I feel so bad to hurt him

I am friendly with a boy in my class. He seems to be very serious about our relationship. But his friends and others who know him tell me that he is using me and he doesn’t really love me. When I asked him about it, he said he loves me a lot. At times, I think of quitting this relationship but I can’t, as I too love him, and feel so bad to hurt him. I don’t want to break his heart.

 Sounds like you're in a dilemma about whether you should listen to your boyfriend's friends and discontinue your relationship with this friend, or follow your own feelings. Right now, he seems to be like the moon as – you see his good side, others see him "a user".

Remember, there is no smoke without fire, and with many people - mostly 'his friends' warning you, it makes sense to speak to them directly or ask a trusted friend to do so on your behalf. Ask them what makes them think/say that he is using you. Observe his behaviour with others. Find out whatever you can; you owe it to yourself.

Reflect on whether your relationship with him is healthy. If you "feel bad when you hurt him", "don't want to break his heart", and "can't stop myself from loving him”, these could be signs of an unhealthy relationship. You can be caring and compassionate, but you are not responsible for his behaviour (thoughts, feelings, etc.); you can only be responsible for you. If you respect yourself and decide that a relationship needs to end if it is harmful to you even if you love him – it is your right! The choice has to be yours.

So even if you are continuing with the relationship, follow relationship safety rules, and take your time to commit. If he is genuine and isn't using you, time will surely tell; till then you will have taken steps to be safe.

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I’m not allowed to use social media

My parents do not allow me to use Facebook or Instagram, but girls my age and even younger use them. My friends tease me about not being on my social media sites. I feel embarrassed to admit that I’m not even suing WhatsApp! I’ve tried to convince them to let me use social media as I do well in my studies, but to no avail.

It seems like that you are not only embarrassed but also feel frustrated that you cannot convince your parents about letting you use social media.

Be clear about why you want to use social media; it will help you to manage how much time you want to spend on it and what you put on it. Do some research on the safe use of social media – creating strong passwords, who to befriend and who not to, how to block users, what kind of posts are safe to place. Create a chart of safety rules you will follow for each site you want to be on.

Acknowledge and appreciate your parents’ love for you, and their concern for your safety. Encourage them to share exactly what they are worried about. Seek permission to share with them the research you have done because you want to be responsible user. Sharing information can help both of you to learn about safe use of social media. If they don’t agree, be patient and continue to discuss it with them. If they agree, put up the rules chart in your home and stick with it. Let your parents monitor your use for a while till they are convinced that you are doing fine. Keep communicating with them. Keep their trust and stay safe.

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My grandfather is very depressed

A few months ago, my grandmother passed away, and since then my grandfather has been very depressed. I try to cheer him up and make him happy, but it seems like all the happiness has vanished from his life. My family and I give him a lot of support and love, but it seems as if we are intruding in his life.

You sound quite sad and at a loss about what to do for your grandfather though you are trying your best. Your grandmother’s passing away must be very difficult for your grandfather to bear because he spent many years with her. Naturally, he is full of grief. He needs the space and time to come to terms with his loss. Get him to meet your family doctor or a physician who can advise him on exercises and diet, and help monitor his health and mood progress. He might listen to the doctor more easily.

Your family can help him integrate with daily life as best as he can. Encourage him to talk about your grandmother and listen to his memories. Start engaging him in daily activities – such as laying the table, planning the menu, or organizing the shopping etc. You can be his buddy for some time. Get him to join a yoga class if possible. Perhaps your dad can join him for some time. Slowly encourage him to meet his friends/others of his age group, if there are any close by (with all due Covid protection measures). If your family can identify any reliable support groups where people who have lost their spouses can get together, you can encourage him to join.

Give him a couple of weeks; if he stills doesn’t show signs of coming out of this, seek help from a counselor/psychotherapist in person who will help him to deal with his grief.

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I don’t know what I’m good for!

I’m quite upset because I don’t know what I’m good at. At school, I never get good results despite studying hard. I don’t have any friends even though I try to be friendly with everyone. All the others have something they are good at and enjoy doing, but not me. I feel confused and lonely.

You seem quite depicted that despite trying hard, you don’t know what you’re good at, and don’t get good results or have any friends.

Be a patient with yourself. This is the age of changes and uncertainty. A good way to approach it would be to say, ‘Things aren’t working, so this is an opportunity to make changes!’ Reframe your problem from ‘I’m not good at…’ to ‘I want to know what I am good at; I want better results; I want good friends’. Focus on attitude + knowledge +skill building. Commit to what you do, and don’t give up. Even those who know their talents require coaching/training (knowledge), lots of practice (skill building) and discipline (attitude). Interest a Learning (Knowledge + Skill) a Enjoyment a Greater interest… This is a cycle.

