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Apr 2020

Aug 04, 2021

Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo Set to Make Space History

  • Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo are set to make space history with two Venus flybys just 33 hours apart on August 9 and 10, 2021.
  • The two spacecraft need the gravitational swingby to help them lose a little orbital energy in order to reach their destinations towards the center of the Solar System. The double flyby also offers an unprecedented opportunity to study the Venus environment from different locations at same time and, moreover, in locations that are not typically visited by a dedicated planetary orbiter.
  • Solar Orbiter, a partnership between ESA and NASA, will fly by Venus on August 9 with a closest approach of 7995 km.
  • BepiColombo, a partnership between ESA and JAXA, will fly by Venus on August 10 at an altitude of just 550 km.

Aug 03, 2021

NASA's X-ray Solar Imager to Probe Sun's Corona

  • Scientists at NASA have successfully launched a sophisticated X-ray solar imager on a suborbital flight via sounding rocket to gather new insight regarding how and why the suns corona grows so much hotter than the actual surface of Earth's parent star.
  • Developers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, call the mission "MaGIXS" -- Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer. It was launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
  • The MaGIXS mission dispatched its payload, which included a high-powered camera, telescope, and X-ray spectrometer containing a matched pair of grazing incidence parabolic mirrors, to study so called "soft" X-rays at a wavelength that has not been previously observed in such detail.

CERN Discover New Tetraquark Particle

  • The new exotic particle discovered by physicists from the LHCb Collaboration at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) contains two quarks and two antiquarks. Labeled Tcc+, it is the longest-lived exotic particle ever discovered and the first to contain two heavy quarks and two light antiquarks.
  • Quarks are the fundamental building blocks from which matter is constructed.
  • They combine to form hadrons, namely baryons, such as the proton and the neutron, which consist of three quarks, and mesons, which are formed as quark-antiquark pairs.
  • Several tetraquark particles have been discovered in recent years, but Tcc+ is the first one that contains two charm quarks, without charm antiquarks to balance them. Physicists call this 'open charm' (in this case, 'double open charm').
  • Particles containing a charm quark and a charm antiquark have 'hidden charm' — the charm quantum number for the whole particle adds up to zero, just like a positive and a negative electrical charge would do. Here the charm quantum number adds up to two, so it has twice the charm.
  • Tcc+ is also the first particle to be found that belongs to a class of tetraquarks with two heavy quarks and two light antiquarks.

Astronomers Measure Rotation Speeds of Planets in HR 8799 System

  • Using the Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) on the Keck II telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory, astronomers have obtained and analyzed the high-resolution spectra of the four giant planets orbiting HR 8799.
  • HR 8799 is a 30-million-year-old star located approximately 129 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus
  • It hosts a massive debris disk and four super-Jupiters: HR 8799b, c, d, and e.
  • Unlike most exoplanet discoveries, which are inferred from analysis of data, these planets are directly visible through ground-based telescopes.
  • HR 8799 is a notable planetary system, as it is the only known system with four directly imaged exoplanets.

Aug 02, 2021

Revolutionary Reprogrammable "Chameleon" Satellite Launched

  • A sophisticated telecommunications satellite (Chameleon) that can be completely repurposed while in space was launched.
  • Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum has pioneered a new generation of satellites with the European space industry.
  • The flexible software-defined satellite – which will be used by governments and in mobility and data markets – was launched in 2021, from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
  • As the satellite can be reprogrammed in orbit, it can respond to changing demands during its lifetime.
  • The satellite will remain in geostationary orbit for its 15-year lifespan, after which it will be safely placed in a graveyard orbit away from Earth to avoid becoming a risk to other satellites.

Aug 01, 2021

Kaspersky Partners Bharti Airtel for Selling Cybersecurity Software

  • Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has partnered with Bharti Airtel to reach out to its over 34 crore customers for selling its security softwares at lower prices.
  • The collaboration between the two companies will allow Airtel customers to purchase Kaspersky Total Security solutions directly from the Airtel Thanks app exclusive deals on them.
  • According to Kaspersky, mobile threats in India have drastically increased since 2019 and are becoming more targeted and sophisticated in nature. India ranked seventh among the countries attacked with mobile threats in 2020.

ISS Out of Control by Misfire of Russian Module

  • The International Space Station (ISS) was thrown briefly out of control when jet thrusters of a newly arrived Russian research module inadvertently fired a few hours after it was docked to the orbiting outpost.
  • This mishap began about three hours after the multipurpose Nauka module had latched onto the space station, as mission controllers in Moscow were performing some post-docking reconfiguration procedures, according to NASA.
  • The module`s jets inexplicably restarted, causing the entire station to pitch out of its normal flight position some 250 miles above the Earth, leading the mission`s flight director to declare a "spacecraft emergency.

Jul 31, 2021

ISRO-NASA Joint Mission NISAR Satellite to be Launched in 2023

  • The ISRO-NASA Joint Mission NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, which aims to measure changes in the earth's surface globally using advanced radar images, is scheduled to be launched in early 2023.
  • NISAR is a joint Earth observation mission between ISRO and NASA, used for global observation of the entire earth, including the polar cryosphere and the Indian Ocean region.
  • This is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation for observing small changes in land, vegetation, and cryosphere.
  • NASA is developing L-band SAR and related systems, while ISRO is developing S-band SAR, spacecraft bus, launch vehicle, and related launch services.
  • The main scientific goal of this mission is to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on the planet's changing ecosystems, terrestrial and coastal processes, land deformation, and the cryosphere.
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