A consortium of Indian scientists has submitted a proposal to the national space agency for a new space science mission called CMB Bharat. Let's break it down.What is CMB Bharat?According to Tarun Souradeep, a senior professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the proposal is for a "comprehensive next generation cosmic microwave… Continue reading Breaking down CMB Bharat
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has provided more details about its Gaganyaan programme, including new stages for its GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, through – of all things – a tender notice. Such surreptitiousness is par for the course for India’s spaceflight organisation, which has often done next to nothing to publicise even its… Continue reading ISRO’s amazing tender notice
Avi Loeb in his interview to the New Yorker:We don’t have as much data as I would like. Given the data that we have, I am putting this on the table, and it bothers people to even think about that, just like it bothered the Church in the days of Galileo to even think about… Continue reading Compare ideas with ideas
A Harvard astronomer believes that an interstellar object could possibly have originated from a civilization outside our solar system: https://t.co/qsLjVPGJy4 pic.twitter.com/x7jh3wnRDm— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) January 23, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I doubt the New Yorker thinks Harvard University is a big deal the same way many Indians do, but its persistence with Avi Loeb's ideas only… Continue reading The problem with claiming “it’s aliens”
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on at least three different designs of reusable launch vehicles at the same time.Together with its endeavours to increase the number of objectives per mission and deploy purpose-built rockets, it seems like ISRO wants to secure a competitive advantage as quickly as possible in all segments of… Continue reading Just how many reusable rocket designs is ISRO working on?
Pamela Philipose, the public editor of The Wire, raised an important question towards the end of her latest column:Sudhir Angadi wants to know why The Wire is “loaded with so much of negativity”. He wants a response to his question before he decides whether he will continue to read its content. Around the same time… Continue reading A close shave with the criticism question
The authors of a 2017 paper about why fake news spreads so fast have asked for it to be retracted because they've discovered a flaw in their analysis. This is commendable because it signals that scientists are embracing retractions as a legitimate part of the scientific process (which includes discovery, debate and publishing).Such an attitude… Continue reading Not all retracted papers are fake news – but then, which ones are?
About 300 million years ago, something happened. And the Moon was hit by meteorites twice to thrice as often after this period than before.The Solar System has always been a dangerous place for careless travellers. Out there are large clouds of dust, millions of rocks dislodged from ancient collisions, fragments of comets, meteors and asteroids,… Continue reading A sudden spike in meteor influx 290 Mya
On January 15, Harsh Vardhan, the Union science and technology minister, mulled renaming India's Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) as "Bharat Mata Mantralaya". (In Hindi, the ministry is currently called the 'Prithvi Vigyan Mantralaya'.)Vardhan was speaking at a function to mark the 144th foundation of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). He continued there would be… Continue reading An Earth sciences ministry
The world's largest particle physics laboratory has unveiled its design options for the Large Hadron Collider's successor – what is expected to be a 100-km long next generation 'supercollider'.The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) submitted the conceptual design report for what it is calling the Future Circular Collider (FCC). The FCC is expected to… Continue reading CERN’s next collider looks a bit like China’s