வெள்ளி, டிசம்பர் 26, 2008

Chandrayaan reveals changes in rock composition on Moon

BANGALORE: Chandrayaan-1 India's first Moon mission has confirmed the presence of iron in the lunar soil and, for the first time, revealed changes in rock and mineral composition. The sighting of the mineral is the first in the past five years and only the second in 10 years following a US mission in 1998-99 and European mission in 2003. 

"Obviously many missions before have found iron, but Chandrayaan-1 has reiterated the presence. We believe it is very significant because the mission has already fulfilled one of its objectives, which was to sight minerals. More is to come and it should be exciting if we can confirm the presence of uranium and other minerals,'' said an ISRO official. 

Within two months of its launch, Chandrayaan-1 has found iron on the moon through a Nasa instrument, moon mineralogy mapper (M3). 

M3 principal investigator and NASA scientist Carle Pieters also confirmed the instrument's finding. Speaking on behalf of Nasa, Pieters said: "The mapper spectrometer has beamed images of the Orientale Basin region of the moon, indicating abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. Using different wavelengths of light, the instrument has also revealed, for the first time, changes in rock and mineral composition.'' 

Isro officials said M3 would help in characterising and mapping lunar minerals to ultimately understand the moon's early geological evolution. "The compositional map that will come out of M3 will have fantastic data on geological formation of the moon,'' the official said. 

Researchers said the relative abundance of magnesium and iron in lunar rocks could help confirm whether the moon was covered by a molten, magma ocean early on in its history. Iron and magnesium will also indicate melting of the moon, if it happened and how it formed later. This metallic element has been found in lunar meteorites, but scientists know little about its distribution in the lunar crust. 

After Luna 24 returned samples of lunar soil to Earth in August 1976, no otherspacecraft went to the moon until January 1994, when the US sent the orbiter Clementine. Then, the US probe Lunar Prospector orbited the moon from January 1998 to July 1999. The craft mapped the concentrations of chemical elements in the moon and surveyed the moon's magnetic fields. 

Interestingly, Chandrayaan's findings come after the last probe in 2003 -- SMART-1 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency in 2003, went into orbit around the moon in 2004. The craft's instruments were designed to investigate the moon's origin and conduct a detailed survey of the chemical elements on the lunar surface. 

COLOUR IS THE KEY 

Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is the first instrument to provide highly uniform imaging of the lunar surface. M3 provides scientists their first opportunity to examine lunar mineralogy at high spatial and spectral resolution. The Orientale Basin of moon, mapped by the Nasa instrument, is located on its western limb. Along with the length and width dimensions across a typical image, the instrument analyzes a third dimension — colour. The image showing blue to red tones reveal changes in rock and mineral composition, and the green colour is an indication of the abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. The image strip on the right is from a single wavelength of light that contains thermal emission, providing a new level of detail on the form and structure of the region's surface.


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http://annakhtoniv.blogspot.com/

National Children Science: Are We Even Ready?

Dimapur, December 26 (MExN): As the curtain rises on the 16th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC), Nagaland is set be exposed to a spectrum of scientific excellence. With the primary attraction on child scientists from all corners of the country, ICSC will also see the participation of children from grass-root levels and presentations in local dialects. Interacting with media persons a day ahead of the inauguration, Dr. BK Pandey, scientist with the department of Information & Technology, New Delhi, Dr. AK Goswami, Network Chairman of NCSC, Dr. RN Rai, physicist, and organizers of the NCSC highlighted the importance of the programme and the seriousness with which the state government must now accept and foster them. 
With so much scientific knowledge and research going into producing the projects to be showcased at the event, the state government has a lot to learn from it. However, it is lamented that the state’s response is slow; apparent from the go-ahead only last month. The support of the state government is essential, Dr. Goswami said, and suggested there should be allocation of a budget for science and technological research in the annual state budget. He also said that the government should supplement what the organizers are unable to meet. With the governor of Nagaland as Chief Patron, the chief minister as Patron and a host of top state-level bureaucrats included in the programme, this should be an opportunity for the state to learn and prioritize solutions to local problems, a media analyst said. 
The Nagaland Institute of Health, Environment & Social Welfare (NIHESW) has tried intervention programmes on science and technology in schools but the response has been very poor especially from government schools. It is also apparent that the state government is weak, in the field of science and technology, an officer pointed out. However, it is hoped that the 16th NCSC will be a booster and eye-opener for the government and the people in general. NCSC is considered a revolutionary programme which has gone into finding solutions to local area problems basing on the response of local people. But how far the NCSC will attract the people of Nagaland will only be known during the course of the event and after. 
Meanwhile, the 16th NCSC which will be inaugurated by former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on December 27, will see quality projects from children between ages 10 to 17. There will also be an interactive session with DR. Kalam on December 28 at Delhi Public School.

