Daily GK Update: 31st May 2020

For the first time, astronomers witness birth of new planet around a distant star

  • Scientists have captured images of what could the first direct evidence of a planet being born around a young star.
  • The images, taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), show a dense disc of dust and gas around a young star AB Aurigae in which astronomers have spotted a prominent spiral structure with a ‘twist’ that marks the planetary maternity ward or the site where a planet may be forming.
    “Thousands of exoplanets have been identified so far, but little is known about how they form,” said Anthony Boccaletti, the lead researcher who led the study from the Observatoie de Paris, PSL, University, France.
  • An exoplanet is a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. While more than 4,000 exoplanets have been, according to report in cbc.ca, it’s rare to see one so early on in its formation.
Source: Hindustan Times

Astronomers Confirm The Earth-Sized Planet at Proxima Centauri Is Definitely There

Proxima Centauri b confirmed as nearest exoworld | Space | EarthSky

  • Using state-of-the-art astronomical instruments, an international team of researchers has confirmed the existence of Proxima b, an Earth-like planet that’s orbiting the closest star to our Solar System, Proxima Centauri.
  • “Confirming the existence of Proxima b was an important task, and it’s one of the most interesting planets known in the solar neighborhood,” Alejandro Suarez Mascareño, lead author of a paper about the research accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, said in a statement.
  • They found that Proxima b is 1.17 times the mass of Earth, smaller than the older estimate of 1.3 times. It orbits its star in just 11.2 days.
  • Nailing down the mass of a distant planet with such precision is “completely unheard of,” said 2019 Nobel Prizer winner Michel Mayor, who laid the groundwork for the technology that made the discovery possible, in the statement.
Source: Science Alert

IT Minister Launches National AI Portal of India- www.ai.gov.in

IT Minister Launches National Artificial Intelligence Portal of ...

  • On the occasion of the first anniversary of the second tenure of the government, the Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Law and Justice and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad launched India’s national Artificial Intelligence Portal called www.ai.gov.in
  • This portal has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and IT Industry. National e-Governance Division of Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM from the IT industry will jointly run this portal.
  • This portal shall work as a one stop digital platform for AI related developments in India, sharing of resources such as articles, startups, investment funds in AI, resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. The portal will also share documents, case studies, research reports etc. It has section about learning and new job roles related to AI.
Source: Ministry of Electronics & IT

Math model may help map Covid-19 trajectory in India

Viruses | What is microbiology? | Microbiology Society

  •  India will soon have a so-called super (mathematical) model for Covid-19 that can shed light on the likely trajectory of the pandemic in India, including details of when and where it is most likely to spread; its crests and troughs; and the number of ICU beds and ventilators that may be needed.
  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has started work on a Covid-19 “Indian National Supermodel” to help monitor the future transmission of infection, thus aiding decisions involving the readiness of the health system and other mitigation measures, the ministry of science and technology said on Saturday.
  • Numerous mathematical models for Covid-19 forecasting and surveillance are being worked out by investigators funded by DST-SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board) and other agencies.
Source: Hindustan Times
  • Ankur Gupta