Author: Sri Kanth


The planet where it rains iron

A team of researchers at the University of Geneva discovered a planet 640 light-years from Earth. They used the European Southern Observatory’s large telescope in northern Chile to observe this. The planets hot side which faces its star can be more than 2400C.

Dr David Ehrenreich, a professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland led the research. The study will be published in the journal Nature. They have named the exoplanet as WASP-76B.

The planet is located at the constellation of Pisces which is 640 light-years away. What’s special about this planet is, that it rains iron on this planet.

“One could say that this planet gets rainy in the evening, except it rains iron,” says David Ehrenreich

The reason for this phenomenon is because the planet always shows only one side to its parent star. The other side remains in total darkness. This is same as the Moon in its orbit around the Earth. This is called Tidal Locking. it takes as long to rotate around its axis as it does to go around the star.

Its day side receives a thousand times more radiation from the parent star than the Earth does from the Sun. So the temperature is capable of separating molecules into atoms. Metals such as iron evaporate into the atmosphere. The extreme difference in the temperatures between the dayside and the night side creates vigorous winds. These winds bring iron vapour from the hot dayside to the cool night side. The temperature difference is said to be about 1500 C.


Earths day was just 23.5 hours for Dinosaurs?

A team of researchers has discovered that when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the day of Earth was a bit shorter than 24 hours. Niels de Winter, an analytical geochemist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel lead this study. The study will be published in the journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, which is published by the American Geophysical Union.

According to the research, Earth only had 23.5 hours per day and 372 days per year. This means that the Earth turned faster than today.

The researchers discovered this fact through a kind of ancient shells that dated back to the Late Cretaceous period 70 million years ago.

These fossilized shells belonged to a group called rudist clams, which grew quickly. they had daily growth records as growth rings in their shells. The species is known as Torreites Sanchezanchezi. Rudist means that they had two shells connected with a hinge.

Laser sampling produced slices of the shells, so the researchers could get an accurate count of the rings. This lets them know how many days were there in a year. By breaking down and doing the math, they could determine how long a day was.

We have about four to five data points per day, and this is something that you almost never get in geological history. We can basically look at a day 70 million years ago. It’s pretty amazing,” said Niels de Winter

according to our knowledge, Earth day lasts 24 hours and it doesn’t change. This is because the Earth orbits around the sun don’t change. But according to this research, No of days in an earth year has changed. It has shortened because the day has grown longer. Moons gravity has resulted in this by drawing the ocean’s tides and slowing Earth’s rate of rotation. Meanwhile, the Moon also distances itself from the earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year.


DSN Network to be upgraded,so Voyager 2 is on its own

NASA’S Voyager 2 spacecraft will have to manage itself in the interstellar space for approximately 11 months. NASA launched Voyager 2 in 1977 and it entered the interstellar space in November 2018. NASA is upgrading the 70m wide radio telescope in Australia. They use this dish to send instructions to the spacecraft, so till the upgrade is over voyager has to manage on its own.

Animation of Voyager 2 trajectory.gif
By Phoenix7777Own work
Data source: HORIZONS System, JPL, NASA: xyz coordinates, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Mission team members say that this is nothing to worry about. Voyager is fully capable of managing on its own. They say that if things don’t go normal after the restoration of the antenna, there’s a fault protection system onboard.

The Australian radio dish is a part of the Deep Space Network (DSN). The network has three dishes in California, Spain, and Australia. But only the Australian one is useful at the present.

Voyager 2 is currently about 11 billion miles from earth. It’s moving downward relative to the earth’s orbital plane. Therefore earth can only send signals to it from the southern hemisphere.

The Australian dish which is in Canberra is 48 years old. Voyager 2 recently pinged back earth after about a month. So the officials have made a decision to upgrade the radio dish because Voyager 2 is back and healthy again. The upgrade begins in early March.

They say that the upgrade will affect the whole DSN network. So this could be very useful in communicating with spacecraft in future missions too.

Screenshot at 2020-03-07 09-39-01

Beggar, but richer than most

Bharat Jain is a 49-year-old beggar who mostly begs in the Parel region Mumbai. What’s special about this beggar is that he’s probably richer than most of us none beggars.

