A team of astronomers have found what could be one of the universe’s oldest stars, almost entirely made of materials formed by the Big Bang.
Residing in the same part of the Milky Way galaxy as our own solar system, the star is believed to be up to 13.5 billion years old which is evidenced by its extremely low metal content, or metallicity, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to co-author Andrew Casey, it was previously believed that the first stars that formed in the universe could not possibly still exist today.
“The findings are significant because for the first time we have been able to show direct evidence that very ancient, low mass stars do exist, and could survive until the present day without destroying themselves,” Casey said.
The metallicity of stars increases as they are born and die, in a cycle which results in the creation of more and more heavy metals, with the Earth’s sun being around 100,000 generations down that line and holding a metal content roughly equal to 14 Jupiters.
Stars created at the beginning of the universe, however, would have consisted entirely of elements like hydrogen, helium and small amounts of lithium – meaning the extremely low metallicity of the newly discovered star, about the same as the planet Mercury.
This suggests that it could be as little as one generation removed from the beginning of the universe, the researchers noted.
Up until around 1990, scientists believed that only massive stars could have formed in the early stages of the universe, and could never be observed because they burn through their fuel so quickly and die.
However, the new study has shown that it is possible for low mass stars to last as long as the 13 billion years since the Big Bang — Red Dwarf stars for instance, which have a fraction of the mass of the sun, are thought to live for trillions of years. (IANS)
For the study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, the researchers used data from Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies
Astronomers have discovered more than 100 new trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), minor planets located in the far reaches of the solar system.
For the study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, the researchers used data from Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our universe.
The study also describes a new approach for finding similar types of objects and could aid future searches for the hypothetical Planet Nine and other undiscovered planets.
“The number of TNOs you can find depends on how much of the sky you look at and what’s the faintest thing you can find,” said Gary Bernstein, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
Using the first four years of DES data, Pedro Bernardinelli from the University of Pennsylvania started with a dataset of seven billion “dots,” all of the possible objects detected by the software that were above the image’s background levels.
He then removed any objects that were present on multiple nights – things like stars, galaxies, and supernova – to build a “transient” list of 22 million objects before commencing a massive game of “connect the dots,” looking for nearby pairs or triplets of detected objects to help determine where the object would appear on subsequent nights.
With the seven billion dots whittled down to a list of around 400 candidates that were seen over at least six nights of observation, the researchers then had to verify their results.
“We have this list of candidates, and then we have to make sure that our candidates are actually real things,” Bernardinelli said.
To filter their list of candidates down to actual TNOs, the researchers went back to the original dataset to see if they could find more images of the object in question.
Bernardinelli developed a way to stack multiple images to create a sharper view, which helped confirm whether a detected object was a real trans-Neptunian object.
They also verified that their method was able to spot known trans-Neptunian objects in the areas of the sky being studied and that they were able to spot fake objects that were injected into the analysis.
After many months of method-development and analysis, the researchers found 316 TNOs, including 245 discoveries made by DES and 139 new objects that were not previously published. (IANS)
Astronomers have discovered that a car-sized second natural satellite, commonly called a mini-moon, is temporarily orbiting Earth for the past three years.
“Earth has a new temporarily captured object/possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3. On the night of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne and I found a 20th magnitude object,” Kacper Wierzchos, a researcher with the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, tweeted this week.
The orbit of the newly discovered object, 2020 CD3, shows that it entered Earth’s orbit some three years ago, The Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the International Astronomical Union confirmed.
“The object has a diameter between 1.9 – 3.5 metre (6.2 and 11.5 feet) assuming a C-type asteroid albedo. But it’s a big deal as out of approximately 1 million known asteroids, this is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey),” Wierzchos said.
In its official designation, MPC had stated that orbit integrations indicate that “this object is temporarily bound to the Earth.”
“No evidence of perturbations due to solar radiation pressure is seen, and no link to a known artificial object has been found. Further observations and dynamical studies are strongly encouraged,” it added.
