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Know Here About What Actually Makes Saturn’s Upper Atmosphere So Hot

As the spacecraft observed the stars rise and set behind the giant planet, scientists analysed how the starlight changed as it passed through the atmosphere

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Saturn
Electric currents, triggered by interactions between solar winds and charged particles from Saturn's moons, spark the auroras and heat the upper atmosphere. Pixabay

New analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini mission may finally explain why the upper layers in the atmospheres of gas giants — Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune — are hot, just like Earth’s.

As unlike Earth, the Sun is too far from these outer planets to account for the high temperatures, their heat source has been one of the great mysteries of planetary science Auroras at the planet’s north and south poles might be keeping the upper layers of Saturn, and possibly the other gas giants so hot, according to the findings published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Electric currents, triggered by interactions between solar winds and charged particles from Saturn’s moons, spark the auroras and heat the upper atmosphere. “The results are vital to our general understanding of planetary upper atmospheres and are an important part of Cassini’s legacy,” said author Tommi Koskinen, a member of Cassini’s Ultraviolet Imaging Spectograph (UVIS) team.

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“They help address the question of why the uppermost part of the atmosphere is so hot while the rest of the atmosphere — due to the large distance from the Sun — is cold.” Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, Cassini was an orbiter that observed Saturn for more than 13 years before exhausting its fuel supply.

The mission plunged it into the planet’s atmosphere in September 2017, in part to protect its moon Enceladus, which Cassini discovered might hold conditions suitable for life. But before its plunge, Cassini performed 22 ultra-close orbits of Saturn, a final tour called the Grand Finale.

It was during the Grand Finale that the key data was collected for the new temperature map of Saturn’s atmosphere. For six weeks, Cassini targeted several bright stars in the constellations of Orion and Canis Major as they passed behind Saturn.

NASA
New analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini mission may finally explain why the upper layers in the atmospheres of gas giants — Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune — are hot, just like Earth’s. Wikimedia Commons

As the spacecraft observed the stars rise and set behind the giant planet, scientists analysed how the starlight changed as it passed through the atmosphere. Measuring the density of the atmosphere gave scientists the information they needed to find the temperatures. They found that temperatures peak near the auroras, indicating that auroral electric currents heat the upper atmosphere.

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And both density and temperature measurements together helped scientists figure out wind speeds. Understanding Saturn’s upper atmosphere, where the planet meets space, is key to understanding space weather, and its impact on other planets in our solar system and exoplanets around other stars. (IANS)

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Truecaller Denies Breach as Indian Users’ Data Goes on Sale

ruecaller records of 4.75 crore Indians were being sold on web for just about Rs 75,000

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TrueCaller
Records of 4.75 crore Indians were being sold on the dark web for Rs. 75,000. Wikimedia Commons

After an online intelligence firm flagged that a cybercriminal was selling Truecaller records of 4.75 crore Indians on dark web for just about Rs 75,000, the Swedish caller identification app on Wednesday denied any breach of its database.

“There has been no breach of our database and all our user information is secure. We take the privacy of our users and the integrity of our services extremely seriously and we are continuously monitoring for suspicious activities,” a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement.

“We were informed about a similar sale of data in May 2019. What they have here is likely the same dataset as before. It’s easy for bad actors to compile multiple phone number databases and put a Truecaller stamp on it.

“By doing that, it lends some credibility to the data and makes it easier for them to sell. We urge the public and users not to fall prey to such bad actors whose primary motive is to swindle the people of their money,” the spokesperson said.

Truecaller
“There has been no breach of our database and all our user information is secure.”, a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement. Wikimedia Commons

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Online intelligence firm Cyble in a blog on Tuesday said that its researchers have “identified a reputable seller, who is selling 47.5 Million Indians Truecaller records for $1000. The data is from 2019.”

“Looking at the information itself, it has over 47.5 million records, and it includes interesting information such as phone number, carrier, name, gender, city, email, Facebook ID and others,” said the blog post.

On Wednesday, Cyble updated the blog to say that the same hacker has dropped another 600 million records for sale. (IANS)

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Moon Mission: NASA Seeking Healthy US Citizens For 8-Month Isolation

NASA is looking for candidates between the ages of 30 and 55

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NASA
NASA is looking for healthy individuals for their study on isolation for 8 months. Pixabay

NASA is seeking US citizens for an eight-month study on social isolation in preparation for missions to Mars and the moon.

The international space agency is preparing for its next spaceflight simulation study and is seeking healthy participants to live together with a small crew in isolation for eight months in Moscow, Russia.

Participants will be staying in a lab located in Moscow, and they will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars that will have crew members from different nations.

NASA is looking for highly motivated and healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 55 who are fluent in both English and Russian. They must also have an MS., PhD, MD. or have completed military officer training.

The space agency will consider other participants with a bachelor’s degree and other qualifications such as military or professional experience.

They will study the psychological and physiological effects astronauts are likely to face as a result of isolation on long missions.

astronaut NASA
NASA is also looking for people who are fluent in both English and Russian. Pixabay

According to NASA, participants will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars.

A small international crew will live together in isolation for eight months conducting scientific research, using virtual reality and performing robotic operations among a number of other tasks during the lunar mission.

The research is being done to study the effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to complete simulated space missions.

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Results from ground-based missions like this help NASA prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration and provide important scientific data to solve some of these problems and to develop countermeasures.

Participants will be compensated, and there are varying levels of pay depending on whether you’re associated with NASA.

This study builds on a four-month study conducted in 2019. The SIRIUS-19 analog mission had six participants — two US citizens and four Russians — isolated in a metal habitat that acted as their spacecraft, lunar lander and home. (IANS)

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64% Deaths in Males, 36% in Females: Covid-19 Death Analysis

Health Ministry reveals that there are 64% males among COVID-19 fatalities

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There are said to be 64 per cent deaths in males and 36 per cent in females, according to an analysis of COVID deaths in India. Pixabay

There are at least 64 per cent deaths in males and 36 per cent in females, revealed an analysis of COVID deaths in India, a Health Ministry document said on Thursday.

The analysis further indicated that, in terms of age distribution, 0.5 per cent deaths are reported in less than 15 years of age group, 2.5 per cent in 15-30 years age group, 11.4 per cent in 30-45 years age group, 35.1 per cent in 45-60 years age group and 50.5 per cent in people above 60 years of age.

Further, 73 per cent of the death cases had underlying co-morbidities. Elderly people (above 60 years of age) and people having co-morbidities are identified as high risk groups for COVID-19.

According to the Union Health Ministry data, at least 3,435 individuals so far have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in India.

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The analysis revealed that 35.1 per cent deaths are reported in 45-60 years age group. Pixabay

The Health Ministry stated that the case mortality rate in India is 3.06 per cent, as against the global average of 6.65 per cent. The ministry attributed the outcome to its efforts towards timely case identification and proper clinical management of the cases.

India currently has 63,624 cases under active medical supervision. Of these, approximately 2.94 per cent cases are in the ICU, said the Health Ministry.

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“A total of 45,299 patients are cured of COVID-19. A total of 3,002 COVID-19 patients have been reported cured in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is improving continuously and is 40.32 per cent presently,” it added.

In addition, it advised that community awareness, personal hygiene, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and environmental sanitation are the most important tools to combat COVID-19.

“Face covers and masks should be used in public places and physical distancing should be followed. Large gatherings should be avoided. Individuals in high risk groups should stay at home except for essential and health purposes,” said the Health Ministry. (IANS)