For anything that you want to do/learn, if you focus on ‘how’ to do it and enjoy participating in the process of doing it, the results will come. We often focus on results, and lose the joy of participation. If you enjoy learning the guitar and put in the effort, you will become better at it quickly. Similarly for studies – setting study goals, studying in 25-minute slots daily, using study skills, and practicing through papers will lead to better results.

This applies to friendships, too. Use skills of listening and empathy, express interest in others, share your interests and build personal connections in addition to being ‘pleasant’.

Success is dedication to learn something despite challenges. Try it and you will go far!

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Where is moon tree?

Apollo 14 launched in the late afternoon of January 31, 1971 on what was to be our third trip to the lunar surface. Five days later Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the Moon while Stuart Roosa, a former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, orbited above in the command module. Packed in small containers in Roosa's personal kit were hundreds of tree seeds, part of a joint NASA/USFS project. Upon return to Earth, the seeds were germinated by the Forest Service. Known as the "Moon Trees", the resulting seedlings were planted throughout the United States (often as part of the nation's bicentennial in 1976) and the world. They stand as a tribute to astronaut Roosa and the Apollo program.

Stan Krugman collected the seeds and an attempt at germinating some of the seeds was made in Houston. Somewhat surprisingly, it proved successful and the seeds started growing, but they did not survive long because the facilities there were inadequate. A year later the remaining seeds were sent to the southern Forest Service station in Gulfport, Mississippi (sycamore, loblolly pine, and sweetgum) and to the western station in Placerville, California (redwood and Douglas fir) to attempt germination. Many of the seeds, and later cuttings, were successful and grew into viable seedlings. Some of these were planted with their Earth-bound counterparts as controls, (as might be expected, after over forty years there is no discernable difference) but most were given away in 1975 and 1976 to many state forestry organizations to be planted as part of the nation's bicentennial celebration. These trees were southern and western species, so not all states received trees. A loblolly pine was planted at the White House, and trees were planted in Brazil, Switzerland, and presented to the Emperor of Japan, among others. Trees have also been planted in Washington Square in Philadelphia, at Valley Forge, in the International Forest of Friendship, and at various universities and NASA centers. 

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What was the first veggie grown on the ISS?

The first vegetable grown and eaten on the International Space Station space was Outredgeous red romaine lettuce, in 2015. Bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed. 64 days to maturity on earth, 33 days in space, with intensely dark red, slightly ruffled leaves forming loose upright heads. 

The Veggie system was developed by Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and tested at Kennedy before flight. Veggie, along with two sets of pillows containing the romaine seeds and one set of zinnias, was delivered to the station on the third cargo resupply mission by SpaceX in April 2014.

The collapsible and expandable Veggie unit features a flat panel light bank that includes red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and crew observation. Using LED lights to grow plants was an idea that originated with NASA as far back as the late 1990s, according to Dr. Ray Wheeler, lead for Advanced Life Support activities in the Exploration Research and Technology Programs Office at Kennedy.

Wheeler worked with engineers and collaborators to help develop the Veggie unit from a Small Business Innovative Research project with ORBITEC. Dr. Gioia Massa is the NASA payload scientist for Veggie at Kennedy. Massa and others worked to get the flight unit developed and certified for use on the space station. The purple/pinkish hue surrounding the plants in Veggie is the result of a combination of the red and blue lights, which by design emit more light than the green LEDs. Green LEDS were added so the plants look like edible food rather than weird purple plants.

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Arabidopsis flowered and produced seeds in a Russian space station in 1982. What is the name of the station?

In 1982, the crew of the Soviet Salyut 7 space station conducted an experiment, prepared by Lithuanian scientists (Alfonsas Merkys and others), and grew some Arabidopsis using Fiton-3 experimental micro-greenhouse apparatus, thus becoming the first plants to flower and produce seeds in space.

Plant research continued on the International Space Station. Biomass Production System was used on the ISS Expedition 4. The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) system was later used aboard ISS. Plants tested in Veggie before going into space included lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes, Chinese cabbage and peas. Red Romaine lettuce was grown in space on Expedition 40 which were harvested when mature, frozen and tested back on Earth. Expedition 44 members became the first American astronauts to eat plants grown in space on 10 August 2015, when their crop of Red Romaine was harvested. Since 2003 Russian cosmonauts have been eating half of their crop while the other half goes towards further research. In 2012, a sunflower bloomed aboard the ISS under the care of NASA astronaut Donald Pettit. In January 2016, US astronauts announced that a zinnia had blossomed aboard the ISS.

