www.tnpsc.academy – TNPSC Current Affairs March 17, 2018 (17/03/2018)
Topic: Awareness in space
Preparing itself to deal with a potential asteroid impact, NASA has drawn up plans to build a huge nuclear spacecraft, named Hammer spacecraft, that is capable of shunting or blowing up dangerous space rocks and safeguarding life on Earth.
About the Hammer spacecraft:
The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock, if it happens to hit Earth.
It was devised by top experts, including Nasa, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and two Energy Department weapons labs.
How it works?
The spacecraft has two ways of dispatching an asteroid collision threat. The first involves hitting the asteroid, and then steering it off-course so it doesn’t end up hitting Earth.
The second – and more dangerous – would see the HAMMER detonating its on-board nuclear warhead to change the asteroid’s course.
Earth is hit by asteroids with surprising regularity but most are too small to do much damage or fall in unpopulated areas.
NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies now lists 73 asteroids which have a one in 1,600 chance of hitting the Earth.
Potential application of Hammer spacecraft:
The new spacecraft could be useful in 2035, when scientists say there is a 1 in 2,700 chance the Bennu asteroid will hit us.
The space boulder is currently circling the sun at 63,000mph, and has a very slim chance of plummeting into Earth. Bennu is around 500m in diameter.
Every 6 years, Bennu’s orbit brings it within 200,000 miles of the Earth, which means it has a high probability of impacting Earth in the late 22nd Century.
Although there is little risk it could hit the Earth, it is still considered as an NEO, or Near Earth Object, which would hit the planet with 1,450 megatons of TNT.
Bennu’s impact would release three times more energy than all nuclear weapons detonated throughout history.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
Scientists at the ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) have produced cloned calf ‘HISAR GOURAV’.
This cloned buffalo calf is distinct from the earlier clones produced in India.
This is produced from cells of ventral side of tail of superior buffalo bull, this part is least exposed to sunlight and may have less mutation rate, and can be good choice for isolation of donor cells to produce healthy clones.
With this achievement CIRB becomes world’s third and India’s second institute to produce cloned buffalo.
This achievement has been made under the project entitled, Cloning for conservation and multiplication of superior buffalo germplasm.
The first successful cloning was achieved by the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in 2010.
Samrupa is the world’s first Murrah buffalo calf cloned using a simple “Hand guided cloning technique”.
Topic : Profile of States, General Administration, Latest Diary of Events
Maharashtra to ban plastic
The Maharashtra government has decided to ban the use of plastic.
The changes will be brought in with amendments to the Solid Waste Management Act 2016 and the Plastic Carry Bags (Manufacture and Usage) Rules 2006.
The ban would cover the production, use, storage, sale, distribution, import and transportation of plastic.
The ban covers disposable plastic cups, plates, spoons and flex, but excludes garbage bin liners and PET bottles.
Plastic used to cover medicines, forest and horticulture products, solid waste, tree saplings and the use of plastic in special economic zones for export purposes would be exempt from the ban.
Similarly, plastic covers and wrappers used for manufactured and processed products would also be exempt.
Topic : Latest Diary of Events
New species of water strider found in Nagaland
Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of water strider from Nagaland.
The species is named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra.
Significance of this discovery:
Water striders are a group of insects adapted to life on the surface of water, using surface tension to their advantage.
Their presence serves as an indicator water of water quality and they are found on water surface.
Other than being a good indicator of water quality, water striders also play an important role in the food chain by feeding on mosquito larvae.
So far, only five species of water striders under the subgenus Ptilomera were known in India. With the discovery of Ptilomera nagalanda the number of species of water striders belonging to the subgenus has increased to six.
Ptilomera is that they are only found in rocky, fast flowing streams and rivers that are not exposed to a lot of sunlight.