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70-year-old solar mystery solved


Magnificent CME Erupts on the Sun - August 31Tokyo: Solar physicists have captured the first direct observational signatures of a solar phenomenon that has eluded the world of science for over 70 years. This new information can explain how the solar corona reaches temperatures of 1,000,000 degrees Celsius — the so called “coronal heating problem”.

Resonant absorption is a process where two different types of magnetically driven waves resonate, strengthening one of them. Researchers looked at a type of magnetic waves which can propagate through a prominence – a filamentary structure of cool, dense gas floating in the corona.

The team found that magnetically driven resonance helps heat the Sun’s atmosphere. The solar corona, the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, is composed of extremely high temperature gas, known as plasma, with temperatures reaching millions of degrees Celsius. As the outer layer of the Sun, the part farthest from the core where the nuclear reactions powering the sun occur, it would logically be expected to be the coolest part of the Sun, but it is 200 times hotter than the photosphere in the layer beneath.

This contradiction, dubbed as “the coronal heating problem,” has puzzled astrophysicists ever since the temperature of the corona was first measured over 70 years ago. For this, a research team from Japan, the US and Europe led by Drs Joten Okamoto and Patrick Antolin combined high-resolution observations from JAXA’s Hinode mission and NASA’s IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) mission. They were able to detect and identify the observational signatures of resonant absorption.

“The work shows how the power of multiple satellites can be combined to investigate long-standing astrophysical problems and will serve as an example for other research looking for similar heating in other solar observations,” the team said.


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Astronomers Discover New ‘Mid-size’ Black Hole 100,000 Times More Massive than the Sun

Scientists predict that nearly 100 million of these small black holes should exist in the Milky Way, however only about 60 have been found till now

Black hole in milky way
A near-infrared image of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy as seen with Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS. (NASA/STScI) (VOA)
  • Researches in Japan have discovered a super-massive black hole in Milky Way Galaxy
  • The black hole is believed to weigh as much as 400 suns
  • According to studies,  at least 100 million of these small black holes should exist in the Milky Way

Japan, September 5, 2017 : Astronomers have found new evidence for the existence of a mid-sized black hole, considered the missing link in the evolution of super-massive black holes.

Astronomers in Japan found the possible black hole in our own Milky Way galaxy, a long-theorized object which is bigger than the small black holes formed from a single star, but still much smaller than giant black holes such as the one at the center of the Milky Way.

Black holes are difficult to find because they do not emit any light. However, scientists can detect them by their influence on nearby objects.

The astronomers in Japan found new evidence of the so-called intermediate-mass black hole when they turned a powerful telescope in Chile’s Atacama desert on a gas cloud near the center of the Milky Way. The gases in the cloud move at unusual speeds, and the scientists believed they were being pulled by immense gravitational forces. They say the gravitational force is likely caused by a black hole measuring about 1.4 trillion kilometers across.

black hole in Milky way galaxy
Radio telescope antennas of the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) project are seen in the Atacama desert, some 1500 km north of Santiago, Chile, VOA

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Theoretical studies predict at least 100 million of these small black holes should exist in the Milky Way, however only about 60 have been found.

The possible mid-sized black hole is much smaller than the super massive black hole that is located in the center of the galaxy, known as Sagittarius A, which weighs as much as 400 million suns.

“This is the first detection of an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the Milky Way galaxy,” said the study’s leader, Tomoharu Oka from Keio University, Japan.

If confirmed, the intermediate-mass black hole could help explain how supermassive black holes operate. One theory is that supermassive black holes, which are at the center of most massive galaxies, are formed when smaller black holes steadily coalesce into larger ones. However, until now no definitive evidence has existed for intermediate-mass black holes that could indicate a middle step between the small and massive black holes already detected.

Researchers say they will continue to study the intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the hope of confirming its existence. (VOA)

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US to Witness Total Solar Eclipse in 99 Years: What Makes the August 21 Phenomenon So Special?

USA to witness a total solar eclipse in 90 years. All the 50 states would get a glimpse of at least partial solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse. Pixabay

Washington D.C. [USA], August 19, 2017: Hold your breath to relish the most spectacular celestial dance. This has not happened in 99 years in the USA. The sun and the moon would sketch an arc by staging a shadow dance from east coast to the west.
The most remarkable date i.e., 21 August 2017, for which we have been impatiently waiting for almost a century now, is about to arrive.

The total solar eclipse in the United States of America is about to happen. Genevieve De Messieres, Astronomy Education Program Manager at Air and Space Museum calls this month as solar eclipse, an amazing phenomenon.


A solar eclipse occurs when a new moon moves between the earth and the sun, hindering some or all of the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.As a consequence of this celestial movement, there are four kinds of the solar eclipse that are formed. When the moon eclipses the sun, it casts two types of shadow on earth, a small darker shadow i.e., Umbra and a large darker shadow i.e., Penumbra. The Total solar eclipse can be seen in Umbra region and a partial solar eclipse in Penumbra region. The path of totality is the region where a total solar eclipse can be seen.

