Why is Jupiter so massive?

The largest planet in the solar system, the gas giant Jupiter is approximately 318 times as massive as Earth. If the mass of all of the other planets in the solar system were combined into one "super planet," Jupiter would still be two and a half times as large.

Jupiter has a mean radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), about a tenth that of the sun. However, its rapid rotation — it spins once every 9.8 hours — causes it to bulge at the equator, where the diameter is 88,846 miles (142,984 km). In contrast, the diameter at the poles is only 83,082 miles (133,708 km). This stretched shape is known as an oblate spheroid.

If you were to walk around the equator of Jupiter, you would travel 272,946 miles (439,264 km), over 10 times the distance around Earth's center line.

Because Jupiter is made of gas, mostly, its surface is considered uniform. As such, it lacks high and low points — mountains and valleys — such as those found on rocky terrestrial planets.

Credit : Space.com

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Which planet is the closest to Earth?

What’s the closest planet to our own? Common sense would say the answer is either Mars or Venus, our next door neighbors. Of the two, Venus comes closer to the Earth than any other planet and its orbit is closest to ours. But as an article in Physics Today points out, over half the time Venus is not the nearest planet; Mercury is. In fact, the scientists behind the article crunched the numbers and found that on average, Mercury is the closest planet not only to Earth but to every other planet in the solar system as well.

The scientists developed a simulation of our solar system featuring all of the planets moving in their orbits. They let the planets orbit for thousands of simulated years, all the while calculating the distance between any two of them. The scientists then averaged those values together to find which planets are the closest to each other over time.

Surprisingly, they found that Mercury was the closest planet to all seven other planets. This might seem impossible, but it makes sense if you realize that every planet spends about half its time on the opposite side of the Sun. In Earth’s case, while Venus does get very close to Earth it also spends plenty of time very, very far away.

This is a very different way to calculate the ‘closest planet’ than most people use; typically, the distance from one planet to another is taken to mean the distance between the two planets’ orbits. But this result shows there’s more than one way to define our closest neighbor.

Credit : Physics Today 

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Which is the largest ever crewed object in space?

The heaviest artificial objects to reach space include space stations, various upper stages, and discarded Space Shuttle external tanks. Spacecraft may change mass over time such as by use of propellant.

Currently the heaviest spacecraft is the International Space Station, nearly double Shuttle-Mir's mass in orbit. It began assembly with a first launch in 1998, however it only attained its full weight in the 2020s, due to its modular nature and gradual additions. Its mass can change significantly depending on what modules are added or removed.

The ISS was originally intended to be a laboratory, observatory, and factory while providing transportation, maintenance, and a low Earth orbit staging base for possible future missions to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. However, not all of the uses envisioned in the initial memorandum of understanding between NASA and Roscosmos have been realised. In the 2010 United States National Space Policy, the ISS was given additional roles of serving commercial, diplomatic, and educational purposes.

The ISS provides a platform to conduct scientific research, with power, data, cooling, and crew available to support experiments. Small uncrewed spacecraft can also provide platforms for experiments, especially those involving zero gravity and exposure to space, but space stations offer a long-term environment where studies can be performed potentially for decades, combined with ready access by human researchers.

The ISS simplifies individual experiments by allowing groups of experiments to share the same launches and crew time. Research is conducted in a wide variety of fields, including astrobiology, astronomy, physical sciences, materials science, space weather, meteorology, and human research including space medicine and the life sciences. Scientists on Earth have timely access to the data and can suggest experimental modifications to the crew. If follow-on experiments are necessary, the routinely scheduled launches of resupply craft allows new hardware to be launched with relative ease. Crews fly expeditions of several months' duration, providing approximately 160 person-hours per week of labour with a crew of six. However, a considerable amount of crew time is taken up by station maintenance.

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Where is Olympus Mons?

Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system. The massive Martian mountain towers high above the surrounding plains of the red planet, and may be biding its time until the next eruption.

