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Northern Hemisphere witnesses longest day of the year today
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 21 Jun 2017,Wednesday
June 21 marks the beginning of summer in Earth's Northern Hemisphere, referred to as the 'summer solstice', the year's longest day and shortest night. A solstice is an astronomical event when the tilt of Earth's axis with respect to the Sun is maximum. After summer solstice, days start getting shorter till winter solstice on December 21, Northern Hemisphere's shortest day.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 10:11 am on 21 Jun
ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission completes 1,000 earth days
short by Chhavi Tyagi / on 19 Jun 2017,Monday
The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) maiden interplanetary mission, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), completed 1,000 earth days in its orbit on Monday. Notably, MOM was designated to last only for six months and has outlived its original lifespan. The ISRO's mission was launched on November 5, 2013, by PSLV C-25 and it entered the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014.
short by Chhavi Tyagi / 09:29 pm on 19 Jun
Earth's circumference was once measured using stick's shadow
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 21 Jun 2017,Wednesday
Greek astronomer Eratosthenes made the first recorded measurements of Earth's circumference around 240 BC, using only a stick. Eratosthenes observed during the summer solstice, the year's longest day, Sun wasn't casting a shadow of the stick in one city but was casting a shadow in another city. He used this difference and distance between the cities to calculate Earth's circumference.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 02:13 pm on 21 Jun
1st-ever liquid-fuelled rocket aircraft flew for only 50 sec
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
The world's first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket 'Heinkel He 176' made its first flight on June 20, 1939, which lasted just over 50 seconds. The 900-kg aircraft was estimated to achieve a maximum speed of 750 kmph. Testing of the aircraft ended with only one prototype being built, which was destroyed during WWII in 1943.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 07:28 pm on 20 Jun
Astronomers discover new way to classify exoplanets
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
A Caltech-led study has discovered that majority of the 3,500 confirmed exoplanets found till date fall in two main categories: rocky "super-Earths" up to 1.75 times the size of Earth, and gaseous "mini-Neptunes" 2-3.5 times Earth's size. Researchers aim to understand why majority of exoplanets have sizes between Earth and Neptune and why they don't exist in our Solar System.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 04:58 pm on 20 Jun
Woman finds secret NASA documents in trash outside her home
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
Yvette Quinn, a Florida-based lady discovered a pile of documents from old space programs including a list of officials with 'Top Secret' clearance. The files included a 1960s-era artist rendering of a NASA moon landing vehicle, sketches of drones, and launch sites. Quinn handed over the files to a news agency before they were donated to the American Space Museum.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 01:56 pm on 18 Jun
Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of dinosaurs: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 21 Jun 2017,Wednesday
Volcanic activities may have led to a mass extinction event about 200 million years ago, which triggered the rise of dinosaurs, an Oxford study stated. The study found elevated mercury levels in sediment deposits during extinction of Triassic-era reptiles. The emissions coincided with known increases in atmospheric CO2, suggesting volcanic eruptions marking the onset of dinosaurs' Jurassic era.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 01:59 pm on 21 Jun
Asteroid collision with Earth inevitable, warns scientist
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 22 Jun 2017,Thursday
UK-based astrophysicist Alan Fitzsimmons said that an asteroid strike on Earth is a case of when it will happen, rather than if it will happen. Fitzsimmons said over 1,800 potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids have been discovered so far, and one strike could easily destroy a major city. Fitzsimmons was highlighting the threat before the upcoming Asteroid Day on June 30.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 09:04 am on 22 Jun
NASA finds 10 new Earth-like planets
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are Earth-like and orbit in their star's habitable zone, the distance at which liquid water can exist. To date, Kepler has identified 50 near-Earth-size habitable zone candidates, of which over 30 have been verified. Further, it has identified 4,034 planet candidates, with 2,335 being verified as exoplanets.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 09:35 am on 20 Jun
India's nuclear fusion pioneer Predhiman Kaw passes away
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 21 Jun 2017,Wednesday
Padma Shri-awardee Predhiman Krishan Kaw, widely considered the father of India's nuclear fusion programme, has passed away, aged 69. Born in Kashmir, the Princeton professor founded the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar, which built India's first tokamak fusion device. IPR helped India become one of the seven members of the $14-billion ITER, the world's largest fusion experiment.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 10:18 am on 21 Jun
Sneeze germs travel 4 metres, last for 45 mins: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
Australia-based researchers have recently found that pathogens when coughed or sneezed into air, travel up to 4 metres and remain alive for 45 minutes. Further study found cough droplets dried up in varying time spans as they hit the air. While most bacteria had a 10-second half-life, some had a half-life of over 10 minutes, risking airborne infection in humans.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 07:34 pm on 20 Jun
Einstein's letters on God and physics fetch over ₹1.35 crore
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 21 Jun 2017,Wednesday
Eight letters written and signed by Albert Einstein about God, Israel and physics fetched nearly $210,000 (over ₹1.35 crore) at a Jerusalem auction. The highest bid of $84,000 was for a letter to American physicist David Bohm. In it, Einstein wrote, "If God has created the world, his primary worry was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us".
