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October 23, 2023
A partial lunar eclipse occurring on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday (October 28-29) will be visible from all places in India. Though the Moon will enter penumbra at Saturday midnight, the umbral phase is expected to start in the early hour of Sunday.
Here are five key points about the partial lunar eclipse:
What is the duration of the partial eclipse?
The duration of the eclipse will be 1 hour 19 minutes. The umbral phase of this eclipse will begin at 1.05 IST on Saturday and will end at 2.24 IST.
Where will the partial eclipse be visible?
The partial eclipse will be visible from all places of India. It will also be visible in the region covering Western Pacific Ocean, Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, eastern South America, northeastern North America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
What is a partial lunar eclipse?During partial eclipses, Earth's shadow usually appears very dark on the side of the Moon. But what people see from Earth depends on how the Sun, Earth and Moon align.
When is the next lunar eclipse?
The next lunar eclipse, which is going to be a total lunar eclipse, will be visible from India on September 7, 2025.
A lunar eclipse occurs on a full moon day when the earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon and when all the three objects are aligned.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the whole moon comes under the umbral shadow of the Earth, while a partial lunar eclipse occurs only when a part of the moon comes under shadow of the Earth.
When was the last lunar eclipse visible in India?
The last lunar eclipse which was visible from India was on November 8, 2022. It was a total eclipse.
October 19, 2023
Chennai-based space technology startup on Tuesday announced that it has raised $26.7 million in Series-B funding. With this funding round, the company is developing its own launch vehicle and 3D-printed rocket engine and has raised a total of $40 million in capital.
The company is working on developing and building Agnibaan?its small satellite launch vehicle designed to carry payloads of up to 100 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit. It will be powered by Agnilet, a "semi-cryogenic" rocket engine that will be powered by a mixture of liquid kerosene at room temperature and supercold liquid oxygen.
Agnikul said that it began the integration process for its Agnibaan SOrTed (SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator) in August this year. The integration process is happening at the company's facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR at Sriharikota.
The Agnikul launchpad and the Agnikul mission control centre, which are four kilometres apart, together form India's first private launch facility. It was inaugurated on November 28 last year by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman S Somanath.
October 16, 2023
Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday announced the test flight schedule for its mission Gaganyaan. ISRO on X wrote "Mission Gaganyaan:" The TV-D1 test flight is scheduled for October 21, 2023, between 7 am and 9 am from SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota." ISRO has also shared pictures of the crew module (CM), which will carry the astronauts to space.
As a part of the upcoming mission Gaganyaan, ISRO will test the efficacy and emergency escape system of the capsule on October 21. With this mission, ISRO plans to send three astronauts to low-earth orbit by the end of this year.
During the test flight scheduled, the CM will be unpressurised and the same will be launched into space using an indigenous LVM-3 rocket with cryogenic, liquid, and solid stages. As a part of the testing, ISRO will also evaluate various components of the CM, which includes a crew escape system (CES). The rocket has also been re-configured to meet human rating requirements.
Gaganyaan mission will consist of a three-member crew, who will orbit the earth on an orbital module (OM), which includes CM and SM at a 400 km distance for three days, which will then be brought back to the earth, by safely landing them in the Indian sea waters. Right now, the crew are currently training for the mission at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru and the training consists of simulation, physical fitness, and academic courses regarding the mission.
October 6, 2023
Changes in the patterns of ocean and atmosphere warming are causing more frequent and severe tropical cyclones in the Eastern Arabian Sea, next to India's west coast, according to a new study.
Typically, tropical cyclones usually happen in the Arabian Sea at the start of the southwestern monsoon between March and June, as well as after the season, between October and December.
