Closest `black hole` to earth is not a black hole at all, says study - WION
Black holes are perhaps the most famous celestial bodies in popular culture. There are theories like black holes being portals of time travel, a passage to another universe etc. Its not surprising that the mysterious black holes hold great importance in popul…
Black holes are perhaps the most famous celestial bodies in popular culture. There are theories like black holes being portals of time travel, a passage to another universe etc. It's not surprising that the mysterious black holes hold great importance in popular perception. Everyone knows that there is a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. But that's too far away. There 'was' a black hole closer to home, about 1120 light-years away. Now, a study has said that there may not be a black hole here at all. Earlier hypothesis It was considered that a binary star system HR 6819 had a black hole in it. But now, scientists have discovered that there is no black hole there at all. One of the two stars in the system is a Be spectral type and the other is B3 III star. Both the stars were considered to have equal mass. In a binary system, when two stars have equal mass, they orbit around each other. However, in this star system, it was observed that the Be spectral star was almost spinning in one place while the B3 III star was in orbit. This defied the science of binary star systems having stars of equal masses. Both of these stars should have been in orbit. But they weren't It was hence concluded that a black hole was exerting its gravitational effect on the star system and was holding Be spectral star in its place The competing theory This theory suggested that there was mistake in calculating masses of the stars and that they were NOT equal. In reality, the theory said, the Be spectral star (which spun in one place) was bigger than B3 III star. Not only that, the bigger star took away huge chunk of stellar material off the smaller star. If this was true then there should have been variations in the disc of Hydrogen gas being emanated from the bigger star. Also Read | NASA's Osiris-Rex grabs a piece of asteroid Bennu in historic mission These variations have now been found This indicates that HR 6819 is a binary system consisting of a massive Be star and a low-mass companion that is the stripped-down remnant of a former mass donor star in a mass transfer binary, wrote Douglas Gies and Luqian Wang, astronomers from Georgia State University. They have hence concluded that there is no black hole in this binary star system. The title of nearest black hole from earth may hence be now changing hands.
Young person might have to wait until 2022 to get vaccine: WHO scientist Saumya Swaminathan - WION
WHO chief scientist Saumya Swaminathan has said that "healthy, young person" might have to wait until 2022 to get the coronavirus vaccine.
WHO chief scientist Saumya Swaminathan has said that "healthy, young person" might have to wait until 2022 to get the coronavirus vaccine. Watch: Most people agree, its starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on," Swaminathan said. "There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine, the WHO scientist added. As Europe witnesses a surge in virus cases, the WHO said it was of "great concern". France has been the worst-hit due to the virus in recent weeks with 30,000 cases reported for the first time. Hans Kluge, Europe's WHO regional director said that although the situation wasn't as bad as in March and April in the continent but warned that government's need to "step up the measures" to combat the virus. "The collateral damage on the people was too much," Kluge asserted. France has imposed a curfew in Paris including in eight other cities as the virus continues to make inroads into the country. In Poland, the government has asked people to work from home even as Switzerland reported deterioration in virus cases. The virus has so far infected over 40 million people worldwide and led to over 1.1 million fatalities. Meanwhile, China reported 24 new coronavirus cases on Thursday which it said were all "imported". China also reported ten new asymptomatic cases on Thursday. The country currently has 85,646 confirmed coronavirus cases with 4,634 fatalities.
US election 2020: NASA astronauts on SpaceX`s Crew Dragon will vote from space - WION
Three NASA astronauts on SpaceXs first operational Crew Dragon mission will vote from space in the US election 2020 to be held on November 3.
