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The findings mark the first time NASA scientists have confirmed by direct observation the presence of water on the Moon's surface.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has a vision for renewed and “sustainable” human exploration of the moon, and he cites the existence of water on the lunar surface as a key to chances for success.

“We know that there’s hundreds of billions of tons of water ice on the surface of the moon,” Bridenstine said in a Reuters TV interview in Washington on Tuesday, a day after NASA unveiled its analysis of data collected from lunar orbit by a spacecraft from India.

The findings, published on Monday, mark the first time scientists have confirmed by direct observation the presence of water on the moon’s surface – in hundreds of patches of ice deposited in the darkest and coldest reaches of its polar regions. The discovery holds tantalizing implications for efforts to return humans to the moon for the first time in half a century. The presence of water offers a potentially valuable resource not only for drinking but for producing more rocket fuel and oxygen to breathe.

Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Oklahoma congressman tapped by President Donald Trump in April as NASA chief, spoke about “hundreds of billions of tons” of water ice that he said were now known to be available on the lunar surface. But much remains to be learned. NASA lunar scientist Sarah Noble told Reuters separately by phone that it is still unknown how much ice is actually present on the moon and how easy it would be to extract in sufficient quantities to be of practical use.

“We have lots of models that give us different answers. We can’t know how much water there is,” she said, adding that it will ultimately take surface exploration by robotic landers or rovers, in more than one place, to find out.

Also Read: Optimistic about Mars Opportunity rover, says NASA

Most of the newly confirmed frozen water is concentrated in the shadows of craters at both poles, where the temperature never rises higher than minus-250 degrees Fahrenheit.


Although the moon was long believed to be entirely dry or nearly devoid of moisture, scientists have found increasing evidence in recent years that water exists there. A NASA rocket sent crashing into a permanently shadowed lunar crater near the moon’s south pole in 2009 kicked up a plume of material from beneath the surface that included water.

A study published the following year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that water is likely widespread within the moon’s rocky interior, in concentrations ranging from 64 parts per billion to five parts per million. Bridenstine spoke to Reuters about making the next generation of lunar exploration a “sustainable enterprise,” using rockets and other space vehicles that could be used again and again.

Also Read: NASA’s InSight spacecraft crosses halfway mark to Mars

“So we want tugs that go from Earth orbit to lunar orbit to be reusable. We want a space station around the moon to be there for a very long period of time, and we want landers that go back and forth between the space station around the moon and the surface of the moon,” Bridenstine said.

NASA’s previous program of human moon exploration ended with the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Trump last December announced a goal of sending American astronauts back to the moon, with the ultimate goal of establishing “a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars.” The Trump administration’s $19.9 billion budget proposal for NASA for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 includes $10.5 billion for human space exploration.

Also Read: NASA tracks monsoon rains behind Kerala floods

The budget supports development of NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft designed to carry a crew into space. The administration envisioned a SLS/Orion test flight around the moon without a crew in 2020, followed by a fly-around mission with a crew in 2023. As part of the budget proposal, NASA also is planning to build the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway – a space station in moon orbit – in the 2020s. NASA said the power and propulsion unit, its initial component, is targeted to launch in 2022. In May, NASA canceled a lunar rover that was under development, a project envisioned as the first mission to conduct mining somewhere other than Earth.

Courtesy - Indian Express


Saving may not be a high priority when you’ve just started working, but when it comes to saving and investing, it’s always better to start early.

Started a new job? Doesn’t the money just seem to disappear at the end of every month? Savings may not be a high priority when you’ve just started working, but when it comes to saving and investing, it’s always better to start early. And it’s best to start no matter how much you earn.

Take a look at few smart moves that can help you save money:

Make a budget

One common challenge that people face is controlling overspending and setting aside enough funds for savings. The key here is to save first, and then use the rest on other expenses. Divide your monthly income in a 70:30 ratio to allocate sufficient money for expenditure and savings. This will help you save in a disciplined manner. Budgeting for a few months will help you assess your expenses, understand your spending pattern and indicate where you are going overboard. You can review it from time to time to make changes.

Set goals and invest

Saving money without mapping it to a goal might not fetch effective returns at the right time. It’s better to list your important goals and then work towards achieving them. Have a time frame in mind, and figure which investment options best fit your goals. If you wish to buy a house in 10 years, opt for an equity mutual fund, or Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), to earn over 12 per cent returns in the long run. Estimate the amount of money you need at the end of the term to fulfil each dream, and calculate how much you would have to set aside every month to get there. Don’t forget to factor in inflation when you calculate the amount.

