Hindu Notes from General Studies-02
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Proposal to recognise Marathi as classical language being pursued, says Maharashtra CM
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured that his government is pursuing the demand that Marathi be granted the status of `classical language’ with the Union government.
The proposal was placed before a committee of linguistic experts, which approved it, and now it is under the consideration of the Union Ministry of Culture, the Maharashtra CM informed.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-03
Nearly 100 new planets discovered beyond our solar system.
Scientists have confirmed nearly 100 new planets outside our solar system, bringing the total number of exoplanets found using NASA’s K2 mission to almost 300.
- One of the planets detected was orbiting a very bright star.
- The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky, but in 2013, a mechanical failure crippled it. However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to save the telescope by changing its field of view periodically.
- This solution paved the way for the follow-up K2 mission, which is still ongoing as the spacecraft searches for exoplanet transits. These transits can be found by registering dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its host star.
- The dips are indications of exoplanets, which must then be examined more closely to confirm their nature.
The first planet orbiting a star similar to our own sun was detected in 1995. Today, some 3,600 exoplanets have been found, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter.
Delhi, Haryana told to resolve polluted water supply issue
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the governments of Delhi and Haryana to convene a meeting and resolve the matter pertaining to polluted water, which is allegedly being provided by the Haryana government to the Capital.
- A Bench directed the chief secretaries of the two governments to meet on February 20 and settle the issue after the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had moved an application in the tribunal.
- The DJB had alleged that the water that was being supplied by the Haryana government had high ammonia content to the extent that the water could not be treated and supplied as drinking water to the people in the national capital.
The green panel passed the directions after both the authorities agreed to an amicable settlement.
- The DJB had claimed that while at the source point in Haryana, the ammonia content in the water was negligible, the source point in Delhi saw high levels of ammonia.
The petition had alleged that the primary cause of pollution appeared to be the addition of untreated domestic and industrial waste in some areas, including Panipat and Sonipat.
Milky Way ties with Andromeda in galactic arms race
The Andromeda galaxy, our nearest large neighbour, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way, astronomers have found, putting the “gravitational arms race to rest”.
It had been thought that Andromeda was two to three times the size of the Milky Way, and that our own galaxy would ultimately be engulfed by our supposedly bigger neighbour.
- However, the latest research evens the score between the two galaxies. The study found the weight of the Andromeda is 800 billion times heavier than the Sun, on par with the Milky Way.
- The study used a new technique to measure the speed required to escape a galaxy.
- The research suggests scientists previously overestimated the amount of dark matter in the Andromeda galaxy.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are two giant spiral galaxies in our local universe, and light takes a cosmologically tiny two million years to get between them.