Indian scientists detect signs of life on Moon
Bhargavi Kerur / DNASaturday, December 12, 2009 1:48 IST
Bangalore: Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) are on the brink of a path-breaking discovery. They may have found signs of life in some form or the other on the Moon.
They believe so because scientific instruments on India's first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, picked up signatures of organic matter on parts of the Moon's surface, Surendra Pal, associate director, Isro Satellite Centre (Isac), said at the international radar symposium here on Friday....
...Interestingly, similar observations were made by the US's first manned Moon landing mission, the Apollo-11, in July 1969, which brought lunar soil samples back to Earth. But due to a lack of sophisticated equipment then, the scientists could not confirm the finding.
However, traces of amino acids, which are basic to life, were found in the soil retrieved by the Apollo-11 astronauts.
The Chandrayaan-1 scientists, at present, are analysing the source of origin of the Moon's organic matter. "It could be comets or meteorites which have deposited the matter on the Moon's surface; or the instrument that landed on the Moon could have left traces," a senior space scientist said.
"But the presence of large sheets of ice in the polar regions of the Moon, and the discovery of water molecules there, lend credence to the possibility of organic matter there," he said.