In 2017 the Advanced Plant Habitat was designed for ISS, which was a nearly self-sustaining plant growth system for that space station in low Earth orbit. The system is installed in parallel with another plant grown system aboard the station, VEGGIE, and a major difference with that system is that APH is designed to need less upkeep by humans. APH is supported by the Plant Habitat Avionics Real-Time Manager. Some plants that were to be tested in APH include Dwarf Wheat and Arabidopsis. In December 2017 hundreds of seeds were delivered to ISS for growth in the VEGGIE system.

In 2018 the Veggie-3 experiment at the ISS, was tested with plant pillows and root mats. One of the goals is to grow food for crew consumption. Crops tested at this time include cabbage, lettuce, and mizuna. In 2018, the PONDS system for nutrient deliver in microgravity was tested.

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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins harvested which vegetable grown in the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) abroad the International Space Station in 2020?

Plant Habitat (APH) abroad the International Space Station in 2020?

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins harvested fresh radishes grown in space, opening new doors for producing food in microgravity to sustain future longer-term missions to the moon and Mars.

The radishes were grown in the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) aboard the International Space Station. NASA shared a time-lapse video of the radishes as they grew inside the APH over the course of 27 days. 

Radishes are the latest type of fresh produce to be successfully grown and harvested in microgravity, and were chosen for the Plant Habitat-02 (PH-02) experiment because the vegetable is well understood by scientists and reaches maturity in just 27 days. 

Radishes are also a viable test plant for future longer-term missions because they are edible and nutritious. The vegetable is genetically similar to Arabidopsis, which is a small flowering plant related to cabbage that has been studied frequently in microgravity, according to the NASA statement. 

Credit : Space.com

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Which is the densest and tiniest of stars and rotate around 60 times per second?

Neutron stars can rotate up to at least 60 times per second when born. If they are part of a binary system, they can increase this rotation rate through the accretion of material, to over 600 times per second! 

Neutron stars pack their mass inside a 20-kilometer (12.4 miles) diameter. They are so dense that a single teaspoon would weigh a billion tons — assuming you somehow managed to snag a sample without being captured by the body's strong gravitational pull. On average, gravity on a neutron star is 2 billion times stronger than gravity on Earth. In fact, it's strong enough to significantly bend radiation from the star in a process known as gravitational lensing, allowing astronomers to see some of the back side of the star.

The power from the supernova that birthed it gives the star an extremely quick rotation, causing it to spin several times in a second. Neutron stars can spin as fast as 43,000 times per minute, gradually slowing over time.

If a neutron star is part of a binary system that survived the deadly blast from its supernova (or if it captured a passing companion), things can get even more interesting. If the second star is less massive than the sun, it pulls mass from its companion into a Roche lobe, a balloon-like cloud of material that orbits the neutron star. Companion stars up to 10 times the sun's mass create similar mass transfers that are more unstable and don't last as long.

Stars more than 10 times as massive as the sun transfer material in the form of stellar wind. The material flows along the magnetic poles of the neutron star, creating X-ray pulsations as it is heated.

By 2010, approximately 1,800 pulsars had been identified through radio detection, with another 70 found by gamma-rays. Some pulsars even have planets orbiting them — and some may turn into planets.

Credit : Space.com

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Which is the only known short-period comet regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth?

Halley is the only known short-period comet that is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that can appear twice in a human lifetime. Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.

The comet is named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, who examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607 and 1682. He concluded that these three comets were actually the same comet returning over and over again, and predicted the comet would come again in 1758.

Halley didn't live to see the comet's return, but his discovery led to the comet being named after him. (The traditional pronunciation of the name usually rhymes with valley.) Halley's calculations showed that at least some comets orbit the sun.

Further, the first Halley's Comet of the space age — in 1986 — saw several spacecraft approach its vicinity to sample its composition. High-powered telescopes also observed the comet as it swung by Earth.

Credit : Space.com

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Which asteroid and dwarf planet located between Mars and Jupiter?

Dwarf planet Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and it's the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system. It was the first member of the asteroid belt to be discovered when Giuseppe Piazzi spotted it in 1801.

Although it—and the next two asteroids discovered, Pallas and Juno—is located near the distance predicted by Bode’s law for the “missing” planet between Mars and Jupiter, most asteroids found subsequently are not so located, and so the agreement with that “law” appears to be coincidental.

Ceres’ shape and density are consistent with a two-layer model of a rocky core surrounded by a thick ice mantle. Ceres rotates once in 9.1 hours. Compositionally, the asteroid’s surface resembles the carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Water vapour, the first detected in the asteroid belt, escapes into space when Ceres is closest to the Sun.

