The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have announced that a discovery a little over a year ago indicate that there may be life on the surface of the moon in some places. The incredible discovery was yet another groundbreaking lunar revelation thanks to India’s Chandrayaan-1 probe. Those who have been following Chandrayaan-1 may remember that it was also the first probe to detect signs of water on the moon. This was, of course, confirmed later by the LCROSS lunar platform which crashed into the surface. The announcement was made at the international radar symposium Friday afternoon.
The discovery specifically was an analysis that indicated beyond a reasonable doubt that there were compounds composed of carbon. Carbon compounds decaying indicates once living matter now dead on the surface of the moon. And it’s not a large leap from there. If something we don’t know about died on the moon, then there may be something alive there as well.
The Chandrayaan-1 was the wildly successful lunar probe launched by ISRO on October 22, 2008. The purpose of the probe was to have an unmanned vehicle orbiting the moon that could conduct scientific experiments as well as map the geographical surface of the moon. Experiments included the chemical mapping of the surface as well as mineralogical surveying of potential resources including magnesium, aluminum, calcium, iron, titanium, thorium, radon, uranium, and silicon. The moon impact probe, MIP, was another goal of the mission.
Surendra Pal, associate director of the Isro Satellite Center made the announcement before an audience at the symposium on Friday, saying the first signs of life on an extra-terrestrial body were relayed back to us on November 14, 2008. R. Sridharan, director of the ISRO’s space laboratory said it was too early to say anything conclusively, but he also refused to deny the possibility that this could be a major discovery by earth scientists at finding discovering life outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
Other scientists, however, were willing to speak with Indian Newspapers and make their findings public. The discovery of certain atomic numbers on the surface of the moon unmistakably indicate the presence of organic matter, essentially confirming Pal’s announcement. They went on to say that the findings were still being analyzed in an attempt to discover what the nature of the organic compounds were and if more could be discovered of the type of life on the surface.
The Apollo 11, when it first broke ground on the surface of the moon, brought back samples of Lunar soil that seemed to contain the same carbon traces, but analysis of the samples led scientists to believe they had somehow been contaminated, and were not genuine. The soil samples collected by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong also contained amino acids, which are the most basic components of life, but once again the findings were over scrutinized by skeptical NASA scientists and shortly thereafter, despite evidence to the contrary the moon was declared a lifeless rock.
This new finding is just on the heels of the discovery of massive amounts of water on the moon, confirmed by NASA’s LCROSS after being first discovered by Chandrayaan-1. Needless to say, life on the surface of the moon would be the single greatest Lunar discovery of all time.