The Vikram lander is truly a lunar celebrity now. Images have been coming thick and fast of India's lunar lander that is now asleep awaiting the next lunar sunrise on 22 September.
The latest snap of the lander comes from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The LRO has imaged the Chandrayaan-3 landing site on the Moon’s surface, christened Shiv Shakti point days after the successful landing.
The Shiv Shakti point is located about 600 kilometres from the Moon's south pole.
The LRO camera captured the landing site with the lander at its centre four days after the Chandrayaan-3 touchdown, which occurred just after 6 pm on 23 August.
The camera "acquired an oblique view (42-degree slew angle) of the lander," NASA said.
Explaining "the bright halo around the vehicle," the space agency said it was a result of "the rocket plume interacting with the fine-grained regolith (soil)."
Nearly a week ago, NASA shared an image of a new crater on the Moon’s surface captured by the LRO. It was identified as the impact site of Russia’s Luna 25 mission.
NASA took a cue from an estimate of the impact point published by the Russian space agency Roscosmos on 21 August. The LRO camera was pointed accordingly and a small crater was imaged that wasn't present in the LRO's most recent image of the area from June 2022.
The new crater, photographed on 24 August, is about 10 metres in diameter.
Luna 25 experienced an anomaly that caused it to crash on the surface of the Moon on 19 August.
The LRO is NASA's lunar orbiter mission tasked with mapping the Moon's surface, with more science objectives added to its plate a year later.
The spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V rocket on 18 June 2009. It is equipped with a suite of seven powerful instruments that are helping expand the knowledge of the Moon.
The LRO is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Arizona State University manages and operates the LRO camera.
Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.
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