Come, all ye science teachers!  

On a right platform provided at the  16th National Children Science Congress for children and resource persons in the guise of science teachers’ workshop, the following persons will demonstrate in a workshop the reality of earth science – Samar Bagchi, former director of Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Dr. Sudip Mitra, disaster management specialist, Dr. Sultan Ismail, Life Scientist, Dr. Janaki Rajan, Education Scientist, Dr. Dinesh Goswami, Physicist, RRL Horhat, Professor Khiradhar Baruah, Chemistry Science Communicator and Nripen Saikia, Low cost teaching aid specialist. Teachers have been specially invited to take part in the opportunity in the workshop from December 27 to 9 at Delhi Public School, Dimapur.  Meanwhile, with the theme “Planet Earth, Our Home, Explore, Share and Care,” the National Children Science & Technology- Network, Government of Nagaland and Nagaland Institute of Health and Science are sending out the message to all citizens to “save ourselves from destroying the earth”. 

Be Indian for India berth right-A NEW POST ABOUT SUNITHA WILLIAMS

They are proud to play for India but not proud enough to be Indian. That is the basic premise on which the government's policy should be examined. Whether the IOA wants to adhere to international federation rules or not is bunkum. The plain fact is that the national federations, and this is especially true for tennis, have been taking the escape route of importing talent for they have abysmal systems in place to groom our own.

The AITA has a tragic track record in running 'academies'. The much-hyped National Tennis Academy (NTA) in the boondocks beyond Gurgaon has a state-of-the-art textile factory of Indian tennis' ruling family - the Khannas - hulking over it but decidedly primitive training facilities. So much so that our best players have regularly refused to turn up to practice at the place which was billed as the breeding ground for future champions. In the past either sponsors gave up in disgust - like the Hinduja academy situated in Delhi - or largesse was distributed to the influential in the form of grants for five zonal tennis centres which proved to be just as much of a farce as the NTA is now.

The present issue of denying players minus Indian passports the opportunity to represent the country has met with widespread support within the tennis community. Not because Prakash Amritraj, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao are not considered our own but rather because there is an overwhelming feeling that these players come back to represent India as they are nowhere near getting a chance to play for the United States.

The issue of them not being eligible for government grants is anyway not much of a factor in tennis given the clandestine way in which they are handled by the AITA. Other pertinent bit that rears rampant is as to whether the government would have done any such thing if Amritraj would have been a Leander Paes or Mahesh Bhupathi. At the same time, glorifying and claiming as our own foreign citizens like Sunitha Williams and V.S. Naipaul send out confusing signals in light of the new policy. We are willing to celebrate the famous as our own but not the fringe players?

As to just how the government intends to justify the present stand vis-a-vis plans of providing dual citizenship is of course a puzzle that will only unravel when policy for the same is unveiled. The other pertinent ask is as to just why these players have been cleared in the past for events as prestigious as the Olympics and the Asian Games. Ministry babus only seem to wake up to issues when they are forced to confront them through judicial activism instead of using plain common sense.

water powers thse rockets.

 The heart of Mumbai recently turned into a mini rocket launch site between 1 pm and 2pm on 26 Dec 2008
The  venue was the green slopes of the Discovery of India building opposite Nehru Planetarium at Worli, where both ISRO and the planetarium did a trial run of a water rocket competition to be held for the first time in Mumbai next month. 

However, the two rockets that were "launched successfully'' were not assembled in a bigaerospace workshop, but in the office of Piyush Pandey, the planetarium's director. 

ISRO official B R Guruprasad said it was a simple device made of two pressurised soft drink bottles, thick plastic sheets, scotch tapes and various stationery items. "It takes about 90 minutes to make a water rocket,'' he said, adding that the cost of making a rocket was less than Rs 100. 

Each rocket was filled with water, which was pressurised using a pump. For a moment, the small group of spectators was as anxious as it would have been at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota before a rocket launch. Guruprasad began the countdown: "5-4-3-2-1 and now!'' 

The first rocket achieved an altitude of 50 ft and covered a distance of 100 ft in a parabolic path. During the third attempt, the rocket flew 300 ft at a height of 50 ft. 

ISRO chief spokesperson S Satish said the event would encourage people to pursue a career in space sciences.