Ceres was designated a dwarf planet, a new category of solar system objects defined in August 2006 by the International Astronomical Union. (For a discussion of that decision, see planet.) The U.S. space probe Dawn studied the dwarf planet from March 2015 to November 2018. Dawn observed two very bright spots, Cerealia Facula and Vinalia Faculae, in Occator crater on Ceres.

Credit : Britannica

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In the “Harry Potter” series, what are the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Invisibility Cloak collectively known as?

The title of the book refers to three mythical objects featured in the story, collectively known as the "Deathly Hallows"—an unbeatable wand (the Elder Wand), a stone to bring the dead to life (the Resurrection Stone), and a cloak of invisibility. 

Harry Potter possessed all three Hallows andaccepted his own death. First, he inherited the Cloak ofInvisibility from his father, James. Then, he inherited theResurrection Stone from Dumbledore, which was inside a snitch.Finally, he won the Elder Wand from Draco Malfoy during the escapefrom Malfoy Manor.

The title of the book refers to three mythical objectsfeatured in the story, collectively known as the "DeathlyHallows"—an unbeatable wand, a stone to bring the dead tolife, and a cloak of invisibility. Shortly before releasing thetitle, J. K. Rowling announced that she had considered three titlesfor the book.

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How many moons does Pluto have?

Pluto has 5 moons. The largest, Charon, is so big that Pluto and Charon orbit each other like a double planet.

Pluto's highly elliptical orbit can take it more than 49 times as far out from the sun as Earth. Since the dwarf planet's orbit is so eccentric, or far from circular, Pluto's distance from the sun can vary considerably. The dwarf planet actually gets closer to the sun than Neptune is for 20 years out of Pluto's 248-Earth-years-long orbit, providing astronomers a rare chance to study this small, cold, distant world.

As a result of that orbit, after 20 years as the eighth planet (in order going out from the sun), in 1999, Pluto crossed Neptune's orbit to become the farthest planet from the sun (until it was demoted to the status of dwarf planet).

When Pluto is closer to the sun, its surface ices thaw and temporarily form a thin atmosphere, consisting mostly of nitrogen, with some methane. Pluto's low gravity, which is a little more than one-twentieth that of Earth's, causes this atmosphere to extend much higher in altitude than Earth's. When traveling farther away from the sun, most of Pluto's atmosphere is thought to freeze and all but disappear. Still, in the time that it does have an atmosphere, Pluto can apparently experience strong winds. The atmosphere also has brightness variations that could be explained by gravity waves, or air flowing over mountains.

Credit : Space.com

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Which was the first planet discovered through mathematical calculations, rather than observation?

Neptune was the first planet to be discovered by using mathematics. After the discovery of Uranus in 1781, astronomers noticed that the planet was being pulled slightly out of its normal orbit. 

In retrospect, after it was discovered, it turned out it had been observed many times before but not recognized, and there were others who made various calculations about its location which did not lead to its observation. By 1847, the planet Uranus had completed nearly one full orbit since its discovery by William Herschel in 1781, and astronomers had detected a series of irregularities in its path that could not be entirely explained by Newton's law of universal gravitation. These irregularities could, however, be resolved if the gravity of a farther, unknown planet were disturbing its path around the Sun. In 1845, astronomers Urbain Le Verrier in Paris and John Couch Adams in Cambridge separately began calculations to determine the nature and position of such a planet. Le Verrier's success also led to a tense international dispute over priority, because shortly after the discovery George Airy, at the time British Astronomer Royal, announced that Adams had also predicted the discovery of the planet. Nevertheless, the Royal Society awarded Le Verrier the Copley medal in 1846 for his achievement, without mention of Adams. The Royal Society, however, also awarded Adams the Copley medal in 1848.

The discovery of Neptune led to the discovery of its moon, Triton, by William Lassell just seventeen days later.

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Which moon is the most volcanically active body in our solar system?

The moon Io is the most volcanically active world in the solar system. Io even has lakes of molten silicate lava on its surface.

However, Io is a very tiny moon that is enormously influenced by the gravity of the giant planet Jupiter. The gravitational attraction of Jupiter and its other moons exert such strong "pulls" on Io that it deforms continuously from strong internal tides. These tides produce a tremendous amount of internal friction. This friction heats the moon and enables the intense volcanic activity.

Io has hundreds of visible volcanic vents, some of which blast jets of frozen vapor and "volcanic snow" hundreds of miles high into its atmosphere. These gases could be the sole product of these eruptions, or there could be some associated silicate rock or molten sulfur present. The areas around these vents show evidence that they have been "resurfaced" with a flat layer of new material. These resurfaced areas are the dominant surface feature of Io. The very small number of impact craters on these surfaces, compared to other bodies in the solar system, is evidence of Io's continuous volcanic activity and resurfacing.

Credit : Geology.com

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