"In 2019, the Arabian Sea witnessed five cyclones as compared to its normal count of three, and the year 2019 corresponds to a positive IOD (Indian Ocean dipole) phase. Hence, under favourable natural climate modes, warming of Arabian Sea can increase the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean," said S Abhilash, co-author of the study published in Scientific Reports, to indianexpress.com. He is an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at the Cochin University of Science and Technology. (CUSAT)
The Indian Ocean Dipole and its effect on cyclones
The IOD is similar to the El Nino, where one part of the ocean gets warmer than the other. During its positive phase, sea surface temperatures get warmer, and there is more precipitation (rain) in the western Indian Ocean region. This corresponds to more rain in the eastern Indian Ocean.
"The recent increasing frequency of extremely severe cyclonic storms over the ARB during the post-monsoon season is due to anthropogenic influence rather than natural variability," explained Abhilash, emphasising that human-caused climate change is responsible for the intensification and increase in the frequency of cyclones.
As the eastern Arabian Sea changes, the coastlines of western India are increasingly at risk. As the intensity of cyclones increase, so does their potential to cause high wind, storm surges, severe rainfall, and more. This means that cyclones could pose more and more of a threat to all densely populated coastal regions along the western coast, from Thiruvananthapuram to the coast of Gujarat.
"This is something we have never seen before in the Arabian Sea. We need more studies about these trends. This is especially going to affect the lives and livelihood of the indigenous coastal communities and artisanal fishers," added Abhilash.
According to co-author Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, this report calls for changes to development strategies to account for the dangers posed by more intense and frequent cyclones. There is also a need to develop new policy and technology initiatives in the areas of storm warning, impact-based local weather services and reliable localised weather services. Mohapatra is the Director General of Meteorology at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
'Forecasting with Fishers'
This research is part of the Forecasting with Fishers project that the Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research (ACARR) at CUSAT has been leading over the past five years.
September 9, 2023
Global energy sector has witnessed a historic moment today with announcement of the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
GBA is an India-led Initiative to develop an alliance of Governments, International organizations and Industry to facilitate adoption of biofuels. Bringing together the biggest consumers and producers of biofuels to drive biofuels development and deployment, the initiative aims to position biofuels as a key to energy transition and contribute to jobs and economic growth.
Announcement of the GBA showcases the action oriented nature of India's positive agenda as G20 President and representing the "Voice of the Global South".
GBA will support worldwide development and deployment of sustainable biofuels by offering capacity-building exercises across the value chain, technical support for national programs and promoting policy lessons-sharing. It will facilitate mobilizing a virtual marketplace to assist industries, countries, ecosystem players and key stakeholders in mapping demand and supply, as well as connecting technology providers to end users. It will also facilitate development, adoption and implementation of internationally recognized standards, codes, sustainability principles and regulations to incentivize biofuels adoption and trade.
The initiative will be beneficial for India at multiple fronts. GBA as a tangible outcome of the G20 presidency, will help strengthen India's position globally. Moreover, the alliance will focus on collaboration and will provide additional opportunities to Indian industries in the form of exporting technology and exporting equipment. It will help accelerate India's existing biofuels programs such as PM-JIVANYojna, SATAT, and GOBARdhan scheme, thereby contributing to increased farmers' income, creating jobs and overall development of the Indian ecosystem. The global ethanol market was valued at USD 99.06 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% by 2032 and surpass USD 162.12 billion by 2032. As per IEA, there will be 3.5-5x biofuels growth potential by 2050 due to Net Zero targets, creating a huge opportunity for India.
Countries and organizations which have already joined GBA
19 countries and 12 international organisations have already agreed to join.
G20 countries (07) supporting GBA: 1. Argentina, 2. Brazil, 3. Canada, 4. India 5. Italy, 6. South Africa, 7..USA
G20 Invitee Countries (04) supporting GBA: 1. Bangladesh, 2. Singapore, 3. Mauritius, 4. UAE
Non G20 (08) supporting GBA: 1. Iceland, 2. Kenya, 3. Guyana, 4. Paraguay, 5. Seychelles, 6. Sri Lanka, and 7. Uganda have agreed to be initiating members of GBA, and 8. Finland
International organizations (12): World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Economic Forum, World LPG Organization, UN Energy for All, UNIDO, Biofutures Platform, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Energy Agency, International Energy Forum, International Renewable Energy Agency, World Biogas Association.
