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Astronomers have discovered a new colossal object that is bigger than a comet slowly approaching the Solar System

Comets are the frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system, the characteristics of a comet can be described as an object in space that looks like a bright star with a tail and that moves around the sun. Comets have always been a matter of interest for scientists and astronomers as they hold clues about the formation of the universe. In the past decade, astronomers have discovered a new colossal object that is bigger than any other comet on the outskirts of the Solar System and it is slowly approaching it.

Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was first observed in the year 2014 by the Dark Energy Survey and was named "2014 UN271". Estimated to be between 100 to 370 kilometres in width astronomers and scientists considered it to be a dwarf planet at first has now been classified as a comet. The comet orbiting around the sun at a much greater distance as compared to Neptune, the eighth and final planet in our solar system, hence the comet was originally termed as a trans-Neptunian Object or TNO.

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However, on 22 June 2021, Tim Lister at the Las Cumbres Observatory in Sutherland, Luca Buzzi at the SkyGems reported the Cometary activity from the "dwarf planet". The planet had changed over the years and has developed the iconic features of a comet i.e. a "tail" and a coma the stream of dust and gas as the surface evaporates due to the heat and radiation as a comet approaches the sun. The status of the colossal object was changed from a dwarf planet to a comet in an official statement on June 23 it said, "The comet is now known as Comet C/2014 UN271, or Bernardinelli-Bernstein after its discoverers, Pedro Bernardinelli, University of Pennsylvania graduate student and astronomer Gary Bernstein."

"We have the privilege of having discovered perhaps the largest comet ever seen — or at least larger than any well-studied one — and caught it early enough for people to watch it evolve as it approaches and warms up," Bernstein said in a June 25 statement from the National Science Foundation's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, or NOIRLab.

C/2014 UN271 location near the Solar System Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein takes approximately 5.5 million years to complete its one orbit. NASA JPL

As reported on 14 September, The Las Cumbres Observatory detected an outburst of 2014 C/UN271 on 9 September 2021. The comet brightened by 0.65 magnitudes compared to images taken earlier that day. At the time, the comet was 19.89 Astronomical Units (3.0 billion km) from the Sun and 19.44 Astronomical Units (2.9 billion km) from Earth. Astronomers believe comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein originated from the Oort Cloud which is a very distant region of space thought to be like a bubble enveloping our solar system made up of trillions of pieces of icy space debris and that it has always been in our solar system. The comet orbit around the sun and as per the calculations of the Minor Planet Center it takes approximately 5.5 million years to complete its one orbit.

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The comet is approaching the Sun at a distance between 19 Astronomical Units (2.8 billion km) and 21 Astronomical Units (3.1 billion km) and will reach its perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid or comet that is nearest to the sun.) of 10.9 Astronomical Units which is just outside of Saturn's orbit in January 2031. This will be the closest it will get to the Earth, then it will move back out to the distant regions of our solar system. Even though it will be in our solar system it will be about a billion miles from Earth at that point.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Pickles bottled in various combinations

India is known for its pickles, popularly called 'Achaar', even across the world. But who thought about the idea of pickles in the first place? Apparently, the idea of making pickles first came from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, where archaeologists have found evidence of cucumbers being soaked in vinegar. This was done to preserve it, but the practice has spread all over the world today, that pickles mean so much more than just preserved vegetables.

In India, the idea of pickle has nothing to do with preservation, rather pickle is a side dish that adds flavour and taste to almost anything. In Punjab, parathas are served with pickle; in the south, pickle and curd rice is a household favourite, and in Andhra, it is a staple, eaten with everything. The flavour profile of pickles in each state is naturally different, suited to each cuisine's taste. Pickles are soaked in oil and salt for at least a month, mixed with spices and stored all year round. Mango season is often synonymous with pickle season as a majority of Indians love mango pickle. In the coastal cities, pickles are even made out of fish and prawns.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Spiral bound notebooks allow writers to easily access each part of the page

It is impossible to detail the history of bookbinding without understanding the need for it. A very useful, and yet simple invention, spiral coils that hold books together and allow mobile access to the user came about just before WWII, but much before that, paper underwent a massive change in production technique.

Beginning in China, paper was made of bamboo sticks slit open and flattened. In Egypt, papyrus was made from the reeds that grew in the Nile. In India, long, rectangular strips of palm leaves were stitched together to form legible documents. When monasteries were established, scrolls came into being. Parchment paper, or animal hide, also known as vellum, were used to copy out texts periodically to preserve them. Prior to all this, clay tablets were used to record important events, and in some cases, rock edicts were made.

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Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

To keep the value and quality of what you offer, whether it's a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift that will be remembered for years. The concept of gift-giving has taken on a number of shapes in today's society. Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.

Q: What do consumers expect from the gifting business and packaging designers these days?

A: Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. They are now more conscious about how their purchase affects the environment. Considering this shift in consumer buying, it's extremely important for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices and design products that are meant to be reused or recycled.

person holding white and red gift box Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. | Photo by Superkitina on Unsplash

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