Start SIPs

For long term goals such as retirement, you can start setting aside an amount as per your capacity and invest in mutual fund SIPs. Remember it’s never early to start. The longer the investment tenure, the bigger the fund you can accumulate. So even if you start with just Rs 2000 a month, you would be building a corpus worth Rs 70.6 lakh in 30 years if you were to get interest at 12 per cent a year. The amount you would have invested over that time would be Rs 7.2 lakh. And, SIPs allow you to start with an amount as small as Rs 500 per month. You can always increase your contribution once your income goes up.
Unlike the stock market, you don’t need to time the market here. The risk associated due to market fluctuations in mutual fund SIPs is mitigated in the long run through rupee-cost averaging.

Buy health insurance

This is not an investment, but much needed to protect you if you were to face a health emergency. Healthcare is expensive and you might be pressed for money to cover such expenses out of your pocket during medical emergencies. While you might be fit at this age and can ignore the need for insurance, emergencies occur without warning and you need to prepared to tackle it effectively. Also, the premium cost is lower at a younger age. Health insurance premiums offer you the additional benefit of tax saving under Section 80 (D).

Create an emergency fund

This one is for additional protection against unforeseen circumstances such as job loss, accident, any severe illness etc. In case of contingencies like these, an emergency fund works as an alternative source of income and will take care of your bills and rent payment, cover your insurance premiums and take care of your day-to-day expenses. The last thing you want to do at a time like this is borrow from as it will only increase your financial burden. You can prepare for such unforeseen circumstances by setting aside an amount every month to build a fund worth six months to 1 year of your income. You must keep this money in a liquid fund which can be easily accessed.

Courtesy - Indian Express

From attraction to strong love, 

Every Relationship Has These Five Stages: If You Are Really In Love Then Only You Cross The Third One

As lovebirds, people never prefer stirring up anything that is confounded. But when it comes to love,  who can fight the temptation to simply fall into it? Love is an excellent inclination which comes in stages. There are fundamentally 5 phases of affection; however, a great many people are stuck with organizing three only. How about we discover why! Love is a feeling that a significant portion of us long for. It occurs with the most unforeseen person, and no more surprising time. The sentiment of adoration has no correlations; it is extreme ecstasy! Love is something that draws out the best in a man. Come, how about we experience the five phases of affection. Hang tight, don't surrender here at any rate before achieving the fifth stage. 

Courtesy - Indian Express


Here are some quick, easy-to-make, tasty snacks that won’t cause you to pack on the pounds.

There are times when our body behaves rather funnily – it craves for food right before bedtime. Most people end up indulging themselves, even if they know that the idea of a late night snack is not good news for their waistline. As a cure to your hunger pangs, here are some foods that can tuck all your worries away.

Easy to make, filling and full of crunch, this light weight snack is the best thing to toss in your mouth to calm your hunger pangs.

A fistful of these nuts are enough to fill your grumbling stomach in the middle of the night. Packed with good carbs and proteins, pistachios are a great choice for a light night snack.

If you’re in the mood for something plain and light, pick up a bowl of yogurt. You can top it with some nuts, granola or cereals for that extra crunch. Apparently, yogurt, which is a good source of protein is also a sleep inducer.

Easy to find, cheap, and a fruit that (maybe) no one hates, bananas make for a healthy option if you are hungry and pining for some food. You can churn it into a banana smoothie or whip up a banana shake (with little or no sugar) if you are willing to make that effort.

Whole grain crackers
Whole grain crackers are easily available in the market these days. These crispy snacks topped with some cheese or fruit preserve can be tweaked to savoury or sweet options, as one may like.

Mixed with curd or milk, it is an option that not only makes for a great breakfast snack but also is a great midnight snack. Filling, and full of nutrition, it is also something that is very easy to put together.

So, what are you going to pick next time you’re hit by hunger pangs in the middle of the night?

Courtesy - Indian Express

For many, streaming their suicide online is a ‘cry for help’. However, when people assume that someone else will take the initiative to stop the act and don't do anything, it breaks down the victim's trust furthermore and adds to their helplessness.

“No one believed when I said I will kill myself – so watch this,” said 22-year-old Erdogan on camera before he shot himself. About 37 seconds into the four-minute video clip, the gun went off and the camera went black. This was in 2016 when Facebook had introduced their ‘Live Streaming’ button.

Since then, there have been many who committed suicide before a live audience. The most recent incident was much closer to home. Amit, a Gurgaon resident, hung himself after a row with his wife. He streamed the whole act live on Facebook.