One may beg when he/she has nothing to do for a living and are desperate. That may be what we know, but in some Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka, begging has evolved into a profession and business. Some people are professional beggars. They beg because the income is good, not because they have nothing else to do. There are even leaders for beggars who employe other beggars as employes. It may be hard for someone in need to beg without the permission of these leaders. Bharat is a professional beggar in India who has succeeded in his profession.

He owns two flats which are valued at 70 lakhs INR each. He rents a juice shop and earns 10000 as monthly rent. From begging only he earns approximately 60000 monthly. These are the only known sources of his income.

He’s probably the richest beggar in the world. Beggar but richer than most of you.


The Dutch Reach, How a simple change becomes a lifesaver

When you open a door of a vehicle, there’s a risk that the door could hit something if you don’t look before you open. This could be a dangerous scenario if you hit a pedestrian or a cyclist. Cyclists around the world are frequently killed by this incident, which is called the “Dooring”.

No one knows for sure but the dutch reach was introduced by the Netherlands over 50 years back as a solution to this problem. Today this is taught in schools. The driving tests require this to pass the test. What actually is the Dutch Reach?

Nothing complicated. Dutch reach is how you reach the vehicle’s door handle. It requires that you reach the door handle with the hand further to the door. Not the hand close to the door. For instance, if you are seated on the right side of the vehicle your right hand is the closest to the door. So don’t use it to open the door. Use your left hand. If you are seated on the left side, use the right hand.

Dutch-Reach-illustratn-thK-91416LH-3-5x3-300x259 Dutch-Reach-illustratn-thK-91416LH-3-5x3-UK-L-300x259


This way when your opposite sides hand reaches the door, it automatically forces your body to turn around and look above the shoulder before you open the door. So you get to know if it’s safe to open the door or not.


For more information about the Dutch Reach please visit the dedicated web site


Traditions of the Leap Day

A leap day was first introduced over 2000 years back, by Julius Caesar. There are traditions, folklore, and superstitions ever since its introduced.

Women propose to men

According to an Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow ladies to propose men instead of the opposite way (men proposing women). So the ladies get a chance, once in four years to balance the traditional roles of men and women.

A dozen of glove pairs.

In some places, a man is expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on leap day. In some countries of Europe, the tradition calls the man to buy 12 pairs of gloves for the woman. So the woman can hide from the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the past in the middle ages, there were even rules regarding this.


Scotts consider the ones who are born on a leap day unlucky. Greeks consider it unlucky for couples to marry on a leap year, and especially on a leap day.

St Oswald’s Day

Leap day is also named as St Oswald’s day after the archbishop of new york who died on 29th February. The day is celebrated on 29th February on leap years and 28th on normal years.


Biggest explosion after the Big Bang just happened

Researchers of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy discovered an explosion in a supermassive black hole. This black hole is located at the center of the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster which is 390 million light-years from Earth. This is the largest explosion ever observed since the Big Bang.

“We’ve seen outbursts in the centers of galaxies before but this one is really, really massive,” Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, professor at the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and co-author of the paper uploaded to preprint archive arXiv earlier this month, said in a statement.
“And we don’t know why it’s so big.”

For this discovery, researchers used four telescopes around the globe. This includes NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory.

Simona Giacintucci, from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, the lead author compares this explosion to the Mount St Helen’s explosion, which was a violent volcanic eruption in history.

“The difference is that you could fit 15 Milky Way galaxies in a row into the crater this eruption punched into the cluster’s hot gas,” said Giacintucci.

“It happened very slowly — like an explosion in slow motion that took place over hundreds of millions of years,” Johnston-Hollitt said.
NASA scientists were able to confirm the unprecedented blast. “The radio data fit inside the X-rays like a hand in a glove,” co-author Maxim Markevitch from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said in the statement. “This is the clincher that tells us an eruption of unprecedented size occurred here.”

This discovery could be useful in future discoveries as such.

Johnston-Hollitt says it’s like archaeology. They are provided tools such as radio telescopes, to dig deeper to discover more such outbursts.

The research team plans to double the number of telescopes used, to increase the sensitivity to discover further.


Scientists discover a creature which does not require oxygen

A group of scientists at the Oregon State University’s Department of Microbiology has discovered an animal that does not need oxygen to breathe. This is changing the definition of what an animal is.

