Cartosat-2 Series satellite was launched onboard PSLV-40 on January 12.

The first day image captured by India’s recently launched weather observation Cartosat-2 series satellite shows a part of Indore city in Madhya Pradesh with the Holkar Cricket Stadium in the centre.

The image was acquired on January 15, three days after the launch of the satellite, and released yesterday on the website of the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation.

Cartosat-2 Series satellite was successfully launched onboard PSLV-C40 rocket on January 12 by ISRO from its spaceport at Sriharikota.


Einstein taught us: It’s all ‘relative’

space time
This image shows that celestial objects make dents in the fabric of space-time. The Earth, being 81 times more massive than its moon (right), induces a much greater curvature. According to general relativity, this curvature is what we perceive as gravity. 

Astronomers finally find the cosmic source of gold and silver

101317_ec_ligo_feat.jpgA smashup of two neutron stars is shown in this artist’s rendering. Such a collision sent out gravitational waves and a burst of gamma rays. The ejected debris also left a glow.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some 130 million years ago, the ultradense cores of two dead stars collided. The first evidence of the cataclysmic smashup were gravitational waves. They reached Earth on August 17. As astronomers rushed to home in on their source, they turned up a trove of riches. It is helping explain, among other things, the source of such precious metals as silver, gold and platinum.

Space toilet may teach scientists how to scout for life on distant icy moons


space shuttle

The search for life may get an assist from the call of nature. Astronomers have been intrigued by jets of icy liquids, such as on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Now they might learn how to study such plumes from an unlikely source: space toilets.

Enceladus hosts an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy surface. That sea constantly vents water into space through cracks in its surface ice. (Jupiter’s moon Europa also hosts an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy surface. So it, too, may spew plumes. But if it does, those plumes are not as persistent.) Planetary scientists would like future spacecraft to scoop up samples of these plumes. That way they could test them for signs of life. But trying to model such space plumes in a lab on Earth is challenging.

In a first, Galileo’s gravity experiment is re-created in space

satellite illustration

Galileo’s most famous experiment has taken a trip to outer space. The result? Einstein was right yet again. The experiment confirms a tenet of Einstein’s theory of gravity with greater precision than ever before.

According to science lore, Galileo dropped two balls from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to show that they fell at the same rate no matter their composition.

How gravity waves got scientists to look at the universe in a whole new way

The anomalies and contradictions that scientists experienced during the course of research into the detection and deduction of gravitational waves revealed new insights about the epistemology of scientific experiments, and forced a paradigm shift in the scientific method.



It was reported last year that gravitational waves had finally been “seen” — a development which scientists say ranks on a par with the discovery of that “god particle” called the Higgs Boson and the structure of the DNA. Prof. Karsten Danzmann of Germany told the BBC “There’s a Nobel Prize in it, there is no doubt.” Prof. Stephen Hawking seemed to reinforce that view by saying that “gravitational waves provide a whole new way of looking at the universe”.
The existence of gravity waves was predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and is seen as yet another test for that theory. The acknowledged pioneer in gravity-wave detection was Joseph Webber, whose work at the University of Maryland was the source of much scientific controversy in the 1970s and became a central case study in an emerging discipline called the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK). In this article, I shall revisit that moment in the history of science and that emerging discipline.

NASA’s Curiosity rover marks 5 years of Mars exploration

On August 5, 2012, the mission team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, exalted at radio confirmation and first images from Curiosity.

NASA’s Curiosity rover which found evidence that ancient Mars had the right conditions to support microbial life has marked five years of exploring the red planet.

Curiosity, which landed near Mount Sharp five years ago, is examining clues on that mountain about long—ago lakes on Mars.

IIT Delhi team develops a new antibacterial drug-delivery system

The nanoconjugates will be useful for cancer patients suffering from bacterial infections

A new antibiotic drug-delivery system that improves the efficacy of drugs thereby reducing the dosage used for treating bacterial infections has been tested in a lab by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. A peptide, which has not been approved for clinical use, bound to gold nanoparticles was able to kill E. coli and Salmonella typhi more efficiently at lower dosages.

“Drug delivery becomes better and the bioavailability improves when the drug is conjugated [bound] to gold nanoparticles. So reduced dosage is sufficient to kill the bacteria. Reducing the dosage of antibiotics used is one of the strategies to reduce the possibility of drug resistance setting in,” says Dr. Neetu Singh from the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delhi, and one of the corresponding authors of the paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Voyager spacecraft marks 40th anniversary

Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favourable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and are now exploring interstellar space.

Voyager 1 and 2 have explored all the giant planets of our outer solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; 48 of their moons; and the unique system of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess. By the anniversary Voyager 1 will have traveled more than 12 billion miles and Voyager 2 more than 10 billion, with both nuclear-powered spacecraft continuing to send back data.

NASA Unveils New Maps of Pluto, Moon Charon for Flyby Anniversary

On the two-year anniversary of the New Horizons probe’s flyby of Pluto, mission scientists unveiled two detailed global maps of the dwarf planet and its largest moon, Charon. The combined data can now give the public insight about the mountains, volcanoes and canyons of these distant celestial neighbors.

“The complexity of the Pluto system — from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere — has been beyond our wildest imagination,” Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement. The data New Horizons collected during its encounter with Pluto on July 14, 2015 continues to reveal more secrets about the dwarf planet, according to the release.