Science This Week | NASA hands over NISAR to ISRO, fastest single-shot camera shows how flames form soot and more

March 12, 2023 12:55 pm | Updated 05:56 pm IST

Find the latest news and discoveries from the world of science.

NASA handed over the NISAR satellite to ISRO, a US Airforce C-17 aircraft transported the payload from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California to Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

From Webb telescope discovering a new galaxy to following the controversy surrounding scientist Ranga Dias, find the latest and most riveting updates from the field of science here.

JWST discovers new quiescent galaxy

Using the James Webb Telescope, astronomers have discovered a quiescent galaxy named JADES-GS+53.15508-27.80178. The galaxy has a relatively low mass and shows very little signs of star formation. Formed when the universe was just 700 million years old, the galaxy has a high redshift which can give astronomers insights into the early days of the universe. The post starburst galaxy appears to be compact and disk-shaped with a radius of 650 light years.

NASA hands over NISAR satellite to ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) satellite from the U.S. space agency. NISAR is a Low Earth Orbit observatory jointly developed by NASA and ISRO. The satellite will map the entire globe in 12 days and provide spatially and temporally consistent data for understanding changes in Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, groundwater and natural hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

La Nina, which worsens drought and hurricanes, is gone

After three nasty years, the La Nina weather phenomenon that increases Atlantic hurricane activity and worsens western drought is gone. That’s usually good news for the United States and other parts of the world, including drought-stricken northeast Africa, scientists said. The globe is now in what’s considered a “neutral” condition and probably trending to an El Nino in late summer or fall.


Global food systems emission imperil Paris climate goal

The global food system's greenhouse gas emissions will add nearly one degree Celsius to Earth's surface temperatures by 2100 on current trends, obliterating Paris Agreement climate goals, scientists warned. A major overhaul of the sector -- from production to distribution to consumption -- could reduce those emissions by more than half even as global population increases. The global food system accounts for about 15% of current warming levels.

Antibiotic drugs administered on livestock cut carbon in soil and affect climate, says IISc study

Researchers at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), have found that grazing by livestock leads to lower carbon storage in soil compared to grazing by wild herbivores. In a study conducted in the Spiti region of the Himalayas, CES researchers found that this difference appears to be due to the use of veterinary antibiotics such as tetracycline on livestock.

World’s fastest single-shot camera confirms how flames form soot

Scientists from Germany and the U.S. have built the world’s fastest single-shot laser camera – 1,000x faster than its predecessors at capturing extremely short-lived events. They used the camera to provide the most precise view yet of how a hydrocarbon flame produces soot, which can teach us about how this important climate pollutant is produced in kitchen stoves, car engines, and wildfires.

Scientist who reported room-temperature superconductivity faces more controversy

On March 9, the physics journal  Physical Review Letters (PRL) launched an investigation into a June 2021 paper co-authored, among others, by Ranga Dias, following allegations of data manipulation, in the same week that Dias and others reported in a different journal that they had discovered room-temperature superconductivity in a material compressed by a few thousand atmospheres of pressure. Now, Dias et al. have reported that nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride becomes superconducting at 21º C and under 20,000 atmospheres (atm).

Unlocking secrets of the honeybee dance language

New research has shown that the waggle dance of the bees acts as a form of communication is both an innate and learned behaviour. They can tell each other where to find resources such as food, water or nest sites with a physical “waggle dance.” This dance conveys the direction, distance and quality of a resource to the bee’s nestmates. The research showed that the younger bees learnt the parts of the waggle from older nestmates.


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