Moon, Pluto Rated as Planets Under Newly Proposed Definition

Moon, Pluto Rated as Planets Under Newly Proposed Definition

To encourage exploration of more celestial bodies, a group of NASA scientists has proposed a new definition of planets, defining them as “round objects in space smaller than stars”. Under this definition, over 100 solar system objects including the Moon and Pluto would become planets. However, the definition needs to be accepted by the International Astronomical Union to become official. Source: Inshorts

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87 Years Since the Discovery of Pluto

87 Years Since the Discovery of Pluto

Pluto, which was once considered the ninth planet of the solar system, was discovered on February 18, 1930, by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. The celestial body is now recognised as ‘dwarf planet’ according to new definitions set by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. Pluto’s name was suggested by an 11-year old girl, after the Roman god of the Underworld. Source: Inshorts

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Human Brain Always has a Backup Plan

Human Brain Always has a Backup Plan

New research by Canada-based researchers has revealed that when humans are presented with two action options, the brain’s motor neurons prepare for both possibilities before making a decision. This finding supports the idea that the brain represents the world as a range of potential actions and objects to interact with. The research may help in developing smarter robots and AI. Source: Inshorts

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Scientists Discover Two Galaxies Bridged by Stars

Scientists Discover Two Galaxies Bridged by Stars

Astronomers have discovered that the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way appear to be connected by a bridge of stars. Known as ‘The Magellanic Clouds’, these galaxies are connected via a stellar bridge stretching across 43,000 light years. Researchers are studying the formation of these clouds and galaxies with the data obtained from the European Space observatory, Gaia. Source: Inshorts

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Universe is Expanding up to 9% Faster than Expected

Universe is Expanding up to 9% Faster than Expected

A new study using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found the universe is expanding 5-9% faster than expected. Astronomers recalculated universe’s expansion rate with improved techniques for faraway galaxies, which is higher than predictions by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The findings may be an important clue to understand dark energy, dark matter and dark radiation, said study lead. Source: Inshorts

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Water Detected in Atmosphere of Jupiter-like Exoplanet

Water Detected in Atmosphere of Jupiter-like Exoplanet

Astronomers have detected the presence of water molecules in the atmosphere of a nearby exoplanet. Located 50 light years away, ’51 Pegasi b’ is the first exoplanet discovered orbiting a star and the first known ‘hot Jupiter’. It has a high surface temperature, as it orbits its parent star very closely, at a distance of only 75 lakh km. Source: Inshorts

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Astronauts’ Brains Change Shape During Spaceflight

Astronauts’ Brains Change Shape During Spaceflight

MRI scans before and after space missions revealed that astronauts’ brains compress and expand during spaceflight, according to a US-based study. The study was based on 12 astronauts who spent two weeks in a spacecraft and 14 who spent six months on the International Space Station. Researchers observed that the gray matter volume increased in regions that control leg movement. Source: Inshorts

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Milky Way has Mass of 700 Billion Suns

Milky Way has Mass of 700 Billion Suns

A study by Canada-based researchers revealed that the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, which spans roughly 1,00,000 light years across, is equivalent to nearly 700 billion times that of the Sun. The team used the velocities and positions of star clusters orbiting the Milky Way galaxy to study the mass of the galaxy and its dark matter components. Source: Inshorts

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Team Detects ‘Music’ from 13 bn-year-old Stars

Team Detects ‘Music’ from 13 bn-year-old Stars

Researchers in England have detected acoustic oscillations of one of the oldest known clusters of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, around 13 billion years old. Using data from NASA’s Kepler missions, the researchers studied these oscillations which are caused by the sound trapped inside the stars. They suggested that this ‘stellar music’ may help determine stars’ mass and age. Source: Inshorts

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