Found in the Tharsis Montes region near the Martian equator, Olympus Mons is one of a dozen large volcanoes, many of which are ten to a hundred times taller than their terrestrial counterparts. The tallest of them all towers 16 miles (25 kilometers) above the surrounding plains and stretches across 374 miles (624 km) — roughly the size of the state of Arizona.

In comparison, Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the tallest volcano on Earth, rises 6.3 miles (10 km) above the sea floor (but its peak is only 2.6 miles above sea level). The volume contained by Olympus Mons is about a hundred times that of Mauna Loa, and the Hawaiian island chain that houses the Earthly volcano could fit inside its Martian counterpart.

Olympus Mons rises three times higher than Earth's highest mountain, Mount Everest, whose peak is 5.5 miles above sea level. 

Credit : Space.com

Picture Credit : Google

What is the temperature in the void of space?

It depends on which part of the space we are talking about. In general, it works like this: the closer to the stars, the higher the temperature. Another factor that weighs is the presence of matter: heat can be retained by it. As space becomes empty, temperature drops. In a vacuum (absence of matter), the temperature drops to 2.7 Kelvin or -270.45 Celsius. Only a few degrees above absolute zero (-273.15 °C).

There is no place colder than space. It has a lot of empty regions distant from heated bodies. The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -89.2 ºC, in Antarctica. In interstellar space, where there is no absolute void (there are gases and dust grains), the temperature varies.

At the Earth’s thermosphere, where the atmosphere turns into space, the exact temperature can also vary substantially. However, the average temperature above 300 km is about 427 degrees Celsius at solar minimum and 927 degrees Celsius at solar maximum. But this does not mean that the space above the atmosphere is at this temperature. In fact, it is very cold. Only a body in this region that is illuminated by the sun can reach this temperature. In the dark areas of space, temperatures would drop a lot.

On the Moon, which has no atmosphere, temperatures vary a lot. When sunlight reaches the moon’s surface, the temperature can reach 127 degrees Celsius. However, when the sun goes down, temperatures can drop to – 173 degrees Celsius.

Credit : Curiosity Guide 

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Is a career in UI/UX design on your mind?

As brands go heavily digital, UI /UX has become a lucrative career option for many. UI (User Interface) design and UX (User Experience) design are terms often confused in web and app design, and when viewed from the surface they seem to be the same thing.

However, UX is about going a layer deeper into understanding the needs of the user, the problems that need to be solved via design, what information needs to be presented to the user, and in what order U I design is the next step after UX design, which enables designers to decide how the information should be presented to the end-user. It is simply the graphical layout of an application that consists of the buttons users should click on, the text they read, the images, and all the items a user directly interacts with.

Skills required

To be successful in this field, it is necessary to have the foundations correct. These also include knowing essential designing software such as Photoshop and illustrator. With interaction design in UX/UI becoming more popular, the need to diversify skills also becomes equally important. Some of the necessary skills are:

  • UX research: It is very important for a UX designer to be good at UX research. Many of the decisions that Uxers make are meticulously thought out studied, and researched.
  • Collaboration: For Uxers, it is very important to know how to collaborate with others in the design process in order to be successful. Collaboration not only gives an opportunity to work in other areas but also helps a person communicate more efficiently with clients and stakeholders to ensure the resulting product meets both business goals and user expectations.
  • Wireframing and UI Prototyping: App prototyping is a great way to understand key functionality of designs before it is built by developers. Using a prototyping tool can be a great way to impact investment too. They allow designers to test those assumptions they arrived at from their user research, and then validate them with subsequent user testing.
  • UX writing: One of the important areas this skill covers is information architecture, which determines the order in which that content is displayed to users UX writing also deals with creating copy that really speaks to users’ mental models and helps them understand the product better.
  • User empathy: When designers understand someone's problems, they're well equipped to finding a solution to the problems.

A few responsibilities

  • Apart from using the skills mentioned above, a UI/UX designer will have the following responsibilities.
  • Creating user-centered designs by understanding business requirements, and user feedback
  • Translating requirements into style guides, design systems, design patterns, and attractive user interfaces
  • Designing UI elements such as input controls, navigational components, and informational components
  • Creating original graphic designs such as images, sketches, and tables
  • Identifying and troubleshooting UX problems
  • Incorporating customer feedback, usage metrics, and usability findings into design in order to enhance user experience

Job potential

Globally, numerous tech companies hire UI/UX designers. Besides, qualified UI /UX designers can list themselves on various freelancing websites and work with international clients too.