Three NASA astronauts on SpaceX's first operational Crew Dragon mission will vote from space in the US election 2020 to be held on November 3. SpaceXs Crew Dragon Resilience capsule will carry NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station October 31 as the companys first non-test mission after completing a successful two-man preliminary mission last summer. All of us are planning on voting from space, Walker told a news conference, explaining that the three US astronauts will fill out an electronic PDF file aboard the station some 250 miles above Earth and email it to elections officials. Also read: Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts The crews more than six month mission in space, enabled by SpaceXs new gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon space capsule, comes as NASA regains its capability of sending astronauts to space after nearly a decade-long dependence on Russias Soyuz vehicles. Meanwhile, another American astronaut Kate Rubins will also vote from space as she is a part of the launch of the Russian Soyuz that will take place on October 14 from the International Space Staion. Also read: SpaceX launches third batch of mini-satellites into orbit Following tradition from SpaceXs last crewed mission named Endeavor, which ended in August with a successful splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, Hopkins said the crew chose the name Resilience as a tribute to a challenging 2020. I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year, Hopkins said, adding that SpaceX and NASA have pressed on with launch plans despite a slew of events like the global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation that have punctuated this year. SpaceX made a few tweaks to Crew Dragons heat shield and altitude sensors after analyzing data from the summer test flight carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the companys Crew Dragon chief Benji Reed said during a separate press conference on Tuesday.
ISRO marks 5 years of Space Observatory - AstroSat; More science missions in anvil - WION
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) marked five years of the lunch of AstroSat, which is India’s first multi-wavelength mission, which was launched from Sriharikota spaceport on 28th September 2018. The satellite is being operated as a proposal-base…
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) marked five years of the lunch of AstroSat, which is Indias first multi-wavelength mission, which was launched from Sriharikota spaceport on 28th September 2018. The satellite is being operated as a proposal-based observatory, covering a wide band ranging from Ultraviolet(UV) to high energy X-rays. While a vast majority of ISROs satellites are meant to serve purposes like communication, surveillance, imagery, remote sensing etc. A handful of missions/satellites are purely for exploring and helping understand unexplored sciences. Such missions are Chandrayaan, Mangalyaan and AstroSat. Also read: With ISRO assistance, Indias Skyroot Aerospace aims maiden rocket launch by Dec-2021 ISRO says that the unique observation capability of AstroSat in this wide band makes it one of the major space science observatories in the world. According to the Indian Space agency, AstroSat was also the mission which led to the discovery of one of the earliest galaxies in extreme Ultraviolet light, marking a major breakthrough. Called AUDFs01, this galaxy is said to be 9.3 billion light years away from earth. The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers led by Dr. Kanak Saha, at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune. This team was comprised of scientists from India, Switzerland, France, USA, Japan and Netherlands. Speaking at a virtual event, to mark five years of AstroSat, R. Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO said that the data generated from the AstroSat mission has been shared with over 1500 users across 43 countries, hailing the mission as an international success. AstroSat was launched into a unique circular orbit, with low incline of 6 degrees and five of its payloads can function simultaneously he said. Chairman ISRO, DR. K.Sivan said that, the study of the universe played a major role in defining research of ISRO and AstroSat has brought us into the big league of space astronomy and provided excellent results. He added that the satellite had served its mission life of five years, with all five on-board equipment in very fine condition and that it would continue to serve for years to come. Also read: Chandrayaan-2 mapping lunar surface as per mission plan: ISRO Referring to AstroSat as a multi-agency mission, Dr.Sivan elaborated that academia and R&D institutions had worked in the engineering and testing phase of this project. Speaking of ISROs big future plans in space exploration and science, he said, that Exposat and Aditya L-1 were upcoming missions which would open exciting possibilities. While Exposat was meant to study X-ray polarisation from cosmic sources, it would also be the first polarimetric mission after half a century, Sivan added. Aditya L-1 is a mission that was slated for launch by mid-2020, the scientific objective of the mission was to study the Sun. There are exciting possibilities - missions to detect Eletromagnetic counterparts of gravitational events, to study atmospheric composition of rocky planets and discovery of all life forms outside our solar system he said. He urged the scientific community to use the scientific data and research to the maximum extent and also indicate the importance of generating future Human Resources by involving school students. Thus far, in 2020 ISRO has not had any launches owing to the pandemic-induced lockdowns and logistical challenges etc. ISRO officials have said that 4 satellites are ready for launch, namely - GISAT-1, Microsat 2-A, GSAT-12R and RISAT-2BR2.
