Saturday January 25, 2020
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Voyager Probe 2 May Be Close to Interstellar Space: NASA

In May 2012, Voyager 1 experienced an increase in the rate of cosmic rays similar to what Voyager 2 is now detecting.

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NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Nasa's Opportunity rover might have 'died' on Mars. Flickr

NASA’s Voyager 2 probe that was launched in 1977 has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system, indicating that it is near the interstellar space.

Once Voyager 2 exits the outermost layer of the heliosphere — the vast bubble around the Sun and the planets dominated by solar material and magnetic fields — it will become the second human-made object, after Voyager 1, to enter interstellar space, NASA said in a statement on Friday.

Voyager 2 is little less than 17.7 billion km away from Earth — or more than 118 times the distance from Earth to the Sun.

It is the only spacecraft to visit all four giant outer planet — Jupiter (1979), Saturn (1981), Uranus (198 ) and Neptune (1989).

NASA
Interstellar Space. IANS

Voyager scientists have been watching for the spacecraft to reach the outer boundary of the heliosphere, known as the heliopause.

“We’re seeing a change in the environment around Voyager 2, there’s no doubt about that,” said Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Since late August, the “Cosmic Ray Subsystem” instrument on Voyager 2 has measured about a five percent increase in the rate of cosmic rays hitting the spacecraft compared to early August.

The probe’s Low-Energy Charged Particle instrument has detected a similar increase in higher-energy cosmic rays.

TESS, rover, NASA
An artist’s concept provided by NASA shows the Keplar Spacecraft moving through space. VOA

“We’re going to learn a lot in the coming months, but we still don’t know when we’ll reach the heliopause. We’re not there yet — that’s one thing I can say with confidence,” Stone added.

Three other spacecraft are on interstellar trajectories. New Horizons is closing in on a Kuiper Belt Object more about a billion miles beyond Pluto on January 1, 2019.

Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 probes are no longer functioning, but will eventually travel into interstellar space.

Also Read: SpaceX Launches Communications Satellite

In May 2012, Voyager 1 experienced an increase in the rate of cosmic rays similar to what Voyager 2 is now detecting.

“That was about three months before Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause and entered interstellar space,” said NASA. (IANS)

  • janjamm

    Wow, after wow!

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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Smartphone
The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

Smartphone
India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

Smartphone
Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

Also Read- Amazon’s Music Streaming Service Hits 55 Million Subscribers Globally

“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)