NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft find evidence of water on asteroid Bennu

NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has found water locked inside asteroid Bennu. Bennu is too small to have ever hosted liquid water, but this finding does indicate that liquid water was present at some time on Bennu’s parent body, a much larger asteroid.

Key Facts

Data obtained from spacecraft’s two spectrometers OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) and OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) has revealed presence ofhydroxyl molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together. These hydroxyl groups exist globally across asteroid in water-bearing clay minerals, indicating that at some point Bennu’s rocky material interacted with water.

OSIRIS-REx

It launched in September 2016 is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission i.e. it will survey surface, collect sample and deliver it safely back to Earth. It had reached its destination Bennu asteroid in December 2018 after travelling through space for more than two years and travelling over two billion kilometres. Samples returned by the mission to Earth in 2023 will enable scientists to find new information about the history and evolution of our solar system.

Bennu

It is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group. It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR Project. It is one of oldest known asteroids which is considered as remnant from early in formation of solar system and orbits close to Earth’s path around Sun.. It is carbon-rich asteroid and believed to be the type of asteroids that may have chemical building blocks of life, along with lots of water. So, analysis of returned sample from it could help to reveal key insights about early solar system and the origin of life on Earth. It is potentially hazardous asteroid and there is very slight chance it could strike into Earth in the late 22nd century.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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@CyberDost: Home Ministry launches Twitter account to spread awareness about cybercrimes

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Twitter account @CyberDost to spread awareness about cybercrimes and normal precautions to be taken. It is aimed at enhancing people’s basic knowledge about cybercrimes and precautions to be taken for prevention.

@CyberDost

This twitter handle will educate people about various channels through which complaints about cyber-crimes can be filed and makes people aware of their duties regarding misuse of cyber space by some people in the country. It will also help to mitigate possibilities of disruption in normal business activities or losses due to cyber-crimes by creating ecosystem to prevent and control cyber-crimes. The information shared on this handle will enhance basic knowledge of  followers about cyber-crimes and precautionary measures to be taken to prevent such crime.

Background

The information and communication technology is being used in all walks of public life including banking, transport, airlines, railways, power and other sectors. With enhanced use of technology for day to day activities, possibility of cyber-crimes is also increasing. Capacity building and public awareness are critical components for obviating impact of cybercrimes and creating suitable climate for trust-based transactions. Government is committed to create ecosystem to prevent and control cybercrimes to mitigate the possibility of disruption in normal business activities or losses due to cybercrimes.

Month: Categories: India Current Affairs 2018

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