In an article published in The Conversation on Thursday, David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University in Britain explained that the so-called “mini-moons” like this one come and go, and the newly found object is probably already on its final loop before breaking free.
These “mini-moons” do not orbit for long as gravitational pulls from the Sun and Earth’s permanent moon make their orbits unstable. The initial approach of the newly discovered mini-moon towards the Earth suggests that it was captured into orbit at a somewhat greater distance than the Earth’s permanent moon, Rothery said.
Our permanent Moon is an average of 384,400 km away from Earth.
While astronomers believe that there is at least one mini-moon orbiting Earth at any given time, they often go undetected due their their relatively small size.
Until now, only one such satellite has been discovered — a three feet wide asteroid called 2006 RH120, which orbited Earth for 18 months in 2006 and 2007.
There are often controversies when a brand advertise an actor promotes is found to be misleading. The government planned a law by which an actor who is part of such a misleading ad would also be held responsible and subject to penalty
Remember the first Liril soap ad? Few who have lived through the 1980s would forget it. The legend with the ad read: ‘Come Alive With Freshness. And just about everything, from props to the accompanying jingle to the model, complemented the caption. However, the best thing about the ad was its model, Karen Lunel.
Most of all, the Liril ad had what they called – and it used to be the watchword of the advertising industry – a Recall Value, which has been everlasting in the case of that ad.
That was the era when ads created celebrities out of models. Now, it is the other way around. The ad-makers have resorted to a short cut. Go for the celebrities for endorsements. And, save for a few cricketers like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who get the best deals, rest just add to the crowd.
The advantage with crickets is that they enjoy all-India following. When it comes to Hindi film stars, their appeal remains limited to the Hindi following regions. Also, save for somebody like Amitabh Bachchan, they don’t enjoy the popularity in the South that they do in the Hindi film circuits. In which case, the same ads with same storyboards have to be reshot for the South market with local stars.
There were many ads and radio jingles which had lasting value, and still remain popular when it comes to social media discussions when the topic arises. The country started its radio commercial services rather late, in 1967, and radio entertainment was available till only around 10.30 pm. Radio became the major medium of advertising.
In India, people don’t even read a newspaper article byline which in print is usually at the beginning of an article or news. For people to know the voice or face behind a radio jingle was impossible. Except for people like Ameen Sayani, few could earn fame through radio. So what made radio ads a hit was the jingles which, again, carried on to the TV.
With TV came the newer challenge, that of the visuals to go along with the jingle. And, some of them really caught the imagination, and have survived on the same tunes till date after a period of 30 or more years. The examples are a plenty. While the Liril soap is one of them, we have also had Nirma washing powder, Tinipol, Amul, Saridon, Vicks Vaporub, Vicks cough drops, Kingfisher, Vicko Vajradanti, Nerolac, MDH, Fevicol, Lifebuoy soap and many such.
Today, you find very few catchy ads.
There was an anti-smoking ad, which has no record on net, from the eighties or so – something like feeling like a man! There was this young lad who starts to smoke. He thinks he is now a man, grown up. His girlfriend admires him for smoking, too. In the end, he is a sick man coughing and awaiting his ultimate demise; there is no one around, no girlfriend. That, I would rate as the best anti-smoking ad ever and needs to be recalled. Social message ads were not as prevalent as they are today. This was a rare one.
If the Liril soap ad could prove to be evergreen, what is wrong with the ads today that every top film star endorses?
The reasons are numerous. For one, there is no freshness, there is no exclusivity, there is no solid written content to back a campaign and, worst of all, a filmstar promotes multiple consumer products at a time, each following the other on the same TV show!
Most of all, these ads often have little to do with the public image of the star. Public perception about them does not match up to the campaign they model!
Take the example of Amitabh Bachchan, who is seen begging for a cola drink from a lesser celebrity, Arshad Warsi. Now, that is not the Amitabh one knew from “Zanjeer” to “Deewaar” to “Trishul”. Fine, he has tried to mingle and prove himself to be just another normal human being, an aam aadmi like rest of us, through “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and these ads. But, his image is still larger than life for the endorsements he does.
