Image: Imaginative illustration of Kepler 93b’s diameter being measured. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Using both the Kepler and the Spitzer space telescopes, scientists from NASA have made the most precise measurement of an exoplanet’s radius yet. Kepler 93b, which orbits a dim star 300 ly away, has a diameter of 18,800 km, give or take 240 km.…… Continue reading Accurate measurement of exoplanet radius
Curious Bends is a weekly newsletter about science, tech., data and India. Akshat Rathi and I curate it. You can subscribe to it here. If have feedback, suggestions, or would just generally like to get in touch, just email us. 1. Poor children deserve better hearing tests; an Indian entrepreneur may have the solution An…… Continue reading Hearing test, radiation-resistant cells, sign language and more
Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. What’s a haboob? American biologists tracked ____ ______ over 15 years. On July 25, they announced that their…… Continue reading Science Quiz – July 28, 2014
I’ve been most fascinated lately by studies of planet formation. Every small detail is like that one letter in the crossword you need to fill all the other boxes in, every discovery a cornerstone that holds together a unique piece of the universe. For example, using just the find that the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b has a very short day of eight hours, astronomers could speculate on how it was formed, what its density could be, and how heavy it could get over time. And it isn’t surprising if a similar tale awaits telling by Kepler 421b.
In 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi asked a question not many could forget for a long time: “Where is everybody?” He was referring to the notion that, given the age and size of the universe, advanced civilizations ought to have arisen in many parts of it. But if they had, then where are their space probes and…… Continue reading What life on Earth tells us about life ‘elsewhere’