Space technology Current Affairs - 2019
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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has detected Great Balls of Fire (GBF), a mysterious super-hot blobs of gas seen near a dying star.
The plasma gas balls were observed near a red giant called V Hydrae, about 1,200 light years away from Earth. Red giants are dying stars that are nearing the end of their fuel supplies and have begun to expand and puff up.
- HST had found that these GBFs from V Hydrae are double the mass of Mars and twice as hot as surface of sun. GBF have continued once every 8.5 years for at least past 400 years.
- They are moving so fast in space that they would take only half an hour cover distance between moon and Earth.
- If scientists are able to discover origin of these balls, it could explain other weird shapes seen in the cloud of gas around dying stars, which is difficult for scientists to explain at present.
About Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
- HST is a space telescope that was launched in 1990 by NASA in collaboration with European Space Agency. It is named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble and is still in operation.
- It is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Its operations are conducted by Baltimore based Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).
- It is located in low Earth orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere that allows it to take extremely high-resolution images.
- Its successor, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is scheduled for launch in 2018.
Former ISRO Chairman and space scientist Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao became the first Indian to be inducted in the Hall of Fame of International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
He was inducted during the closing ceremony of the 67th IAF Congress 2016 held at Guadalajara, Mexico for his outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics.
About UR Rao
- He had served as Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from 1984 to 1994.
- Under his guidance, ISRO had designed more than 20 satellites including India’s first satellite Aryabhatta.
- Under his leadership, India had initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.
- He was also responsible for successful launch of INSAT satellites during his stint at ISRO.
- He also had served as the first Chairman of Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the ISRO. He has published more than 260 scientific and technical papers in various journals.
- He had played pivotal role in promoting the use of space technology for broadcasting, meteorology, education, disaster warning and remote sensing.
- Awards and Honours: Padma Bhushan (1976). He was inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington in March 2013 by the Society of Satellite Professionals International.
IAF Hall of Fame: It consists of a permanent gallery of these personalities, including biographical information, citation and a picture in a special part of the IAF web presence.