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The theme of The Singapore Food Festival is "Rediscover the Foodie in You". Unsplash

The Singapore Food Festival (SFF) will take on a virtual format this year. Themed “Rediscover the Foodie in You”, SFF 2020 will see more than 25 F&B partners coming on board to serve up gastronomic experiences for festival-goers to enjoy at home.

Taking place across this weekend and the next (21-23 August and 28-30 August), Singapore’s dining scene will come to life in the form of virtual food tours, live masterclasses, chef collaborations, food bundles, and limited-edition food merchandise.

In line with the SingaporeRediscovers campaign, Singapore Food Festival also encourages the rediscovery of Singapore’s local cuisine – from the rich depth of foodie traditions to innovative new takes on cuisine which continue to shape the past, present, and future of the food culture. During this challenging period for the F&B industry, SFF 2020 also aims to be a platform for chefs and local F&B businesses to collaborate and showcase their culinary passions and products.

The event will also host virtual food tours around cultural precincts. Unsplash

This year’s festival line-up comprises live masterclasses featuring some of the top names in Singapore’s F&B scene. Some of the names are award-winning pastry chef Cheryl Koh of Tarte by Cheryl Koh, Chef Julien Royer of three Michelin-starred Odette, Michelin star chef Malcolm Lee of renowned Peranakan cuisine restaurant Candlenut and Dave Pynt, chef-owner of the 1 Michelin star modern barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends among others.

The event will also host virtual food tours around cultural precincts – Traditional Taste (Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown), Katong Culture (Katong/Joo Chiat).

Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown are historical and culturally-rich districts and have evolved to become an integral part of Singapore’s key cultural precincts. Both districts are a seamless blend of old and new, with historic landmarks sitting amongst high rise commercial and residential buildings. These precincts have a myriad of food offerings, with many traditional (some even disappearing) food and snack shops nestled alongside hip cafes and trendy bars.

Also Read: Majority Japanese Firms Want Tokyo Olympic Games to be Cancelled or Postponed

The Katong – Joo Chiat precinct is well known for its quaint pastel-hued shophouses adorned with ornamental plasterwork, gesturing at the Peranakan roots in the area. This melting pot of tradition and modernity has grown into a lifestyle district offering multi-ethnic influences most evident in its diverse architecture, dining options, and activities. (IANS)



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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)

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