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Astronomers observe an Earth-like Extra-solar Planet that could Harbor Extra-Terrestrial Life

K2-3d is an extra-solar planet about 150 light-years away that was discovered by the NASA K2 mission

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Tokyo, November 29, 2016: In an important step towards the search for extra-terrestrial life, astronomers in Japan have observed the transit of a potentially habitable Earth-like extra-solar planet known as K2-3d.

A transit is a phenomenon in which a planet passes in front of its parent star, blocking a small amount of light from the star, like a shadow of the planet.

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While transits have previously been observed for thousands of other extra-solar planets, K2-3d is important because there is a possibility that it might harbour extra-terrestrial life, the researchers said.

The group of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and University of Tokyo, among others, observed the transit using the MuSCAT instrument on the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory 188-cm telescope.

K2-3d is an extra-solar planet about 150 light-years away that was discovered by the NASA K2 mission (the Kepler telescope’s “second light”).

About 30 potentially habitable planets that also have transiting orbits were discovered by the NASA Kepler mission, but most of these planets orbit fainter, more distant stars.

Because it is closer to Earth and its host star is brighter, K2-3d is a more interesting candidate for detailed follow-up studies, the researchers said.

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By observing its transit precisely using the next generation of telescopes, such as Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the scientists expect to be able to search the atmosphere of the planet for molecules related to life, such as oxygen.

The study, published in The Astronomical Journal, also succeeded in measuring the orbital period of the planet with a high precision of about 18 seconds.

This greatly improved the forecast accuracy for future transit times. So now researchers will know exactly when to watch for the transits using the next generation of telescopes.

K2-3d’s size is 1.5 times the size of the Earth. The planet orbits its host star, which is half the size of the Sun, with a period of about 45 days.

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Compared to the Earth, the planet orbits close to its host star (about one-fifth of the Earth-Sun distance).

But, because the temperature of the host star is lower than that of the Sun, calculations showed that this is the right distance for the planet to have a relatively warm climate like that of the Earth’s. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)