This animal is a parasite called Henneguya salminicola, which lives inside the tissue of salmon.

Stephen Atkinson, a senior research associate at Oregon State University’s Department of Microbiology Co-authored the paper about this parasite, which will be published in journal PNAS.

He says that when we imagine creatures, we imagine multicellular creatures who need oxygen to breathe. But his team has discovered the first creature that does not need to breathe, this means that the world has at least one creature which doesn’t require oxygen.

The parasite does not have breathing in its genetic code. Instead of using oxygen, it steals ready-made nutrients from its host, the salmon. Researchers found out that it doesn’t harm the salmon, and humans are not infected.

Mitochondria produce energy in most species by using oxygen. But this creature adapted to the low oxygen environment which it lives in, by dropping the mitochondrial genome entirely.


Star passing the earth could kick it out of solar system

Although it’s very unlikely, there may be a chance that stars passing earth could throw earth out of the solar system, says astrophysicist Paul Sutter on

This may cause our planet to wonder in the wastelands of the universe. All life forms may be erased immediately.

This risk of getting kicked out of the solar system because of the gravity of passing stars gravity is called the three-body problem. The movement of three bodies interacting by gravity is far more complicated than two bodies.

According to previous research, a star passing our solar system at the right angle with enough mass would have to “pass within the orbit of Jupiter to have a decent chance of knocking us from our orbit; otherwise, its gravitational influence is just too inconsequential,” notes Sutter.

Although it’s a scary thought, chances are very little according to Sutter.

Read more about Paul Sutter


How to stop aging?

how to stop aging? Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. aging Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job. Why We Age? And How We Can Stop It


John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth

In 1962 John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth. After the first two Soviet astronauts, he was the third in the world to orbit the earth. He orbited 3 times around the earth and returned safely. After retiring from NASA during the period of 1974 to 1999 he served as a Democratic United States senator from Ohio. But at the age of 77, in 1998 again he got the chance to fly to space.

Before NASA and space, he was a successful fighter pilot during world war 2. In 1957, he made the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States. It’s his onboard camera which took the first continuous panoramic photo of the US.

In 1959 NASA selected him as one of the nation’s first astronauts in Mercury Seven which are also referred to as Original Seven and Astronaut Group 1.

mercury 7

The Mercury Seven astronauts posing with a USAF F-106.


On Feb 20, 1962, Friendship 7 lifted off from Cape Canaveral, and he became the first American to orbit the earth. His mission had lots of complications that even put his life in danger. But luckily he returned to earth safely after 4 hours and 55-minute flight and landed in the sea, 1,290 km southeast of Cape Canaveral.



Friendship 7 is currently displayed at the National Air and Space Museum

Glenn flew on Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission at the age of 77, in 1998. This made him the oldest person to fly in space and also the only person to fly in both Mercury and Space Shuttle programs.

Being the oldest and last surviving member of Mercury Seven, he died at the age of 95 in 2016.

Medals received

  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1962
  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978
  • U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012

SpaceX has super high orbit tours packages

SpaceX plans to launch four tourists into a much higher orbit, possibly by the end of next year.

The company partnered with the company named Space Adventures to provide this flight. They announced the mission Tuesday.

The Space Adventures already have helped tourists to travel into orbit, by working with the Russian Space Program.

The customers on this trip will get the chance to fly two or three times higher into space than the International Space Stations orbit. That would be roughly 500 to 750 miles above the earth.

The ticket prices are not yet revealed but are expected to be in millions.

For this mission, SpaceX will use the same capsule model which will launch NASA astronauts to the space station in the near future.


Is it OK to charge the phone overnight?

Most people use their mobile phone during day time, and when they go to sleep they plug in the phone to charge. But the phone may only take a few hours (more likely less than 3 hours) to charge. But when they are asleep and no one’s there to remove the phone from the charger at that time, the phone is still plugged into the charger for hours, even after a full charge. But is it ok to leave the phone like this?

Well, modern smartphones are smart enough to stop the charging of the battery through detecting that the battery has reached 100%, through its microchips. But in the past, it was not a good idea to leave the older mobile phones ( not the smartphone generation) in the charger for a long time after the charging is completed. This caused the battery to become bulged. So in smartphones, are there any disadvantages of leaving the phone on the charger after its fully charged?

