Does the Milky Way move like a spinning top?

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, which means that it is composed, among other components, of a disc of stars, gas and dust, in which the spiral arms are contained. At first, it was thought that t he disc was completely flat, but for some decades now it is known that the outermost part of the disc is distorted into what is called a "warp": in one direction it is twisted upwards, and in the opposite direction downwards. The ...
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European Space Agency’s EnVision mission to Venus

EnVision is an ESA led mission with contributions from NASA. It is likely to be launched sometime in the 2030s. Following NASA’s footsteps, the European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday announced that it has selected EnVision as its next orbiter that will visit Venus sometime in the 2030s. Last week, NASA selected two missions to the planet Venus, Earth’s nearest neighbour. The missions called DAVINCI+ and VERITAS have been selected based on their potential for scientific value and the feasibility ...
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Sardar Sarovar Dam providing irrigation water in summer

The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam is a terminal dam built on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district. Called the ‘lifeline of Gujarat’, it usually has no water for irrigation during summers. However, this year, in the ongoing summer, the dam released about 1.3 Million Acre Feet (MAF) water for irrigation between April 1 and May 31 in its command area of 21.29 lakh hectares. And for the first time in the history of the dam, as many ...
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The ‘sea snot’ outbreak in Turkey, and its effect on the marine ecosystem

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said considerable steps will be taken to solve the problem and protect the country's seas. But what is ‘sea snot’ and how did it cause the present crisis? There has been growing environmental concern in Turkey over the accumulation of ‘sea snot’, a slimy layer of grey or green sludge in the country’s seas, which can cause considerable damage to the marine ecosystem. Turkey’s Sea of Marmara, that connects the Black Sea to the ...
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Rural India played the economy’s ‘saviour’ in 2020-21. Can it do so again?

The economy saw its worst-ever contraction in 2020-21, but the farm sector actually grew by 3.6%. In the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, farmers face new challenges and uncertainties. 2020-21 saw the Indian economy register its worst-ever contraction since Independence and also the first since 1979-80. The National Statistical Office has, in its Provisional Estimates released on May 31, pegged the growth in real gross value added at basic prices (previously known as GDP at factor cost) for ...
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चक्रवात ताऊ ते (Tauktae)

अत्यंत गंभीर चक्रवाती तूफान ताऊ ते अरब सागर में एक शक्तिशाली उष्णकटिबंधीय चक्रवात है। जो 1998 के गुजरात चक्रवात के बाद से भारतीय राज्य गुजरात में लैंडफॉल बनाने वाला सबसे मजबूत उष्णकटिबंधीय चक्रवात बन  गया चक्रवात तौके का क्या मतलब है? चक्रवात Tauktae (Tau'Te के रूप में उच्चारित) को इसका नाम भारत के पड़ोसी देश म्यांमार से मिला है, जिसका अर्थ है "गेको"। गेको बर्मी बोली में एक अत्यधिक मुखर छिपकली है चक्रवातों के नाम कैसे रखे जाते हैं? विश्व ...
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Centre bypassing political executive in the states

Centre to work in coordination with states Wielding power at the Centre comes with great responsibility. A major responsibility in a federal country with strong centralising features is to maintain the balance, as well as mutual respect, between political structures at the central and State levels. In particular, it is an obligation of the Centre to refrain from bypassing the elected leadership while dealing with States. Centre giving direct instructions to State officials Two recent developments have raised concern that ...
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China’s ‘Zhurong’ rover, set to explore Mars

The spacecraft’s impressive descent to the surface of Mars is a major milestone in China’s growing ambition to position itself as a “great space power” China’s uncrewed ‘Tianwen-1’ spacecraft landed safely on the surface of Mars on Saturday, making the country only the second in the world to send a rover to explore the mysterious Red Planet. Onboard the lander was the ‘Zhurong’ rover, which will soon be deployed to study the Martian atmosphere and geology. The Chinese spacecraft landed ...
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How a US pipeline came under a cyberattack, how it impacts oil prices

A ransomware attack on a key US pipeline network has led to a disruption in fuel supplies in the eastern part of the United States. Colonial Pipeline Company, which transports about 45 per cent of all petrol and diesel consumed on the east coast of the US was forced to shut down operations after a cyberattack on May 7. The shutdown led to the US federal government declaring a regional emergency to allow transportation of fuels through tanker trucks to ...
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Existing reservation quota limit of the Indian states

Reservation in India is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27%, respectively, in case of direct recruitment on all India basis by open competition. The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra government's decision to exceed 50 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in education and jobs. The court said the Maratha community was not Educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC). The court ...
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