short by Gaurav Shroff / 02:11 pm on 21 Jun
Teens as sedentary as 60-year-olds: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
Physical activity among children is lower than thought while in teenagers it is "alarmingly low...comparable to 60-year-olds", a US-based study has found. The only increase in activity was found for young adults, aged 20 plus. Over 12,000 participants of various age groups wore tracking devices throughout a week for this. Researchers stressed on modifying schedules to incorporate daily exercises.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 03:47 pm on 18 Jun
Water circling over drains studied for black hole insights
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
Using water swirling experiments over drains, a team of UK-based researchers claims to prove a theory called superradiance, predicted to occur in black holes. The theory states waves of a spinning object can be amplified by extracting energy from the wave's scattered parts. Researchers believe that someday gravitational wave detectors might be able to observe the phenomena in black holes.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 05:02 pm on 18 Jun
IISc professors test plan to plant a forest using drones
short by Ayushi Ahluwalia / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
Professors from Bengaluru's Indian Institute of Science held their first trial to drop 50,000 seeds using drones in Karnataka's Kolar district. The team aims to plant an entire forest using drone seeding techniques in the next three years. They plan to use aerial imaging and science to monitor the growth of seeds every few months.
short by Ayushi Ahluwalia / 11:34 pm on 20 Jun
Star's birth may have triggered another star birth: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 22 Jun 2017,Thursday
Astronomers have found new evidence suggesting that a jet of fast-moving material ejected from one young star may have triggered the formation of another protostar. Images show that the younger protostar (FIR 4) lies in the path of the outflow from the older (FIR 3). However, scientists are studying if the outflow is not from the younger star itself.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 10:47 am on 22 Jun
NASA probe captures Jupiter's 'String of Pearls' storms
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
NASA's Juno spacecraft captured distinct cloud patterns of Jupiter from about 46,900 km above the cloud tops. The white oval storms known as the 'String of Pearls' are visible near the top of the image, along with an orange-coloured storm at the belt-zone boundary. The image was processed to enhance colour differences, displaying variety in Jupiter's stormy atmosphere, NASA said.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 06:47 pm on 20 Jun
Replication of single DNA molecule filmed for 1st time
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
A team of US-based scientists has observed individual steps in the replication of a single DNA molecule for the first time ever. Researchers studied how DNA's double helix unfolded into two strands in E. coli bacteria. The footage showed each strand acted independently of the other, yet yielding a perfect match each time, exhibiting much more randomness than previously thought.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 04:44 pm on 20 Jun
Mouse eyes react to light without signal from brain: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 20 Jun 2017,Tuesday
A US-based study confirms that iris in the eye of a mouse doesn't need the brain's help to sense light and direct the pupils to dilate or contract. Scientists severed brain-eye neural connections in several mice and found iris' behaviour was controlled by a light-sensitive pigment called melanopsin. Similar traits are seen in rabbits, cats and dogs, researchers said.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 06:43 pm on 20 Jun
'Liquid light' created at room temperature
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
Physicists have observed "liquid" properties of light when photons, which form the light wave were made to interact with each other. Light became a superfluid, flowing without friction across obstacles and reconnecting without any ripples. Superfluidity is normally observed near absolute zero (-273ºC), scientists said, however, it was achieved at room temperature using particles called polaritons.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 08:17 am on 18 Jun
10 mins exposure to light suppresses mosquito biting: Study
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
A US-based study has found that exposure to just 10 minutes of light at night suppresses biting and manipulates flight behaviour in the Anopheles mosquito, the major vector for transmission of malaria in Africa. Further, when the mosquitoes were pulsed with light every two hours, researchers found that biting could be suppressed during a large portion of the 12-hour night.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 12:59 pm on 18 Jun
Chemicals in shampoos, disinfectants linked to birth defects
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 18 Jun 2017,Sunday
A US-based study conducted on mice found that chemicals common in disinfectants, food preservatives, shampoos and related products can lead to birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. "Birth defects were seen when both males and females were exposed, as well as when only one parent was exposed," researchers said, suggesting the chemicals may be harmful to humans also.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 10:52 pm on 18 Jun
Hawking urges to send astronauts to moon in next 3 years
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 22 Jun 2017,Thursday
British physicist Stephen Hawking urged for the return of Moon missions by 2020 to give humanity a "sense of purpose". He stressed on building a lunar base in 30 years and sending astronauts to Mars by 2025. Hawking also criticised Donald Trump for US' Paris agreement exit, calling it "the most wrong decision on climate change this world has seen."
short by Gaurav Shroff / 12:44 pm on 22 Jun
Rare extreme helium star found after 40 years
short by Gaurav Shroff / on 22 Jun 2017,Thursday
Astronomers have discovered a rare extreme helium star (EHes), 40 years after sighting the previous such star. EHes are a class of stars first detected in 1942 and called so as they mostly contain helium and are almost devoid of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. The supergiants are less massive than Sun but are larger and hotter.
short by Gaurav Shroff / 11:53 am on 22 Jun
Sweden pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045
short by Deepali Aggarwal / on 17 Jun 2017,Saturday
Swedish Parliament voted 254-41 in favour of adopting a climate bill and pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 to tackle climate change. The target demands at least 85% reduction in Sweden's greenhouse gas emissions from its 1990 levels. The vote makes Sweden the first country to significantly strengthen its climate targets since the Paris Agreement in 2015.
short by Deepali Aggarwal / 08:15 pm on 17 Jun
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