If you consider the electricity bill, there may be a disadvantage. Keeping a charger plugged in unnecessary may increase electricity bill unnecessarily. This may be a very little effect on the electricity bill but the authorities of some countries inform that the electricity bill can be reduced by plugging the chargers out when the task is done. But some tests have proven that this would be a matter of just cents. Check here for more details. If there are such doubts, you can use a charger with a timer. So once the charging is done in about 2 or 3 hours, the charger will turn off itself rather than consuming electricity for 3 or 4 hours more.

One more thing is that charging may cause the phone battery to heat a little bit in some phones. So it is suggested that if the phone is plugged into the charger, make sure that it’s properly ventilated ( not covered in any way). If the phone is covered in some way, it may get more heated. This may cause serious accidents and device damage. The batteries may get bulged due to the reason.


Cygnus cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station

A Cygnus cargo ship of Northrop Grumman company arrived at the ISS on 18th Feb. The uncrewed ship was captured by a robotic arm of the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan operated the robotic arm. Northrop Grumman launched Cygnus into space through a rocket on Saturday 15th from NASAS Wallops facility of Virginia.

Northrop Grumman named the spaceship “S.S. Robert H. Lawrence” after late Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, jr., who was the first Afro American ever selected to be an astronaut in 1967. He was selected to get in US Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory, a planned military space station. But unfortunately, Mr Lawrence died in a training accident. He never had the chance to get in space. But he remains a valuable symbol of progress regarding human space flights.

The cargo included 3400 KG of science experiments, Supplies and other vital gear for the stations three-person “Expedition 62” crew. The crew includes Andrew Morgon, Jessica Meir and Russian Astronaut Oleg Skripochka the commander of the mission.

The cargo included some novel science gear to the station including some experiments. Mochii, a small electron microscope is among them, which is the first-ever in space. This allows the astronauts to analyse various things right in space rather than sending back to earth and waiting for results. There is also some equipment to study bone loss in space and to test viruses which can target and destroy specific bacterias, so they can be used as cures for bacterial infections.

There are also some special treats for astronauts. These include fresh fruit, Candy and Cheese.


These Bunnies may not be as innocent as you think

The snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), also called the varying hare, or snowshoe rabbit is a kind of rabbit found in North America. It has the name “snowshoe” because of the large size of its hind feet. The animal’s feet stop it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks. Its feet also have fur on the soles to defend it from freezing temperatures.

For camouflage, its fur turns white during the winter and rusty brown during the summer. Its flanks are white year-round. The snowshoe hare is also distinguishable by the black tufts of fur on the edge of its ears. Its ears are shorter than those of most other hares.



In summer this creature feeds on plants such as grass, ferns and leaves. In winter it eats twigs, the bark from trees, and plants. But there’s a speciality about these kinds of hares that most people don’t know and this may be shocking.

There is evidence that these hares occasionally feed on dead carcasses of animals such as grouse, loon, other hares and even lynx. This was proved by a paper published in journal Northwestern Naturalist. This documented hares in Yukon’s boreal forest.

The paper was written by Michael Peers, a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta. He studies how the environment affects Snowshoe Hare’s survival and how they adapt to the changes in the environment. The research team has deployed carcasses on several places and set wildlife cameras to monitor them.

Out of the 161 carcasses, they saw that hares scavenged 20. This is a frequent value than they expected. They observed that some hares even defended carcasses from other hares. They observed that the hares even scavenged on Lynx, their main predator.

The researchers say that animals cannot be easily categorized as carnivores or herbivores. Herbivores seem to consume more than what the world thinks.


Bill Gates bought an electric car. And why is it a news?

World’s top billionaire Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft has bought a new vehicle. It’s a Porsche Taycan, which is an electric car. He revealed this in an interview with YouTuber Marques ‘MKBHD’ Brownlee. Mr. Gates revealed that this is the first-ever electric car which he bought. He says that there are more challenges and obstacles when it comes to electric cars.

Mr. Gates is the third richest man in the world according to the latest reports. He now focuses much on philanthropic efforts such as focusing on climate change and global health.