The most exciting news is that all the 50 states of the USA will either witness a total solar eclipse and a partial solar eclipse. A narrow strip of the country more than 110 Km wide through 14 states will experience a total eclipse. And, the rest of the country will witness a partial solar eclipse.

If you wish to know the exact regions of both the eclipse, then follow this link- Eclipse 2017

If you are in Umbra region, then pre-total solar eclipse, do not forget to astound yourself from incredible experience of glimpsing Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring.
Just before the total solar eclipse, when the moon has almost fully covered the sun and the sunlight still continues to peep through the valleys and mountains on the edge of the moon, at this point, you can see the light in the form of beads. These beads are known as Baily’s Beads.

Diamond ring. Pixabay

Finally, the movement for which sky watchers are eagerly waiting for, the formation of the Diamond Ring, which is formed for few mini-seconds when a single bead of light remains in the sky. Once, the diamond ring disappears, the total solar eclipse is achieved.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT THE ECLIPSE: Have you ever wondered, that the moon which is 400 times smaller in size than that of the sun, can fully cover it? The answer to this question is an interesting fact, by cosmic chance, the sun is 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther than the moon. Due to which, both of these celestial bodies appear the same size when watched from the earth.


Don’t even think of watching solar eclipse with your bare eyes, it may lead to a lost eye sight. If you are in Washington D.C., you may go to Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum(NASM), they are setting up various viewing locations by putting up a telescope in these locations.

If you can not make up to these locations, then may preferable buy only certified eclipse watching glass. NASM is also distributing these glasses. You may get one for yourself.
Caution: After the eclipse, do not remove your glasses while watching towards the sky, it may give your eyes a burning sensation. First, look at the ground and then remove the glasses.

If somehow, you do not get these glasses, then are some interesting ways to view an eclipse. If you wish to enjoy these ways, then do follow each instruction properly.



Total Solar eclipse.Pixabay

Madras, Oregon
This is the territory where the total solar eclipse will occur first at 10:19 a.m. PDT and would last for 2 minutes and 4 seconds.

Snake River Valley, Idaho
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:33 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Casper, Wyoming
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:42 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Sandhills of western Nebraska
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:49 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

St. Joseph, Missouri
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:06 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Carbondale, Illinois
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:20 p.m. CDT and would last long for 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:24 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds.

Nashville, Tennessee
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:27 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 57 seconds.

Great Smokey Mountains, Natl.Park
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:35 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 17 seconds.

Columbia, South Carolina
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:43 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Moreover, NASA is also organizing various fun-filled activities at various destinations. If you wish to know about it and indulge your self in these events, then go this link- Eclipse 2017 NASA Event Locations


Before you pack your bags, do make proper arrangements for your stay. It would be difficult to get on the spot reservation on 21 August 2017. So, plan in advance. Also, be prepared for the traffic jams in advance.

This link would demonstrate the statistics about the population access and estimated visitations on the eclipse day-

CAUTION: Avoid driving during the eclipse time as you experience the worst driving experience of your life. This may also affect your eyes.

Another amazing Fact: You will be surprised to know that though total solar eclipse happens somewhere on earth every year at any given point on earth experience this only once in every 400 years.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry Up! Plan ahead to watch out nature’s most magnificent and spectacular happening.

prepared by a Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

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Hindu American Foundation (HAF) Releases Online Forms for Second Bullying Survey of Hindu American Youth

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background

Hindu American Youth
Hindu American Foundation. Facebook
  • The Hindu American Foundation from the US aims to inform the society about Hinduism
  • The Foundation is responsible for various research and reports on Hindus all over the world
  • The website of the foundation has released forms for further survey of bullying of Hindu American Youth

New Delhi, August 18, 2017:  nonprofit organization for Hindu community in America, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) works for the well-being of Hindus and spread the Hindu philosophy.

Earlier this year, the Hindu American Foundation had published a report titled ‘Hindus in South Asia and Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2017’. The report was an extensive research work that enlisted the numerous incidents of Human Rights violations against Hindus in various countries.

Also Read: 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF): Here is What you Need to Know!

Now the HAF is coming out with its second survey of Hindu American youth being bullied in American schools. To reach out to the masses and get the widest survey outreach, their website has released a form. The responses from these forms will be compiled and reported. The second survey will be published next year.

The deadline for the form is until 1st December 2017. The form can be accessed here.

Last year the foundation came out with its first survey report of Hindu American youth being bullied. The survey was titled ‘Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools’ which had concluded that Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs.”

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background.

But the report’s objectives were successful. It was a recommended resource at the state as well as federal level.

Bullying is one of the biggest social evils that face our society. With this survey, HAF aims to highlight and combat bullying of the minority on the basis of their religion.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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