“By live streaming suicide, a person tends to rationalise and justify his actions to a wide audience on why he is doing what he is doing. In many instances, we have seen a confession preceding the actual act, where the person shares how he was harassed or broken,” says Dr Sandeep Vohra.

In some cases, the act has been demonstrated in front of an individual who is directly or indirectly the cause, like a boyfriend or a family member.

In a video that had gone viral in February this year, Gurtej Singh Dhillon, a 35-year-old man in Punjab, shot himself. Before shooting himself, he went live on Facebook and claimed that his uncle had cheated his father of his share in the family property and the administration had also refused him help. He asked for a judicial probe before trying to kill himself. In a similar instance, an 18-year-old West Bengal woman hung herself on the ceiling and reportedly streamed the incident on Facebook to her boyfriend who was watching it live.

“In a way, a person is trying to fix the responsibility subconsciously on the viewer that the person responsible for them taking the step is either brought to justice or understands that they are responsible for driving them to commit the act,” adds Dr Vohra.

When a 24-year-old youth in Agra committed suicide in July this year, about 2,750 users went online to watch the live stream on Facebook. Shockingly, not even one of them reported the matter to the police or the victim’s family.

“It is called the ‘bystander effect’ when the viewer assumes that some other viewer may take the initiative and ends up just being the viewer,” explains Ms Akanksha Pandey, consultant clinical Psychology, Fortis Hospital Bangalore. ”It can also be termed as ‘mob mentality’ when a person goes into acute stress and does not know how to react,” adds Dr Parul Tank, consultant psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund.

For many, streaming their suicide online is a ‘cry for help’. However, when people assume that someone else will take the initiative to stop the act and don’t do anything, it breaks down the victim’s trust furthermore and adds to their helplessness. ”Live streaming suicidal act could be their way of showing anger or sadness resulting from extreme helplessness and hopelessness,” says Ms Pandey.

To help the victim is such a scenario, Dr Vohra advises engaging the person in a conversation about his loved ones or sharing a positive anecdote about life. ”One can also share spiritual wisdom while talking to such a person.”

Courtesy - Indian Express

A study from the University of California, Berkeley says sleep problems are related to loneliness; sleep deprivation apparently makes people more lonely. In order to arrive at the result, 18 young adults were tested in two different scenarios.

Finding it difficult to sleep is a problem faced by many. But did you know that sleep deprivation might be a reason why you feel more lonely? A study from the University of California, Berkeley as quoted in a report in The Guardian says sleep problems are related to loneliness; sleep deprivation apparently makes people more lonely.

In order to arrive at the result, 18 young adults were tested in two different scenarios after they had an interrupted sleep and after they slept soundly. Then a video clip was recorded where the degree of separation they want from another person was recorded. It was found out that when sleep deprived they kept others at a distance up to 60 percent back.

In another experiment, around 1,000 people were asked to rate photographs— that included some who were sleep deprived— to judge who appeared more socially attractive. Photos of those who did not get enough sleep ranked the lowest. It was deduced by researchers that alienation generated out of sleep-deprivation can “trigger the transmission of loneliness”

“We humans are a social species. Yet sleep deprivation can turn us into social lepers…The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact. In turn, other people perceive you as more socially repulsive, further increasing the grave social-isolation impact of sleep loss. That vicious cycle may be a significant contributing factor to the public health crisis that is loneliness,” says Matthew Walker, senior author of the study.

Loneliness is turning out to be a social epidemic and it is about time we deal with it head on.

Courtesy - Indian Express


The Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) satellite is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 15.

NASA is launching a laser-armed satellite next month that will measure — in unprecedented detail — changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice to understand what is causing ice sheets to melt fast. In recent years, contributions of melt from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica alone have raised global sea level by more than a millimeter a year, accounting for approximately one-third of observed sea level rise, and the rate is increasing.

Called the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), the mission is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 15, NASA said in a statement late on Thursday. ICESat-2 will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.

“The new observational technologies of ICESat-2 will advance our knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise,” said Michael Freilich, Director of the Earth Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Also Read: NASA launches two virtual reality apps: Allows users to take selfies in cosmic locations

ICESat-2 will improve upon NASA’s 15-year record of monitoring the change in polar ice heights. It started in 2003 with the first ICESat mission and continued in 2009 with NASA’s Operation IceBridge, an airborne research campaign that kept track of the accelerating rate of change. ICESat-2’s Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.

“ATLAS required us to develop new technologies to get the measurements needed by scientists to advance the research,” said Doug McLennan, ICESat-2 Project Manager. “That meant we had to engineer a satellite instrument that not only will collect incredibly precise data, but also will collect more than 250 times as many height measurements as its predecessor,” he added.