India: ICMR warns of danger posed by another virus from China - Cat Que Virus - WION
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned of the danger posed by another virus found in China - the Cat Que Virus.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned of the danger posed by another virus found in China - the Cat Que Virus. According to the ICMR, the virus has potential to spread diseases across India. The CQV may cause febrile illnesses, meningitis, and paediatric encephalitis among humans. Also read: Why China must be punished for its contribution in global spread of coronavirus The virus has been spotted in culex mosquitoes and pigs across China and Vietnam. India, too is home to species of culex mosquitoes. Researchers at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune have found antibodies for the virus in out of the 883 human serum samples which were taken from various Indian states. This implies that people have been infected with the virus. During the course of the study, the virus was not found in human or animal samples. Also read: Interferon insufficiency is the reason why coronavirus is deadly for some patients The two samples that tested positive for CQV antibodies came from Karnataka - one from 2014 and the other from 2017. The findings of the study were published in the latest issue of Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR). According to the ICMR study, Indian mosquitoes are susceptible to CQV, which could also become a public health pathogen. Its natural host is a mosquito. Domestic pigs are also considered the primary mammalian host of the Cat Que Virus.
Asteroid alert: Space rock to zip past Earth today, will be closer than geostationary satellites - WION
US space agency NASA has said that an asteroid will fly past the Earth on Thursday which would be just 28,254 km from the Earths surface.
US space agency NASA has said that an asteroid will fly past the Earth on Thursday which would be just 28,254 km from the Earth's surface. Watch: The asteroid would be speeding at around 27, 900 km per hour, the space agency said. Also Read: Asteroid heading towards Earth a day before US elections The asteroid named 2020 SW is around 15 to 30 feet wide, the NASA scientists said, which is roughly the size of a small bus. The rock which was discovered just last week will continue on its journey around the Sun and wouldn't return to the Earth's atmosphere before 2041, scientists said. According to EarthSky, the asteroid is so small that the Earth's gravity is expected to change the rock's course when it goes past the Earth. However, it will be a close call as it will pass just 7 per cent of the Moons distance and will be passing closer than geostationary satellites which are placed 35,888 km from our planets surface. However, EarthSky said that "there is no risk of impact." The rocks is expected to be at its closet when it passes over Australia or New Zealand. However, there is bad news for stargazers as it won't be visible through the naked eye but can be viewed through a 6 or 8-inch diameter telescope and is likely to increase in brightness as it approaches the Earth. "The space rock is currently in the constellation of Pegasus the Flying Horse, and will then move to the constellation of Pisces the Fish," EarthSky said.
Tom Cruise` $200 million space film might become a reality in October 2021? - WION
Tom Cruise will be doing the unthinkable in his next film -- go in space for filming. According to the last announcement, NASA and Elon Musk would help materialise this dream of director Doug Liman but we have more information on when they would actually take…
Tom Cruise will be doing the unthinkable in his next film -- go in space for filming. According to the last announcement, NASA and Elon Musk would help materialise this dream of director Doug Liman but we have more information on when they would actually take the flight. To make Tom Cruise, the first actor to shoot in space, images from the Space Shuttle Almanac have revealed their 2021 calendar. On Monday, the Space Shuttle Almanacs Twitter account shared a photo of spacecrafts and countries set to launch. When you read the calendar closely, there are names of Tom Cruise, Doug Liman and another person mentioned under the October 2021 part of the chart reads SpaceX Crew Dragon. Next to the illustration of a small space vehicle, is a list of three names: SpaceX Pilot Lopez Alegria, Tourist 1 Tom Cruise and Tourist 2 Doug Liman. The tourist flight also shows a vacant spot for a third visitor. It will be a narrative film as Tom Cruise and company have reportedly teamed with Elon Musk and NASA. It was reported in July that Universal will back the $200 million Tom Cruise movie. Tom Cruise: Top 5 action movies of his career
Gravitas: Moscow says Venus is a Russian planet - WION
Days after scientists said there could be life on Venus, Russia has staked claim on the planet. Moscow says Venus is a Russian planet. Palki Sharma Upadhyay tells you how Russia is justifying its bizarre claim?
