Drupad Kanakia

Drupad Kanakia


Drupad Kanakia's articles

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Night sky guide for December 2015

December 2015 will feature three meteor showers: the Geminids, the Puppid-Velids and the Ursids. The Geminid meteor shower is popularly known as the "king of meteor showers". This year, it is expected to produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak,...

December 01, 2015

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Scientists allay fears of Geomagnetic Pole Shift in the near future

A group of researchers have studied ancient volcanic rocks to conclude that Earth's magnetic field is a long time away from "flipping" even if the magnetic field's intensity is reducing fairly fast. This is because Earth's current magnetic...

November 24, 2015

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Astronomers create the first weather map of a giant Jupiter-like exoplanet

For the first time, astronomers have actually mapped the weather of an exoplanet beyond our Solar System. Astronomers have found that gas giant HD 189733b has winds swirling at 8690 km/h (5400 mph). This is due to the planets extremely close orbit around its host...

November 18, 2015

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Annual Leonid meteor shower peaks this week

As we approach the end of the year, it is time to welcome the annual Leonid meteor shower. This shower is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle and is considered to be one of the most beautiful meteor showers in existence. This year, the Leonid meteor shower is...

November 16, 2015

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Mars' moon Phobos is slowly disintegrating

The long shallow grooves on Phobos are likely early signs of structural damage. Scientists now believe that Phobos is not solid but instead is a pile of rubble covered by a thick layer of dust which makes it look solid. Scientists expect the moon to be pulled apart...

November 14, 2015

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New coronagraph design to be tested in an upcoming CubeSat mission

A team of scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center plan to send a ball sized spherical titanium occulter to study the Sun's corona. This mission is expected to help scientists understand Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) much more clearly. The spherical...

November 14, 2015

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Astronomers discover the farthest planetoid in the Solar System

Astronomers have spotted a dwarf planet which is three times farther away than Pluto. This makes it the farthest object discovered in the Solar System. Once its orbit is ascertained, planetoid V774104 may teach researchers a lot about the early Solar System. The...

November 12, 2015

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Study of gamma ray burst may change our understanding of how stars are formed

A group of researchers observing a specific gamma ray burst (GRB) have found that its probable host galaxy is almost entirely deficient in molecular gas. Molecular gas has long been considered to be the main raw material used in the formation of stars. The current...

November 12, 2015

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Galileo satellites to begin testing Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

An improper launch of ESA's Galileo 5 and 6 satellites on August 22, 2014 has given ESA's researchers an opportunity to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. In a year long experiment, researchers will make use of the atomic clock onboard the...

November 10, 2015

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Indian astronomers detect a gigantic radio galaxy, one of the largest discovered so far

Astronomers from Pune, India have discovered a massive radio galaxy using the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT). Such large radio galaxies have been rarely located so far. The galaxy is located approximately 9 billion light years away from Earth in the...

November 10, 2015

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MAVEN data reveals solar wind emptied Mars' atmosphere, left behind a dry planet

Data from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has allowed researchers to understand the drastic transformation in the Martian environment - from a wet, warm climate which may have supported life to the cold and dry planet that it has...

November 06, 2015

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China to enter 'big league' with the launch of 4 research satellites

China will launch 4 scientific satellites which will engage in a series of experiments and research related to dark matter, quantum physics, microgravity, fluid physics and black holes among other fields. The satellites are being developed in a joint effort by...

November 06, 2015

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Scientists call for serious study of UFO phenomenon

The very mention of the word UFO still manages to provoke strong reactions from everyone. A couple of decades ago, people who believed in extraterrestrial life and UFOs were socially derided, considered conspiracy theorists at best and mentally challenged loons at...

November 03, 2015

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Black hole experiences massive X-ray flare

Black holes have always been one of the most mysterious and awe inspiring objects in space. Astronomers have known for some time that black holes periodically emit very powerful flares into space. New observations from NASA's Explorer missions Swift and the...

November 01, 2015

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Rosetta detects large amounts of pure oxygen emitting from Comet 67P

Researchers led by Andre Bieler from the University of Michigan have found a large amount of molecular oxygen (O2) is being released by the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Pure molecular oxygen is extremely rare in the universe and this discovery has...