GBA Members constitute major producers and consumers of biofuels. USA (52%), Brazil (30%) and India (3%), contribute about 85% share in production and about 81% in consumption of ethanol.
September 5, 2023
The Aditya-L1 mission has attained a new, higher, orbit around the Earth after an orbit-raising manoeuvre early Tuesday morning, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
The spacecraft, which is India's first mission to study the Sun, is now moving around the Earth in an orbit of 282 km x 40,225 km. The spacecraft, which had been launched on September 2, will remain in the Earth-orbit for a few days before embarking on its journey to the L1 point in the Earth-Sun system, about 1.5 million km from the Earth. The journey is expected to take four months.
Like the Chandrayaan-3 mission, Aditya-L1 would also progressively raise its orbit around the Earth, gaining in momentum every time, before starting off to the L1 point. The next orbit-raising manoeuvre is scheduled for September 10, ISRO said.
August 30, 2023
A meeting between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India was held on August 29, 2023, to launch the new U.S. - India Renewable Energy Technology Action Platform (RETAP) under the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership. RETAP was announced during the June 22, 2023 meeting in Washington D. C., between His Excellency Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States of America and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Prime Minister Modi, when the two leaders announced the expansion of collaboration on new and emerging technologies to accelerate the clean energy transition. This launch marks rapid translation of the leaders' vision into reality.
Led by DOE Deputy Secretary David Turk and MNRE Secretary Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, the RETAP was established to take bilateral collaboration further with a result-oriented, time-bound technology-focus. It is intended to advance new and emerging renewable technologies with a view toward deployment and scaling. RETAP's initial focus is to be on green/clean hydrogen, wind energy, long duration energy storage, and to explore geothermal energy, ocean/tidal energy and other emerging technologies as mutually determined in the future.
DOE and MNRE outlined an initial workplan regarding RETAP collaboration. Work is guided by five themes:
During the meeting, the delegations shared information about emerging technology developments in each country, including hydrogen, energy storage, wind, geothermal energy, and marine renewable energy technologies, and clean energy deployment programs.
Going forward, DOE and MNRE intend to enhance RETAP collaboration, including potentially through the creation of a RETAP Steering Committee, joint working groups and collaboration among subject matter experts.
August 24, 2023
A newly designed prototypes in the Next-Generation Photonic Analog-to-Digital Converters (NG-PADC) project which can carry out instantaneous frequency measurement, generation and transport of Radio Frequency (RF) through optical methods could revolutionize various sectors, enabling faster digital communication, improved satellite communication, better medical imaging, and Photonic radars.
Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are critical components for developing the next generation of advanced digital receivers. The limitation of electronic ADCs (EADCs) is that their vertical resolution is compromised at high bandwidths. There are two possible approaches to solve this problem through Photonics.
RF, when modulated on a spectrally rich optical pulsed source, can be stretched in the optical domain through a dispersive medium, thus converting high-frequency RF signals into effectively low-frequency signals. This reduces the input bandwidth requirements of the back-end ADC as many times as the stretch factor of the optical pulse. The other Photonic approach is to use an optical clock whose fluctuations in timing (timing jitter) is much smaller an electronic clock; which is possible with a short pulsed laser. High bandwidth RF signals, when sampled with stable optical clocks, can provide a much higher effective number of bits (ENOB) compared to electronic clocks. It has time-stretched photonic ADC with effective bandwidth 12 times higher than EADC, which enables digitisation of signals with a much larger precision.
An NG-PADC developed by IIT Madras with support from the IMPRINT programme of Science, Engineering, Research Board (SERB), is equipped with a time-stretched photonic ADC whose effective bandwidth is 12 times higher than a corresponding EADC, which enables sampling of higher bandwidth signal with effectively lower bandwidth EADCs.