In this discussion, Bill Gates explained that electric cars have optimistic areas such as zero emissions. “I just got a Porsche Taycan, which is an electric car – and I have to say, well it’s a premium price car, but it’s very, very cool. That’s my first electric car, and I’m enjoying it a lot,” he says.

But apart from the higher prices, he highlights few drawbacks of electric cars which keep people away from buying them. He explains that the main problem is the range. As the batteries can only take you to a limited distance. In case of a non-electric combustion engine vehicle, once you reach this distance and the fuel is low, you can refuel in a gas station, in less than five minutes. But when it comes to an electrical, recharging takes a long time.

But Microsofts boss also highlights some other benefits of using an electric car. You don’t have to pay for gas. The maintenance costs are very low.
As another disadvantage, he says that the insurance premium of electric cars is relatively high.

Watch the discussion video here.


Want to save? Keep bigger notes in the wallet

If you want to save the money in your pocket, load your wallet with bigger money notes rather than smaller ones. What are the bigger money notes? The bigger notes mean money notes with a more higher value. For instance, in the US, people consider 100$ a bigger banknote. This value of the currency notes may change according to your country.

Denomination Effect

According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, shoppers are less likely to spend their money if they carry cash in large denominations. The researchers call this “denomination effect”. Researchers have identified through a series of experiments, that people carrying some amount in large banknotes hesitate to spend them, while people carrying the same amount in small banknotes comparatively less hesitate on spending.

What causes this denomination effect? Most consumers see large bills as more important than a bunch of small bills, even though the amount may be the same total value. According to Marketing professor Joydeep Srivastava, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and a co-author of the study, people tend to overvalue bigger bills. People tend to isolate cash amounts in mind. So a 100$ amount is more important, than 5 bills of $20. People psychologically think that 100$ is a big effect than spending the five 20$ bills. Although there are 5, it’s in small amounts of 20$ each.

This may be similar to eating a huge cake piece by piece. You may hesitate to eat when the cake is there as a whole. It’s adorable and beautiful but once cut into pieces (you may even hesitate to cut it into pieces), no problem eating piece by piece.

What the hell effect

In addition, consumers fear that once they break the large bill (having change), they won’t be able to stop spending the rest. “It’s like a dam gets broken once the barrier is passed,” says Srivastava. Researchers labelled this effect as “What the hell” effect. People think that If they break a hundred, they lose it from the wallet. The rest is small so they fear that they may lose them very soon. However, when people with bigger bills decide to spend, they spend bigger amounts on bigger things (maybe more important things) rather than small bills.
To support the theories the researchers conducted a series of experiments.


Undergraduate Students

In one experiment, researchers gave 89 undergraduates of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland a dollar. They told the students that they can buy candy from that money or keep it. Researchers gave half of the students this amount in a 1$ bill, while they gave this amount to the other half as 4 quarters. Out of the group who got the dollar bill, only 26% spent it. But 63% of the students who got the value as 4 quarters spent it to buy candy. However, the students with bigger bills spent on larger purchases when they decided to spend the money later.

Chinese housewives

Crossing the Pacific, researchers did a similar test in China. They gave 150 housewives 100 yuan each. This amount, they could either buy soap, shampoo, bedding, pots and pan or save. Similar to the previous experiment, half the group got the amount in a single 100 yuan bill. The other half got it in 2 numbers of 50 yuan bills. More than 90% who received small bills spent the money while only 80% who got the larger bill spent the money. But what you should note is that the small bill half spent an average of 56.76 yuan while the large-bill half spent an average of 67.67 yuan.

Credit Cards

If you are using the credit cards or other means of electronic payment, this psychology pattern is disrupted. That’s why you don’t hesitate to spend money through credit cards unlike using cash. It does not immediately come to your mind that credit card transactions or other electronic payments later convert to cash that affects your budget. To overcome this, experts advise wrapping your credit card in a real 100$ bill ( or other suitable according to your currency). So every time you take the card out, there’s a reminder that your transaction is going to convert into cash (same as the wrapper) finally. This will make you think twice.


Well, as everything this also has a downside. There are risks of keeping bigger banknotes in your wallet. It’s simple as this, “You lose your pocket, you lose the whole amount”.