October 30, 2015

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Russia's manned Moon mission set for 2029 launch

Over 45 years after losing the space race to the United States, Russia has finally announced its own manned Moon mission which is set to be launched in 2029. The mission will be preceded by multiple unmanned missions which will include orbiters and landers and will...

October 30, 2015

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Scientists create a Star Trek like tractor beam

Since Star Trek, tractor beams have been the staple of space based science fiction. However, a group of researchers belonging to the Universities of Sussex and Bristol, in collaboration with ultrasound technology startup Ultrahaptics, have actually created a sonic...

October 29, 2015

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Comet Lovejoy lives up to its name, releases alcohol and sugar into space

A group of researchers have found that comet Lovejoy is emitting ethyl alcohol and sugar as it traverses through space. Their discovery adds evidence to the theory that comets may have "seeded" Earth with complex organic molecules which led to the...

October 28, 2015

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ESA's JUICE set to explore Jupiter's mysterious moons

​Astronomers have always been fascinated by the gas giant Jupiter. A planet over 1000 times the size of Earth with 63 natural moons, 4 of whom are nearly as big as planets themselves, Jupiter and its moons are considered to be a mini solar system and are popularly...

October 27, 2015

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Kepler confirms white dwarfs feed off remnant planets or planet-like bodies

A group of scientists led by Andrew Vanderburg has used the repurposed Kepler space telescope to record evidence of a small planetoid being disintegrated bit by bit as it revolves around a dense white dwarf star. The discovery validates the popular theory that white...

October 27, 2015

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14 new IBEX data based research papers on Solar System's boundary

Data obtained by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a mission providing the most definitive analyses, theories and results about local interstellar space to date, was presented in fourteen new research papers published on October 20, 2015, in a...

October 22, 2015

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2015 Orionid meteor shower peaks on October 21 - 22

Every October, stargazers all over the planet look forward to the annual Orionid meteor shower. The Orionids are popular because they are one of the two meteor showers created from the debris field of the extremely popular Halley's comet. The annual Eta Aquarids...

October 21, 2015

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DSCOVR's EPIC website goes live: Daily views of our planet, 1.5 million km away

On October 19, 2015, NASA launched its new website with daily images of full sunlit side of the Earth taken by Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), positioned around 1.5 million km (~1 million miles) from our planet. DSCOVR was launched on February 11, 2015 and...

October 19, 2015

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Massive mudslide engulfs Highway 58 near the Tehachapi Mountains, California

Flash floods and resulting massive mudslide caused by heavy rainfall that hit California's Mojave region on October 15, 2015, engulfed around 200 vehicles, including 115 passenger cars, 75 tractor trailers and 2 buses carrying tourists, on Highway 58 (Interstate...

October 19, 2015

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Zircon study urges re-look at early Earth and Moon cataclysm dates

A study of terrestrial zircons at the Vredefort impact structure in South Africa by a research team led by Aaron Cavosie, a professor of geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has questioned the accuracy of the currently used method to date lunar...

October 18, 2015

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New solar phenomenon discovered: large-scale waves accompanied by particles emissions rich in helium-3

Joint US and German research teams have discovered a new form of solar ejection involving high energy blast waves and helium-3 based particle matter. The discovery was aided by NASA spacecraft STEREO A and ACE. A new solar phenomenon has been discovered by two...

October 16, 2015

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ISRO's first image taken by their newly launched Astrosat space observatory

On October 15, 2015, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) released the first images taken by Astrosat, its recently launched Multi-wavelength Space Observatory. Astrosat was launched into a 650 km (404 miles) orbit on September 28, 2015 by ISRO's Polar...

October 16, 2015

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NASA offers Venture Class Launch Services contracts for CubeSat satellites

NASA has awarded three contracts amounting to $17.15 million USD for dedicated CubeSat (smallsat) launches as part of its Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) initiative on October 14, 2015. These initial CubeSat launches are expected to demonstrate the usability of...

October 15, 2015