C1XS results - First measurement of enhanced sodium on the lunar surface

P. S. Athiray, S. Narendranath, P. Sreekumar, M. Grande

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14 Scopus citations


We describe the first unambiguous evidence of enhanced sodium on the lunar surface revealed by the Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS). The C1XS onboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was designed to map the surface elemental chemistry of the Moon using the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique. During the nine months of remote sensing observations (November 2008-August 2009), C1XS measured XRF emission from the Moon under several solar flare conditions. A summary of entire C1XS observations and data selection methods are presented. Surface elemental abundances of major rock-forming elements viz., Mg, Al, Si and Ca as well as Na derived from C1XS data corresponding to certain nearside regions of the Moon are reported here. We also present a detailed description of the analysis techniques including derivation of XRF line fluxes and conversion to elemental abundances. The derived abundances of Na (2-3 wt%) are significantly higher than what has been known from earlier studies. We compare the surface chemistry of C1XS observed regions with the highly silicic compositions (intermediate plagioclase) measured by the Diviner Radiometer instrument onboard Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter(LRO) in those regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue numberPB
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Bibliographical note

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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • C1XS
  • Chandrayaan-1
  • Lunar surface chemistry
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)


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