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Science Monitor: 6 March 2021

Science Monitor: 6 March 2021


1. ISRO’s first mission in 2021-Amazonia +18 satellites


On 28 February, ISRO conducted its first launch of this year on board the polar satellite launch vehicle C-51. This was also the first dedicated commercial mission of the new Space India Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO popularly known as NSIL. The mission successfully launched 19 satellites including Amazonia 1 of Brazil and 13 satellites from the USA. With this launch the number of customer satellites from foreign countries placed in orbit by PSLV has risen to 342.

PSLV-C51 with Bhagavad Gita, PM Modi's pic launched from Sriharikota

About the Mission:

  • On February 28th, Indian Space Research Organization made history once again, PSLV-C51 flew from the first launch pad of Sateesh Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, carrying Brazil's Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites. This was the 53rd flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

  • Just 17 minutes 23 seconds later, PSLV-C51 placed the Amazonia-1 in its orbit and in the next almost one and a half hour, 18 other satellites were separated from the launch vehicle one by one.

  • New Space India Limited was set up under the Department of Space in the year 2019, with the objective of leveraging India's private sector expertise and opening the doors of ISRO to the private sector.

  • It is seen as a positive initiative to promote commercial space missions. To further such efforts, a body named Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center in space was also formed last year to create opportunities in innovation, technology development for non-government, private institutions in the space sector.

  • The launch of Brazilian satellite is an initiative under these efforts that will further strengthen International cooperation and technology exchange in space missions.

  • PSLV-C51 mission was one of the longest duration missions of all time including four in-space satellites, apart from the one from brazil and 14 satellites of the new Space India Limited's commercial mission.

  • Unity SaT, a combination of three satellites and SD SaT prepared by Space Kidz India were among the satellites sent by IN-SPACs. SD satellite had a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi engraved on its panel and also carried an e-copy of Bhagavad-Gita.

  • With this launch, the number of foreign satellites installed in space by PSLV has increased to 342 and ISRO aims to raise this figure further with the help of its commercial arm.

2. NSD celebrated- launch of databases- awards


National Science Day was celebrated throughout India on the 28th of February under the theme “Future of Science Technology and Innovation Impacts on Education Skills and Work”. On the occasion, at the main function held in New Delhi, two databases brought out by the Department of Science and Technology on S and T awards in India and Indian origin academicians abroad were dedicated to the nation by the Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and besides this various other awards were also presented to the winners.

Prasar Bharati ?????? ????? on Twitter: "Today is #NationalScienceDay to  commemorate the discovery of the 'Raman Effect', a Nobel Prize winning  discovery by Sir #CVRaman in 1928.…"

About the Day:

  • The databases include the Science and Technology Awards Information Retrieval System (STAIRS) which provides complete information about the S&T awards in India including awardees and sponsors and the Indian origin academicians’ abroad database.

  • To mark National Science Day, selected communicators, researchers and scientists were honored with awards instituted by bodies under DST under National Award for Science and Technology Communication. The winners were recognized for their outstanding contribution in the field of science and technology communication through various means.

  • On this occasion, National Awards were also conferred upon women scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their field in the last year.

  • The National Science Day commemorates the discovery of the Raman Effect which was announced publicly on 28th of February by the great Indian scientist Sir Chandrasekhar Venkataraman. The purpose of the day is to create awareness and interest in the field of science especially among the young generation. This day has now become a platform to celebrate the scientific achievements of Indians and set a direction for the future.

3.  Made in India spectrograph at DOT


Another endeavor of Indian scientists has accelerated the journey towards a self-reliant India. A Made in India spectrograph has been successfully commissioned on the Devasthal Optical Telescope. This spectrograph designed and developed by the scientists of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences has further enhanced the capability of India's 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope. Now the instrument can detect even the faint light emanating from the distant celestial bodies.

Made in India spectrograph, commissioned on Devasthal Optical Telescope,  can locate faint light from distant celestial objects | Department Of  Science & Technology

About the spectrograph:

  • To understand the mysteries of the universe, light emanating from celestial bodies is very important to gather information such as the position and age of the said body. However, it is very difficult to capture the movements of light in distant universe. Many different types of astronomical telescopes are used to detect this light, one of these instruments is India's largest optical telescope in Devasthal.

  • The 3.6 meter diameter telescope operated by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) of the Department of Science and Technology is also considered to be the largest telescope of its kind in Asia.

  • The Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) started functioning on March 30th, 2016 at Devasthal, about 22 kilometers from the ARIOS headquarters in Nanital. Since then, Indian astronomy has recorded many important achievements.

  • Recently, an indigenous spectrograph made by the scientists at ARIES has been installed on this telescope. With the installation of this fully indigenous spectrograph, extremely faint celestial sources can be observed. This device is named ARIES- Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (ADFOSC).

  • The instrument uses complex arrangement of several lenses to produce sharp images of the celestial sky and serves as a backbone of the 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope to detect and observe celestial sources of faint light.

  • The telescope collects photons coming from distant celestial sources and the spectrograph sorts these photons into different colors and then converts them into recordable electronic signals using an in-house device.

  • This feat which is a step in making the nation self-reliant has enabled the 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope to detect the sources of faint light even in remote galaxies dating back to the birth of our universe. The instrument is being used to study distant quasars regions around supermassive black holes and cosmic explosions like Supernova.

4.  SCIENCE EXPRESSScorching summer looming for north India: IMD | India News - Times of India

1. IMD Forecasts Heat Waves In Summer:

  • After the severe bowed cold that hit north India, many areas of the country will now face a scorching hot summer. According to the recent forecast released by the India Meteorological Department for summer 2021, the maximum temperature in east west and north India will be 0.86 degrees celsius above the normal.

  • However, the free monsoon months of March-April and May will provide some relief in other regions especially in South India where the mercury is likely to be up to 0.57 degrees Celsius, below the normal.

  • The worst effect of heat this year could be seen in Odisha and Chhattisgarh and that can already be gauged from the fact that at the end of February Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar became the first region to record a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.

  • In the northern states like Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the maximum temperature can be 0.46 degree to 0.71 degrees celsius higher than the normal.

2. School students in India discover 18 new asteroids:

  • Indian school students have discovered 18 new asteroids under NASA's citizen science project. This was recently confirmSchool students in India discover 18 new asteroidsed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which gives the official name and designation to celestial bodies.

  • The International Asteroid Search Project was organized by an Indian organization called STEM and SPACE in collaboration with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) as part of NASA's project.

  • The STEM and SPACE organization works towards teaching astronomy and space science in India. In the last two years, 150 students from India have participated in this two-month project and 18 new asteroids have been identified and named by them. This is the largest asteroid search project in India.

3. Dr Harsh Vardhan attends 8th BRICS STI Ministerial Meet: