Science and Technology Current Affairs

Century’s longest total lunar eclipse of 1 hour 43 minutes to occur on July 27-28

Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has announced that Century’s (2001 AD to 2100 AD)longest total lunar eclipse of 1 hour 43 minutes will occur on July 27-28, 2018. The entire eclipse will be visible from all parts of India. It will also be visible in region covering Asia, Australia, and Russia – except northern part, Europe, Africa, east of South America and Antarctica. The partial eclipse of Moon will begin on July 27, 2018. Later, Moon will be gradually covered by Earth’s shadow and totality phase will begin on July 28 and the total eclipse will last up to 2h 43m. Then the Moon will start to gradually come out of Earth’s shadow and partial eclipse will end on July 28, 2018.

Longest Total Lunar Eclipse

In this particular eclipse, Moon will be passing through central part of Earth’s umbral shadow. During this time, Moon is located at apogee (i.e. at farthest from the Earth) in its orbit and will be moving at slower speed in its orbit. During this transition phase, it will take longer time for Moon and greater distance of Earth’s umbral shadow to travel, making it longest duration of total eclipse of this century. Such long duration of total lunar eclipses earlier had occurred on July 16, 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and on June 15, 2011 for totality duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.


Scientists perform world’s first 3D, colour X-ray on human body

Scientists from New Zealand have performed world’s first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on human. It has potential to improve the field of medical diagnostics. The new device is based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray but incorporates particle-tracking technology called Medipix developed by European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Key Facts

The Medipix technology developed by CERN works like camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particles as they collide with pixels while its shutter is open. This allows for high-resolution, high-contrast pictures. Its small pixels and accurate energy resolution makes this new imaging tool able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve. The technology is being commercialised by New Zealand company MARS Bioimaging, linked to the universities of Canterbury and Otago which helped develop it.

Significance: This colour X-ray imaging technique can produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. The images very clearly show difference between bone, muscle and cartilage and also the position and size of cancerous tumours.