Places in News

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2019.

‘ Valles Marineris ‘: Largest canyon in solar system

imageMars’ Valles Marineris is the largest canyon in our solar system. It is over 4000 km long and 200 km wide, and with a depth of 10 km. This size makes it some ten times longer and five times deeper than Earth’s Grand Canyon. 

Where exactly Valles Marineris located?

  • Valles Marineris is located along the equator of Mars, on the east side of the Tharsis Bulge, and stretches for nearly a quarter of the planet’s circumference.

Where is Earth’s Grand Canyon located?

  • The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona.

Arabic included in the official languages at Vatican

Arabic language was officially included in the list of the Languages at Pope Benedict’s weekly general audiences. The move is an attempt of Vatican to expand its reach to Christians and Muslims in Middle East.  
Vatican is concerned about the mass departure of the Christians from Middle East who fear their safety over there. A century ago Christian community was 20 % of the total population which has declined to a 5%.

What is expected out of this step?
Speaking Arabic during the audiences that is broadcasted across the world on radio and television may allay fear of Christians in Middle East consoling them to stay back on the land that is a home for many of the holy places for Christians. The act is also likely to improve the strained relations with the Muslim world. The relations b/w both the communities turned sour after Pope’s speech at Regensburg in 2006, which made the Muslim world feel that his message was an attack on Islam.