The job has immense scope and opportunity for advancement. Any typical UX designer might start off in a junior product design role and may eventually even move up to become Head of Design.

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How do you start creative writing?

Writing corner

Creating your own writing space motivates you to write regularly. Preferably, keep your writing space away from the place where you do your school work. It could be an entire room or just a cozy nook close to the window. Decorate it with quotes from your favourite authors and books. Keep some snacks to munch on. Did you know Roald Dahl wrote from a hut in his garden?

Look around you for inspiration

The key to good writing is choosing an interesting subject. You can look around you for inspiration - your home, neighbourhood, family and the people you meet. According to author Jeffrey Archer, it is better to write what you know and have experienced. Once you stumble upon an idea, ask yourself would you pick up a book on this topic or story in a book store? If you don't find the subject exciting, your readers won't either.

Expand your vocabulary

Avoiding cliches and overused words can help enhance your writing. But that's only possible if you have a rich vocabulary. And the only way you can build your vocabulary is by cultivating a reading habit. Reading more will not only introduce you to new and wonderful words but also teach you about different writing styles and hone your grammar.

Catchy intro

When writing an essay or a story, the intro or opening sentence is the most important. It is what will hook the reader to your piece. So make sure it is catchy and creative. The intro should kindle readers curiosity and make them want to read more.

Literary devices

Literary devices can help elevate a story. They are used by writers to convey deeper meanings about the plot, the characters and the theme. There are at least 22 literary devices in the English language-alliteration, personification, satire, symbolism and oxymoron to name a few. Author Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" is a classic example of the literary device known as foreshadowing: while J.K. Rowling uses the narrative device of a backstory perfectly in her "Harry Potter" books. Next time you read these books, pay special attention to these devices and see how they are used.

Keep it smart

The one cliché that you must follow in your creative writing is to keep your work short and simple. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs. Writing long sentences might make you feel like an accomplished writer, but they can be difficult to read. Your sentences and paragraphs should not sound contrived.

The art of description

Visualise the scene and characters in your head and then translate that into words. Write in such a manner that your reader too can picture the characters clearly in their mind. The best way to do this is to be descriptive and be specific. For example, if the character is taking a walk in the park, write about the types of trees around her, the colour of the leaves, the breeze, the sound her shoes make on the pavement, etc. These details will transport the reader into the character's world and enhance their reading experience.

Plan, revise and reread

Once you have decided on your subject, you can move on to sketching the plot and characters. Planning is everything. Did you know J.K. Rowling spent five years planning and developing the plot of her bestselling "Harry Potter" series?

Before submitting your work, don't forget to read it again and again. Revise your work and create multiple drafts till you are completely satisfied with it. Ask a family member or a friend to read your work and give you feedback.

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Do gecko’s tails grow back after they fall off?

Most, but not all, lizards have the ability to "drop" their tails. According to Margaret Wissman, DVM, avian and exotic veterinary consultant, reptiles such as green iguanas and bearded dragons will drop and regrow their tails, while others, such as crested geckos, can lose their tails but will not regrow them.

This defense mechanism, termed “caudal autonomy,” happens when a lizard is grabbed by the tail or feels threatened, says Lisa Abbo, DVM, MS, at Woods Hole Science Aquarium and the Capron Park Zoo in Massachusetts. When this occurs, the tail separates from the body along a natural fracture line and continues to move independently from the body, likely to distract the predator and to allow the lizard to escape. This defense is often a last resort, after the lizard has used other less-costly attempts at escape.

“A lizard’s tail won’t drop if, say, your dog is barking at it,” said Wissman. However, it might drop if a person accidentally steps on it, grabs it, or a heavy object falls on it, she added.

