Monday February 19, 2018
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Green Crusader of Kolkata: Meet, Dhananjoy Chakraborty, the cab driver who created a rooftop garden on his taxi

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By Arnab Mitra

An ardent environment lover, Dhananjoy Chakravorty has transformed his taxi into a small garden to convey the message of saving the environment.

The 40-year-old driver has created a garden on top of his taxi and has a mini green area in the trunk of his Ambassador car with potted plants. His taxi, named as ‘Sobuj Rath’ or Green Chariot, also has social messages painted inside it.

In an interaction with NewsGram, Dhanonjoy shared the thoughts behind his innovative project ‘Green Chariot’.

Arnab Mitra: How did the idea of ‘Green Chariot’ come into your mind?

Dhananjoy Chakravorty: It all started three years ago when my wife Sharita planted a small tree on the roof of my taxi. It looked very beautiful and with the consultation of my owner Amardeep Singh, I took the initiative to fulfill my dream project ‘Green Chariot’.

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AM: Were there any hurdles during the assembling of the ‘Green Chariot’?

DC: The main obstacle was money. As a taxi driver, it is very hard to make any savings. But with the help of my wife and support of my owner, I made this ‘Green Taxi’ with an estimated cost of Rs.55, 000.

Besides this, I have to take care of this new garden every day as it is difficult to keep the plants alive in this weather.

AM: Passengers say that it is really comfortable to ride in your taxi, what do you have to say about this?

DC: Thanks to my small garden! The plants absorb the heat of the sun, so there is always a moderate temperature inside my taxi.

AM: People say that it is just a show-off and you can’t continue as it isn’t cost effective, would you like to comment on that?

DC: Some people will always feel jealous. But people are with me, and I will continue to spread the message of saving the mother Earth.

AM: What are your future plans?

DC: The project is at its initial stage, so it is hard to say now. But on the World Environment Day (June 5) I have a plan to make a rally from Karunamoyee to Maidan and invite people to join. I will also distribute some of my paintings on the theme ‘Save Nature’.

AM: Any message you want to give to the society.

DC: Nature is our best friend. Don’t destroy it. Save nature for the benefit of mankind.

 

 

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NASA’s Kepler Discovers Nearly 100 New Exoplanets

NASA researchers found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft

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Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • NASA’s Kepler has discovered nearly 100 new exoplanets
  • Some of the planets discovered are as large as Jupiter
  • NASA has also found planet which orbits very bright stars

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets — planets located outside our solar system.

The discovery was based on data from the second mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope or K2 released in 2014.

NASA has discovered nearly 100 exoplanets. Wikimedia Commons
NASA has discovered nearly 100 exoplanets. Wikimedia Commons

K2 searches for exoplanet transits by registering dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its host star.

NASA researchers found that some of the signals were caused by multiple star systems or noise from the spacecraft.

But they also detected planets that range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter and larger.

Also Read: Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxy is of the same size, not bigger

One of the planets detected was orbiting a very bright star.

“We validated a planet on a 10-day orbit around a star called HD 212657, which is now the brightest star found by K2 missions to host a validated planet,” said lead author Andrew Mayo, a doctoral student at the National Space Institute (DTU Space) at the Technical University of Denmark.

Some of the planets found are as big as Jupiter. VOA
Some of the planets found are as big as Jupiter. VOA

For the study, appearing in the Astronomical Journal, the team started out analyzing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets.

In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries, Mayo said.

The Kepler spacecraft was first launched in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky, but in 2013 a mechanical failure crippled the telescope.

NASA has found many planets before as well. Wikimedia Commons
NASA has found many planets before as well. Wikimedia Commons

However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically. This solution paved the way for the follow up K2 mission.

Adding the newly discovered exoplanets brings the total number of exoplanets by K2 mission to almost 300, the study said.

Also Read: NASA sounding rocket probing dark regions of space falter

The first planet orbiting a star similar to our own Sun was detected only in 1995. Today some 3,600 exoplanets have been found, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter. IANS