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India had 6.4 million coronavirus cases by May: ICMR sero survey - WION
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has published the results of part two of the first national population-based sero survey to check the transmission of coronavirus in the country.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has published the results of part two of the first national population-based sero survey to check the transmission of coronavirus in the country. The survey was conducted between May 11 and June 4 in 21 states. The findings indicated that 0.73 per cent of adults in India were exposed to Covid-19 infection, amounting to 6.4 million infections in total by early May. "The findings of the sero survey indicated a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population in India in early May 2020. As most of the population remains susceptible to infection, our public health strategy needs to plan for an inevitable increase in transmission," the sero-survey revealed. A total of 30,283 households were visited and 28,000 individuals were enrolled in the survey. The seroprevalence ranged between 0.62 per cent and 1.03 per cent across the four strata of districts. "The findings of our survey indicated that the overall seroprevalence in India was low, with less than 1 per cent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid May 2020," ICMR stated. The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, it added. "It is therefore necessary to continue to implement the context-specific containment measures including testing of all symptomaties, isolating positive cases and tracing high-risk contacts to slow transmission and to prevent the overburdening of the health system," ICMR said. The survey also found out that for every RT-PCR confirmed case of Covid-19, there were 82-130 infections in India. The seropositivity was highest in the age-group of 18-45 years at 43.3 per cent, followed by those between 46 and 60 years (39.5 per cent) and the lowest seropositivity was detected in those aged above 60 years (17.2 per cent), it further stated. The findings pointed out that the seropositivity was highest at 69.4 per cent in the rural areas, while in the urban slums it was 15.9 per cent and in urban non-slums, it was 14.6 per cent.
The Earth is contributing towards rust on the Moon - WION
The moon is getting rusty. And it actually takes rocket science to understand the phenomenon.
The moon is getting rusty. And it actually takes rocket science to understand the phenomenon. There are plenty of iron-rich rocks on the moon -- but rust is only produced when iron is exposed to oxygen and water. The dichotomy has been solved by researchers, who have enough evidence to prove their findings. India's lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, orbited the moon in 2008, and gathered data that said there are water molecules on its surface. When researchers at NASA and the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology analysed the data recently, they were stunned to find hints of hematite, a form of iron oxide known as rust. Not only is there no air on the moon, but it is flooded with hydrogen that flows from the sun, carried by solar wind. Rust is produced when oxygen removes electrons from iron; hydrogen does the opposite by adding electrons, which means it's all the harder for rust to form on the hydrogen-rich moon. This rust was more concentrated on the side of the moon that faces Earth -- which gave impetus to their research. Earth is encompassed in a magnetic field, and solar wind stretches this bubble to create a long magnetic tail in the downwind direction. The moon enters this tail three days before it's full, and it takes six days to cross the tail and exit on the other side. During these six days, Earth's magnetic tail covers the moon's surface with electrons. Dust particles on the moon's surface can then float off the ground, and moon dust might fly into a dust storm, according to NASA. And oxygen from the Earth travels on this magnetic tail to land on the moon, where it interacts with lunar water molecules to create rust. The magnetic tail also blocks nearly all solar wind during the full moon -- meaning the moon is temporarily shielded from the blast of hydrogen, opening a window for rust to form. This theory could also explain why rust has been found on other airless bodies like asteroids. It, however, remains unclear how exactly water on the moon is interacting with rock.