The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released a graph of the temperature variation between the moon’s surface and a point around 8 cm below as measured by an instrument named ChaSTE probe.
- The Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) is a temperature probe.
- It can be driven into the moon’s surface using a motor to a depth of up to 10 cm. It has 10 sensors.
- It measured the temperature profile of the lunar topsoil around the South Pole to understand its thermal behaviour.
- It was developed by the Space Physics Laboratory of ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), together with the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad.
- Its findings reflect this variation between the moon’s surface, which is covered by a patina of loose rocks and dust called the lunar regolith and 10 cm under it.
- Its data show that at the moon’s surface (where the lander is located, a point between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N), the temperature is 40-50 degrees But just under 80 mm under, it plunges to around -10 degrees C.
- The temperature variation indicates that the moon’s topsoil is a powerful thermal insulator, in keeping with previous findings.
- It adds credence to the idea that it can be used to build habitats for humans to shield them from frigid conditions and harmful radiation.