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NASA images show how beautiful India looks from space at night

The images compare the composite night-time view of India in 2016 with that of 2012

thanks: Business standard

dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.

2016

NASA, space, india space

2012

NASA, space, india space

on Thursday released new global nighttime images of the Earth – including a detailed view of and its surroundings that show how patterns of human settlement changed across the country between 2012 and 2016.

The new images compare the composite night-time view of and its surrounding areas in 2016 with that of 2012.

The two images show how cities have grown and patterns of human settlements have changed across the country during those years, said.

Satellite images of Earth at night – often referred to as “night lights” – have been a source of curiosity for public and a tool for fundamental research for nearly 25 years.

They provide a broad, beautiful view, showing how humans have shaped the planet.

Produced every decade or so, such maps have spawned hundreds of pop-culture uses and dozens of economic, social science and environmental research projects.

A research team led by Earth scientist Miguel Roman of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US plans to find out if night lights imagery could be updated yearly, monthly or even daily.

In the years since the 2011 launch of the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, researchers have been analysing night lights data and developing new software and algorithms to make night lights imagery clearer, more accurate and readily available.

They are now on the verge of providing daily, high- definition views of Earth at night, and are targeting the release of such data to the science community later this year

Since researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and released a new Earth at night map in 2012, Roman and teammates at NASA’s Earth Observing Satellite Data and Information System (EOSDIS) have been working to integrate nighttime data into NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) and Worldview mapping tools.

The new global composite map of night lights was observed in 2016. The group has examined the different ways that light is radiated, scattered and reflected by land, atmospheric and ocean surfaces.

The principal challenge in nighttime satellite imaging is accounting for the phases of the Moon, which constantly varies the amount of light shining on Earth, though in predictable ways.

Likewise, seasonal vegetation, clouds, aerosols, snow and ice cover, and even faint atmospheric emissions (such as airglow and auroras) change the way light is observed in different parts of the world.

The new maps were produced with data from all months of each year. The team wrote code that picked the clearest night views each month, ultimately combining moonlight-free and moonlight-corrected data.

Suomi NPP observes nearly every location on Earth at roughly 1:30 pm and 1:30 am (local time) each day, observing the planet in vertical 3,000-kilometre strips from pole to pole. Suomi NPP data is freely available to scientists within minutes to hours of acquisition.

Armed with more accurate nighttime environmental products, the team is now automating the processing so that users will be able to view nighttime imagery within hours of acquisition.

This has the potential to aid short-term weather forecasting and disaster response.

 


Scientists launch campaign to restore Pluto to the planet club

thanks: times of India

Related image

 

A team of scientists seeking to restore Pluto to planethood launched a campaign on Tuesday to broaden the astronomical classifications which led to its demotion to a “dwarf planet” a decade ago.

Six scientists from institutions across the United States argued that Pluto deserves to be a full planet, along with some 110 other bodies in the solar system, including Earth‘s moon.

In a paper presented at an international planetary science conference at The Woodlands, Texas, the scientists explained that geological properties, such as shape and surface features, should determine what constitutes a planet.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union, struggling with how to classify a newly discovered icy body beyond Pluto, adopted a definition for a planet based on characteristics that include clearing other objects from its orbital path.

Pluto and its newfound kin in the solar system’s distant Kuiper Belt region were reclassified as dwarf planets, along with Ceres, the biggest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The decision left the solar system with eight planets.

But this definition sidelines the research interests of most planetary scientists, said the paper’s lead author, Kirby Runyon, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins University.

Runyon said he and other planetary scientists are more interested in a planet’s physical characteristics, such as its shape and whether it has mountains, oceans and an atmosphere.

“If you’re interested in the actual intrinsic properties of a world, then the IAU definition is worthless,” he said by phone.

Runyon and colleagues argue that the IAU does not have the authority to set the definition of a planet.

There’s a teachable moment here for the public in terms of scientific literacy and in terms of how scientists do science,” Runyon added. “And that is not by saying, ‘Let’s agree on one thing.’ That’s not science at all.”

Runyon’s group advocates for a sub-classification system, similar to biology’s hierarchal method. This approach would categorize Earth’s moon as a type of planet.

That idea irks California Institute of Technology astronomer Mike Brown, who discovered the Kuiper Belt object that cast Pluto out of the planet club.

“It really takes blinders to not look at the solar system and see the profound differences between the eight planets in their stately circular orbits and then the millions and millions of tiny bodies flitting in and out between the planets and being tossed around by them,” he wrote in an email.


World Facing ‘Largest Humanitarian Crisis’ Since 1945: United Nations

World Facing 'Largest Humanitarian Crisis' Since 1945: United Nations

 

UNITED NATIONS:¬† The world is facing its “largest humanitarian crisis” since 1945, said the United Nations (UN), further issuing a plea for help to avoid “a catastrophe”.

