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Water-rich planets outside our solar system common: Study. Pixabay

Water is likely to be a major component of those exoplanets which are between two to four times the size of Earth, suggests new research that may have implications for the search of life in our solar system.

Water has been implied previously on individual exoplanets, but this work, presented at the Goldschmidt conference in Boston, Massachusetts, concludes that water-rich planets outside our solar system are common.


The new research, based on data from the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and the Gaia mission, indicates that many of the known planets may contain as much as 50 per cent water, which is much more than the Earth’s 0.02 per cent (by weight) water content.

“It was a huge surprise to realise that there must be so many water-worlds,” said lead researcher Li Zeng of Harvard University.

Scientists have found that many of the 4,000 confirmed or candidate exoplanets discovered so far fall into two size categories — those with the planetary radius averaging around 1.5 times that of the Earth, and those averaging around 2.5 times the radius of the Earth.


Solar system. Pixabay

For this study, the scientists developed a model for internal structures of the exoplanets after analysing the exoplanets with mass measurements and recent radius measurements from the Gaia satellite.

“We have looked at how mass relates to radius, and developed a model which might explain the relationship”, said Li Zeng.

“The model indicates that those exoplanets which have a radius of around x1.5 Earth radius tend to be rocky planets (of typically x5 the mass of the Earth), while those with a radius of x2.5 Earth radius (with a mass around x10 that of the Earth) are probably water worlds,” he added.

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“Our data indicate that about 35 per cent of all known exoplanets which are bigger than Earth should be water-rich,” he said, adding that surface of these exoplanets may be shrouded in a water-vapour-dominated atmosphere, with a liquid water layer underneath.

The researchers believe that these water worlds likely formed in similar ways to the giant planet cores (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) which we find in our own solar system. (IANS)


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Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon said that the Pegasus snooping issue is India's internal matter.

Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon on Thursday said that the Pegasus snooping issue is India's internal matter.

The NSO is a private company and it has a license to sell its software to the government entities only, he added.

Gilon said: "This is an internal issue of India and I can't speak beyond this point. This is the only main requirement that... under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors".

Responding to a query if the Indian government will contact them, he said that he has no idea whether the Indian government has contacted them or not.

Referring to the explosion that took place last year near the Israeli embassy in Delhi, he said that the perpetrators are yet to be nabbed; however, the investigating agencies of both countries are cooperating with each other.

"We are thankful to the government of India for providing security to all embassy personnel," Gilon said.

Talking about the newly-formed quad with Israel, India, the US, and UAE, the Ambassador said it is totally an economic forum based on mutual cooperation among the participant countries.

"It has nothing to do with the military component as of now," he added.

Talking about Afghanistan, Gilon said that the country should not be used for extremism.

"There should not be any human rights violation and women and children should not suffer there", he commented.

Saying that Israel is a technologically sound country but it cannot go for industrial manufacturing, the partnership between India and Israel can work better for industrial productions.

Sharing the details of the recently-concluded visit of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, he said that the visit was most successful in terms of bilateral relations.

Jaishankar met all important Ministers of the Israeli government and also met the Indian Diaspora, the Indian Jews who have recently settled there.

"It was a very warm visit, very friendly which I think emphasized the strategic partnership declared during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Israel. I think that the visit was in the spotlight of 30 years of diplomatic relations which we are going to celebrate on January 29 next year," Gilon added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Israel Politics, Indian Diaspora, Pegasus issues, Pegasus snooping issue, a partnership between India and Israel.


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The Sher Bahadur Deuba governmentrecommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.

The Sher Bahadur Deuba government on Thursday recommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.

Sharma earlier served as Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and Nepal's Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2013.

The post in the New Delhi embassy of Nepal fell vacant recently after Deuba recalled the ambassadors from 12 countries including India. The outgoing ambassador, Nilamber Acharya has already returned to Kathmandu.

Sharma has extensive experience in government, international institutions, and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He also served as a Professor of Economics in the Centre for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University.

He worked regionally and globally for many organizations, such as the UNESCAP, World Bank, and ASEAN. Sharma is close confident of Prime Minister Deuba. (IANS/JB)


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.

The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.

While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."

"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.

Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.

He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.