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Sports calendar of 2020 has seen all major events either cancelled or postponed. Pixabay

By Puja Gupta

Another dreadful result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is that the sports calendar of 2020 has seen all major events either cancelled or postponed.


Sports enthusiasts have been left with nothing but reliving old matches, playing e-sports and interacting with fellow sports fans as a way to keep their spirit alive. Resulting in an increase in their activity and engagement on sports community platforms like Rooter, says its CEO and founder Piyush Kumar.

“Our user growth has been tremendous in last three months. We have more than 3 million active users (7 million overall users) who are spending close to 20 minutes everyday,” claims Kumar.

“People are reliving old matches and engaging with their fellow sports fans via live chat and discussions. We have also seen an increase in old-school games like book cricket and Ludo, which are shifting to the virtual world now,” he adds.


“We have also seen an increase in old-school games like book cricket and Ludo, which are shifting to the virtual world now,” says Rooter, CEO and founder Piyush Kumar. Pixabay

Founded in 2016, the idea behind Rooter was to build a technology product that will connect fans with each other and create a strong community. “We initially made this community using live games during sports matches and later pivoted to content where now fans chat, create content and go live with audio/ video to connect with fans,” Kumar tells IANSlife.

Read More: Instagram Releases New Safety Feature to Combat Online Bullying

Sports fans get a dedicated and personalised sports feed as per their sports consumption. “It’s a never ending set of information on sports in multiple languages and across videos, images, polls etc. Sports lovers also get fastest and detailed scorecard of all matches across cricket, football and kabaddi in 10 Indian languages,” he informs.

Another feature of Rooter is the live audio/ video session that allows users to go online and do commentary, debates, quizzes, polls, games and connect with other fans. “It is our most engaged feature,” he says.

The company this year aims to create a new stream of content through e-sports and gaming. “Our user base is spending an equal amount of time watching sports and consuming e-sports, playing games and we believe we can provide a great product that will serve them right content and connect them with other fans/ gamers. We also want to build a strong user monetization feature thereby focusing on creating commerce on top of high engaged content we offer.” (IANS)


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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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