Stephen O’Brien, UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that more than 20 million people are facing the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, as reported by the BBC.

“We stand at a critical point in history,” O’Brien told the Security Council on Friday.

“Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.”

UNICEF has already warned that 1.4 million children could starve to death in 2017. Mr O’Brien said $4.4 billion is needed by July to avert a disaster.

“Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease,” he added.

According to the UN, a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from a preventable disease, while half-a-million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition. Some 19 million people – or two thirds of Yemen’s population – are in need of some sort of humanitarian help.

In South Sudan, 4.9 million people – or 40 per cent of the country’s population – are “in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance,” BBC quoted the UN as saying.

The UN has described the unfolding disaster in north-eastern Nigeria as the “greatest crisis on the continent”.¬† Estimates in December 2016 showed that there were 75,000 children at risk of starving to death. Another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and the neighbouring Lake Chad area are considered “severely food insecure”.

Six years ago, when a famine was declared in Somalia, nearly 260,000 people died. At the beginning of March, there were reports of 110 people dying in just one region in a 48-hour period, the UN added.

dedicated by

Kavignar Thanigai.

thanks: NDTV

 

 


unfortunate woman is said to be the most fertile woman ….Kavignar Thanigai.

She was just 40-years-old (Photo: AFP)

 

Gaza: Motherhood is supposed to be a wonderful experience of life, but with lack of awareness and certain societal pressures giving birth can actually turn out to be an ordeal for some women that can even result in death.

A similar shocking incident has surfaced from Gaza, where a woman died bearing the brunt for lack of awareness about contraception and family planning. She lost her life after giving birth to her 69th child at the age of just 40 years.
While the unfortunate woman is said to be the most fertile woman as per statistics, a woman from Russia going by the name Vassilyeva holds the record of giving birth to 69 children, which involved 16 twins and seven sets of triplets with four quadruplets.

she was just 40

dedicated by :Kavignar Thanigai

thanks: Deccan Chronicle




Indian-American teen boy makes drinking saltwater a possibility!

Indian-American teen boy makes drinking saltwater a possibility!

 

thanks: Z news

dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.

New Delhi: Environmental scientists have been concerned with regard to drying water bodies as a result of severe climate change. Many areas around the world are slowly falling short of drinking water, leaving scientists in a tizzy.

 

Of course, oceans are full of it and they soon might be the only respite, going by the rate at which climate change is working. But drinking saltwater has never been even a remote consideration. How do we separate the salt from the water?

Well, an Indian-American teenage boy has the answer! Chaitanya Karamchedu has made that possible by finding a cheaper and easier method to turn salt water into drinkable fresh water!

Karamchedu’s research, which began as a science experiment in his high school classroom, is turning quite a few heads and has caught the attention of major technology firms and universities.

The Jesuit High School Senior told KPTV that he has big plans of changing the world.

“1 in 8 people do not have access to clean water, it’s a crying issue that needs to be addressed,” said Karamchedu.

He made up his mind to address the matter himself.

“The best access for water is the sea, so 70 per cent of the planet is covered in water and almost all of that is the ocean, but the problem is that’s salt water,” said Karamchedu.

Isolating drinkable water from the ocean in a cost effective way is a problem that has stumped scientists for years.

“Scientists looked at desalination, but it’s all still inaccessible to places and it would cost too much to implement on a large scale,” Karamchedu said.

Karamchedu figured it out, on his own, in a high school lab.

“The real genesis of the idea was realising that sea water is not fully saturated with salt,” he was quoted as saying.

By experimenting with a highly absorbent polymer, the teen discovered a cost effective way to remove salt from ocean water and turn it into fresh water.

“It’s not bonding with water molecules, it’s bonding to the salt,” said Karamchedu.

“People have been looking at the problem from one view point, how do we break those bonds between salt and the water? Chai came in and thought about it from a completely different angle,” said Jesuit High School Biology Teacher Dr. Lara Shamieh.

“People were concentrated on that 10 per cent of water that’s bonded to the salt in the sea and no one looked at the 90 per cent that was free. Chai just looked at it and said if 10 per cent is bonded and 90 per cent is free, then why are we so focused on this 10 per cent, let’s ignore it and focus on the 90,” Shamieh said.

It is a breakthrough that is estimated to impact millions of lives if ever implemented on a mass scale.

“What this is compared to current techniques, is that it’s cheap and accessible to everyone, everyone can use it,” said Shamieh.

Scientists across the country are taking note. He won a USD 10,000 award from the US Agency for International Global Development at Intel’s International Science Fair and second place at MIT’s TechCon Conference where he won more money to continue his research.

“They were very encouraging, they could see things into it that I couldn’t, because they’ve been working their whole lives on this,” said Karamchedu.

Back in January, Karamchedu was also named one of 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search Semifinalists. The STS is thought to be one of the most prestigious competitions in the country for high school seniors.