Also Read: NASA chief excited about prospects for exploiting water on Moon

ATLAS will fire 10,000 times each second, sending hundreds of trillions of photons to the ground in six beams of green light. With so many photons returning from multiple beams, ICESat-2 will get a much more detailed view of the ice surface than its predecessor. As it circles Earth from pole to pole, ICESat-2 will measure ice heights along the same path in the polar regions four times a year, providing seasonal and annual monitoring of ice elevation changes. Beyond the poles, ICESat-2 will also measure the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests.

Courtesy - Indian Express


In the Southern Ocean region, carbon atoms move between rocks, rivers, plants, oceans and other sources in a planet-scale life cycle.

The open water nearest to the sea ice surrounding Antarctica releases significantly more carbon dioxide in winter than previously believed, showed a study conducted using an array of robotic floats. The robotic floats diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around the southernmost continent made it possible to gather data during the peak of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter from a place that remains poorly studied, despite its role in regulating the global climate.

“These results came as a really big surprise, because previous studies found that the Southern Ocean was absorbing a lot of carbon dioxide,” said lead author Alison Gray, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.

In the Southern Ocean region, carbon atoms move between rocks, rivers, plants, oceans and other sources in a planet-scale life cycle. It is also among the world’s most turbulent bodies of water, which makes obtaining data extremely difficult. According to the study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the floating instruments collected the new observations. The instruments dive down to 1 km and float with the currents for nine days.

Next, they drop even farther, to 2 km, and then rise back to the surface while measuring water properties. After surfacing they beam their observations back to shore via satellite. Unlike more common Argo floats, which only measure ocean temperature and salinity, the robotic floats also monitor dissolved oxygen, nitrogen and pH — the relative acidity of water.

The study analysed data collected by 35 floats between 2014 and 2017. The team used the pH measurements to calculate the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide, and then uses that to figure out how strongly the water is absorbing or emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Courtesy - Indian Express


Contrary to popular claim, e-cigarettes are not safe. According to a study, they may be safer in terms of the cancer risk, but they can damage immunity, disable lung cells and cause inflammation.

Vaping or smoking e-cigarettes has been found to be a harmful practice. According to a study, it can damage immunity, disable cells in the lungs and cause inflammation, a BBC report says. The study was led by professor David Thickett at the University of Birmingham and has been published online in the journal Thorax. Contrary to popular claim, e-cigarettes are not safe.

In order to arrive at the conclusion, researchers devised a mechanical device that mimicked vaping at the laboratory. Lung tissue samples provided by non-smokers were used to carry out the experiment. It was found that the vapour led to inflammation and damaged activity of alveolar macrophages — cells that aid in removing dust particles, allergens and bacteria. It was concluded that further research was needed to get a better understanding of the health impact of vaping as the study was carried out within the confines of the laboratory.

Thickett said, “I don’t believe e-cigarettes are more harmful than ordinary cigarettes. But we should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe. They are safer in terms of cancer risk – but if you vape for 20 or 30 years, it can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” Thickett was quoted saying, according to a report in The Sun.

Public Health England, however, considers vaping safer than traditional cigarettes. It believed that e-cigarettes can help one overcome the habit of smoking and should be allowed on prescription.


Courtesy - Indian Express

Eating broccoli, kale and cabbage can help in reducing the risk of bowel cancer. According to research, an anti-cancer chemical known as Indole-3-carbinol is produced when the vegetable is digested.

Eating vegetables has always been considered a healthy practice but now, there seems to be more reasons than one to include them in your diet. It has been discovered that vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage can help in reducing the risk of bowel cancer.

Benefits of the coniferous vegetable was deduced by a team of researchers at Francis Crick Institute, London. According to a report in BBC, they found that anti-cancer chemicals are produced when the vegetable is digested. The group was basically trying to find how eating vegetables can change the lining of the intestines.

According to them, a chemical known as Indole-3-carbinol is produced when you chew these vegetables. Acid in the stomach leads to changes in the chemical later and also helps in controlling the stem cells that generate bowel lining. “Make sure they’re not overcooked, no soggy broccoli,” said Dr Gitta Stockinger.

Much like the skin, the surface of the bowels also constantly regenerates. The process takes four to five days. However, it needs to be kept in check and controlled as it can lead to gut inflammation or cancer. The work that was published in Immunity revealed that the chemicals found in the coniferous vegetables are important in the process.

Courtesy - Indian Express


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