Falcon lunar module of Apollo-15 had landed.
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