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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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Superstar Eta Carinae’s Cosmic Rays May Reach Earth: Study

Astronomers know that cosmic rays with energies greater than one billion electron volts (eV) come to us from beyond our solar system.

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Superstar Eta Carinae's Cosmic Rays May Reach Earth: Study
Superstar Eta Carinae's Cosmic Rays May Reach Earth: Study. Pixabay

Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light years, is accelerating particles to speeds comparable to that of light — some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays, suggests a new study.

“We know the blast waves of exploded stars can accelerate cosmic ray particles to speeds comparable to that of light, an incredible energy boost,” said the lead author of the study Kenji Hamaguchi, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“Similar processes must occur in other extreme environments. Our analysis indicates Eta Carinae is one of them,” Hamaguchi said.

Astronomers know that cosmic rays with energies greater than one billion electron volts (eV) come to us from beyond our solar system.

But because these particles — electrons, protons and atomic nuclei — all carry an electrical charge, they veer off course whenever they encounter magnetic fields. This scrambles their paths and masks their origins.

For this study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers used data from NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope.

Launched in 2012, NuSTAR can focus X-rays of much greater energy than any previous telescope.

Using both newly taken and archival data, the team examined NuSTAR observations acquired between March 2014 and June 2016, along with lower-energy X-ray observations from the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite over the same period.

“We’ve known for some time that the region around Eta Carinae is the source of energetic emission in high-energy X-rays and gamma rays,” said Fiona Harrison, the principal investigator of NuSTAR.

Carina Nebula
Carina Nebula. Pixabay

“But until NuSTAR was able to pinpoint the radiation, show it comes from the binary and study its properties in detail, the origin was mysterious,” said Harrison, who also serves as a professor of astronomy at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.

Eta Carinae, located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, is famous for a 19th century outburst that briefly made it the second-brightest star in the sky.

This event also ejected a massive hourglass-shaped nebula, but the cause of the eruption remains poorly understood.

The system contains a pair of massive stars whose eccentric orbits bring them unusually close every 5.5 years.

Also read: Brain Damage Caused by Cosmic Rays Can be Prevented With this Drug

The stars contain 90 and 30 times the mass of our Sun and pass 225 million km apart at their closest approach — about the average distance separating Mars and the Sun. (IANS)