They have been working with high-bandwidth signals for digital coherent communication where the scaling spectral efficiency is challenging because of the limited ENOB of EADCs and trying to look for fundamental solutions for this problem.
"Our interactions with DRDO gave us confidence to build these solutions since we found that radar signal processing is also limited by the available electronics. We were also approached by our industry partner, with similar requirements. Thus, all these expertise came together for the development of NG-PADC," said the scientists.
The scientists have tied up with Hyderabad based Lightmotif Automation, for reaching the technology to the people.
August 18, 2023
The Technology Development Board (TDB), operating under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), is thrilled to announce its strategic partnership with M/s Chemlife Innovations Pvt. Ltd., headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. This collaboration marks a significant stride in advancing the project titled "Commercialization and Manufacturing of Bio-Trace Minerals used in Feed for Animals," a visionary endeavour that harmonizes seamlessly with TDB's commitment to fostering impactful scientific innovation.
Amid the present urgency for innovative solutions propelling sustainable progress, a crucial dimension of this collaboration aligns harmoniously with the National Livestock Mission?a cornerstone of India's strategic framework. Guided by the Prime Minister's vision, the mission aims to enhance livestock productivity, optimize feed and fodder resources and infuse technology into livestock management.
Aligned with this national roadmap, TDB and M/s Chemlife Innovations Pvt. Ltd. embark on a transformative journey, marking a pivotal milestone in the "Commercialization and Manufacturing of Bio-Trace Minerals used in Feed for Animals" project. TDB's unwavering support is evidenced by its commitment of ₹ 84 lakh, significantly contributing to the total project cost of ₹ 142.60 lakh.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajesh Kr. Pathak, Secretary, TDB, said, "We're thrilled to support Chemlife Innovations Pvt. Ltd. in their pioneering endeavour. This project exemplifies technological innovation and sustainable manufacturing, aligning seamlessly with TDB's goals. As the project advances, it's poised to enhance animal nutrition, transform livestock and poultry & dairy production, and set new eco-friendly manufacturing benchmarks. This collaboration aligns with the National Livestock Mission's objectives, addressing vital aspects of animal nutrition through innovative bio-trace minerals in animal feed."
Driven by innovation and sustainability, M/s Chemlife Innovations Pvt. Ltd. envisions revolutionizing the manufacturing of bio-trace minerals for animal feed, particularly targeting the livestock and poultry/dairy sectors. Anchored by the ground breaking 'Accelerated Natural Bio Transformation' (ANBioT) technology, the project introduces a proprietary nutrient medium that facilitates chelation reactions under milder conditions, aligning seamlessly with principles of environmental sustainability.
Central to this endeavour is the ingenious use of pupa proteins, rich in hydroxy amino acids, offering an economical alternative to imported ligands like yeast hydrolysate and Methionine hydroxy analogue (MHA). This strategic shift not only enhances economic viability but also aligns with India's self-sufficiency goal.
The company's unwavering commitment to quality is substantiated by its attainment of Global Certification for Animal Feed Additive Quality and Feed Safety, alongside the esteemed FAMI-QS certification?a globally recognized benchmark. Third-party validation confirms the efficacy of their developed product 'MinBioZen,' showcasing compatibility and promising results.
Beyond the realm of innovation, this project contributes to the circular economy by repurposing silk worm pupae meal, thereby mitigating waste generated by the silk industry. The company's membership in Pharmexcil augments export prospects, fostering economic growth. Leveraging locally available by-products from the silk industry enhances economic viability, aligning with import substitution objectives and potential foreign exchange savings.
Their comprehensive approach, fortified by global certifications, exemplifies their commitment to green chemistry principles and sustainable resource utilization. Innovative products like MinBioZen address the indispensable need for bio trace minerals?zinc, copper, manganese, iron, and selenium?in optimizing livestock health and growth. Aptly named MinBioZen, the product seamlessly integrates bioavailability and stability, symbolizing their dedication to innovation and environmental stewardship.