There is a joke on Amitabh Bachchan who endorses Muthoot Finance as well as Kalyan Jewellers. On the Kalyan ad, he advises you buy gold while on Muthoot ad, he suggests you release your blocked cash by mortgaging your gold! Which ad does one take seriously?
Stars are assigned ads just because they are stars. And, they do it for the money while the sun shines. Shah Rukh Khan promotes Big Basket saying ordering kitchen stuff is his job at home. The turnover gives no credit to the brand ambassador so there is no way of knowing how effective a campaign is. Sunny Deol is a non-drinker but agreed to endorse an alcohol brand. Did it work? It did not.
The endorsement industry follows or thinks it follows a star’s popularity. So, not very long ago, we had Ranveer Singh promoting just about everything that was in the market. He was omnipresent on television ads during commercial breaks. Since then, those who call the shots have shifted their loyalties to the likes of Ayushmaan Khurana and Rajkumar Rao among others. Not many character artistes were chosen to promote brands. Now, there are a few exceptions with Pankaj Tripathi getting a lot of work on that front as do Sanjay Mishra and Paresh Rawal. Earlier, Irrfan Khan was much in demand till his had to withdraw dud to his ailment.
The ad world was a lure. Actors complied to do what they neither believed in nor practiced in real life and the alcohol ads proved more addictive for them then their principles. Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar, both teetotallers, did not mind endorsing alcohol. Alcohol ads are banned in India so to say though unabashedly promoted through surrogate advertising. Thankfully, cigarettes are not. There are many such cases where the actors go against their grain to promote a harmful product even if they don’t endorse it in real life, say, Ajay Devgn endorsing a paan masala brand.
When an actor does this, as in things against their basic nature and conviction, it is all about money, right? Earlier, the stars made their extra income from various stage shows performed abroad. That trend is out now. Brand endorsement is the new way.
Talking of money, and it is only about money is that, the brand ambassadors don’t necessarily owe loyalty to the product they promote. They are often seen using or consuming a competing brand to one they promote. Also, an actor is seen promoting multiple products often one ad following in quick succession.
With his two recent films, “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” and “Pad Man”, Akshay Kumar made an image as a crusader for such social issues and has proved to be an apt promoter of toilet cleaners as well as sanitary napkins. Then, there are smaller brands and not very glamorous to promote like hair oils, atta, cereals, churans and such where the actor is shown burping or suffering from acidity. These ads are left to the lesser stars. Such campaigns go to stars who once enjoyed the limelight. likes Manoj Bajpayee, Manoj Pahwa, Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon, or Shilpa Shetty would get these assignments!
When not dealing with established stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor the admen seem to go by the success and popularity of the stars they choose to endorse products. Among these, Ranveer Singh is leading the pack along with Alia Bhatt with Varun Dhawan while Ayushmann Khurana, Vicky Kaushal and Rajkumar Rao catching on.
There are often controversies when a brand advertise an actor promotes is found to be misleading. The government planned a law by which an actor who is part of such a misleading ad would also be held responsible and subject to penalty. However, though in the pipeline, the said law is yet to be passed. Meanwhile, the very essence of the advertising a product, Recall Value, does not mean a thing anymore.
@The Box Office The week sees the release of four new films — “Mardaani 2”, “The Body”, “Mudda 370 J&K”, and “Unfriends”. “Mardaani 2”, a relevant film about a rapist, enjoys a sort of brand equity being the second in the instalment where Rani Mukerji plays the cop. “The Body”, a mystery thriller is poorly promoted. “Unfriends” and “Mudda 370” relate to social trends and inter-community romance, respectively. Both are nonstarters.
* “Pati Patni Aur Woh” has done well in its first week. The film collected about Rs 51 crore and faces little opposition in week two, with no film catering to the youth this week.
* “Panipat”, a chapter from Maratha history, has done poorly. A high-budget film, it has managed to put together just about Rs 26 crore.
* “Commando 3” dropped badly in its second week, managing to collect about Rs 2.5 crore, which takes its two-week total to Rs 32 crore. (IANS)