Tail regrowth is a fascinating research topic among scientists, said Abbo. Tail regrowth can take weeks to months and depends upon environment, diet and a host of other factors. The new tail may be shorter and different in color or texture from the original tail, and research has shown that regenerated tails are often made up of long tubes of cartilage (rather than vertebrae) and contain longer muscles that span the length of the new tail. At first, the new tail may look like a stub on your lizard until it is able to grow back to a decent length, said Wissman. Also, the regrown tail may be a more muted brown color than the original, brighter colored tail.

Credit : PetMD

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Many geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at which time?

Geckos are also able to shed their tails if a predator grabs them.

Most geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at night, but day geckos are active during the day and nibble on insects, fruits, and flower nectar. Most geckos make noises such as chirping, barking, and clicking when they are defending their territory or attracting a mate.

Nocturnal species have excellent night vision; their color vision in low light is 350 times more sensitive than human color vision. The nocturnal geckos evolved from diurnal species, which had lost the eye rods. The gecko eye, therefore, modified its cones that increased in size into different types, both single and double. Three different photopigments have been retained and are sensitive to UV, blue, and green. They also use a multifocal optical system that allows them to generate a sharp image for at least two different depths. While most gecko species are nocturnal, some species are diurnal and active during the day, which has evolved multiple times independently.

Like most lizards, geckos can lose their tails in defense, a process called autotomy. Many species are well known for their specialised toe pads that enable them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces, and even cross indoor ceilings with ease. Geckos are well known to people who live in warm regions of the world, where several species make their home inside human habitations. These (for example the house gecko) become part of the indoor menagerie and are often welcomed, as they feed on insects, including moths and mosquitoes. Unlike most lizards, geckos are usually nocturnal.

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What is common among Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, and New Horizon?

In December 2018, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft reached interstellar space, following the example of its sister, Voyager 1. Right now, only five spacecraft have been launched capable of making such a grand exit, including the Voyagers. The remaining three are Pioneers 10 and 11, and New Horizons.

This milestone — reaching interstellar space — can be considered leaving the solar system by a certain definition. Let's be clear about what that entails. In 1990, the New York Times reported that Pioneer was reported to leave the solar system when it flew past Neptune's orbit. That's not what Voyager 2's scientists used to make their determination, however. Instead, the more recent measurements consider the crossing of the sun's heliopause, the theoretical boundary to its heliosphere, to be the determining factor for entering interstellar space. The heliosphere is a bubble of charged particles created by and flowing past the sun. Scientists use it to mark where interstellar space begins. 

But the heliosphere is tricky, and changes along with the sun's 22-year solar cycle, shrinking and growing with the solar wind, and stretching out behind the sun in the star's direction of travel. It's not something easily measured from Earth. NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission is working to remotely define the edges of the bubble.

Credit : Space.com

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What are the three types of asteroids?

The carbonaceous asteroids are abundant in the solar system (almost 75% of the known asteroids are of this type), especially on the edge of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter (some astronomers say that another planet could have formed in that asteroid belt if Jupiter’s gravity wasn’t so massive, but now a possible planet lies in pieces in between Mars and Jupiter). 

As their name suggests, they are rich in carbon among other silicates and metals and are thus dark, which is why we might not have detected many more asteroids of this type in the outer reaches of our solar system. 

After the C-type asteroids, we have the S-type asteroids made of silicate and iron-nickel to be the next most abundant group in our system. They are very common on the inner edge of the asteroid belt and contribute 17% of the total asteroids in the entire system. 

With an albedo of 0.2, they are fairly bright and easier to see when we compare them to C-type asteroids. The largest in this group is 15 Eunomia at 205 miles or 330 km across that makes up 1% of the asteroid belt’s mass.

While the M-type asteroids are the third most common asteroid group, we don’t know much about their composition. They are located in the middle of the asteroid belt, and most if not all contain nickel and iron, but the subtler compositional characteristics depend on their distance from the Sun. 

Those close to it melted partially and basaltic lava oozed out onto the surface while those away from the Sun were able to hold on to their composition and structure.

The most massive asteroid in this group is the 16 Psyche with a diameter of 120 miles or 200 km.

Credit : Starlust

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