Chinese astronomers have found more than 10,000 giant stars rich in lithium, surpassing the total number of such stars previously discovered by scientists around the world.
The discovery was made by researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences based on data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), a special quasi-meridian reflecting Schmidt telescope located in Xinglong, in north China's Hebei Province.
Lithium is considered one of the three elements synthesized in the Big Bang together with hydrogen and helium, and is easily consumed inside stars according to the classical theory of stellar evolution.
The first discovery of a lithium-rich giant star in 1982 challenged the classical theory. In order to solve the puzzle, scientists have tried to observe more such stars.
However, giant stars rich in lithium are very rare.
Finished in 2008, the LAMOST began regular surveys in 2012, and can observe about 4,000 celestial bodies at one time. It has helped Chinese scientists establish the world's largest databank of stellar spectra.
Based on the data of the LAMOST, astronomers found over 10,000 lithium-rich giant stars out of 810,000 giant stars.
The study could help scientists develop a better understanding of the features of lithium-rich giant stars and the evolution process and internal structure of stars, said researchers.
The discovery was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to launch its third lunar mission Chandrayaan 3 in 2021 following approval from the government along with Human Spaceflight program Gaganyaan in 2022, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday.
2020 will be the year of Chandrayaan 3 and Gaganyaan, he said indicating that the lunar mission may spill over to 2021, if not held by the end of the year. In November 2019, media reported that the third lunar mission will be held in November 2020.
Chandrayaan 3 will be similar to its second mission in 2019, which crash-landed on the moon just moments before it was supposed to soft-land.
The second mission was undertaken at a cost of 134 million U.S. dollars while the slated third lunar mission would be at 35 percent lower in costs at 86 million U.S. dollars, Sivan said, adding that the agency is looking at over 25 missions in the new calendar year.
As part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Program, Gaganyaan mission, which will be an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft with three astronauts on board for a minimum of seven days, is planned by 2022, he told a press conference in Bengaluru.
Four men from the Indian Air Force have been selected to undergo training in Russia from the third week of January for the Gaganyaan mission, Sivan said.
The Indian space agency that launched 319 foreign satellites in 2019 is planning to build a second space port near Thoothukudi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, 580 km South of Bengaluru.
The agency currently has space port at Sriharikota for launching satellites in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, 353 km East of Bengaluru.
China said Friday its Beidou Navigation Satellite System that emulates the U.S. Global Positioning System will be competed with the launch of its final two satellites in the first half of next year.
Project director Ran Chengqi told reporters that the core of the positioning system was completed this month with the launch additional satellites bringing its total constellation to 24.
That was up from 19 the year before, making it one of rising space power China's most complex projects.
Ran described the system at a rare news conference as having "high performance indicators, new technology systems, high localization, mass production networking and a wide range of users."
"Before June 2020, we plan to launch two more satellites into geostationary orbit and the Beidou-3 system will be fully completed," Ran said.
The latest launches mark the third iteration of Beidou, meaning "Big Dipper," the first of which was decommissioned in 2012. Future plans call for a smarter, more accessible and more integrated system with Beidou at its core, to come online by 2035, Ran said.
"As a major space infrastructure for China to provide public services to the world, the Beidou system will always adhere to the development concept of 'China's Beidou, the world's Beidou, and the first-class Beidou,' serving the world and benefiting mankind," Ran said.
China's space program has developed rapidly along all lines over the past two decades and developing independent high-tech capabilities — and even dominating in fields such as 5G data processing — is a major government priority.
In 2003, China became just the third country to independently launch a manned space mission and has since constructed an experimental space station and sent up a pair of rovers to the surface of the moon. Future plans call for a fully-functioning permanent space station, a mission to mars and a possible crewed flight to the moon. Unf-16
15 killed, 66 hurt after plane crashes in Kazakhstan
Almaty, Kazakhstan, Dec 27 (AP/UNB) — A Kazakhstan plane with 98 people aboard has crashed shortly after takeoff early Friday, killing at least 15 people, officials in Almaty said. At least 66 others survived with injuries, 50 of them hospitalized.
The Bek Air aircraft hit a concrete fence and a two-story building after takeoff from Almaty International Airport. It lost attitude at 7:22 a.m. (0122 GMT), the airport said.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the airport said there was no fire and a rescue operation got underway immediately following the crash.
Around 1,000 people were working at the snow-covered site of the crash. The weather in Almaty was clear, with mild sub-zero temperature that is common at this time of the year.
Footage showed the front of the broken-up fuselage rammed a house and the rear of the plane lying in the field next to the airport.
The plane was flying to Nur-Sultan, the country's capital formerly known as Astana.
The aircraft was identified as a Fokker-100, a medium-sized, twin-turbofan jet airliner. The company manufacturing the aircraft went bankrupt in 1996 and the production of the Fokker-100 stopped the following year.
All Bek Air and Fokker-100 flights in Kazakhstan have been suspended pending the investigation of the crash, the country's authorities said.
Astronomers have discovered six exoplanets, which may lead to better understanding of planets outside the Solar System, the Open University in UK announced on Monday.
Led by researchers from the university, the team used the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), a high-precision planet finding spectrograph, on the European Southern Observatory's 3.6-meter telescope at La Silla in Chile, to detect exoplanets, or planets outside the Solar System.
They discovered six planets near the stars known as DMPP-1, DMPP-2 and DMPP-3. These planets are heated to extremely high temperatures. At these temperatures, the atmosphere and even the rocky surface of the planets can be lost, and some of this material disperses to form a thin shroud of gas, according to the team.
With further study, the chemical composition of the shroud can be measured, which might reveal the type of rock on the surface of the hot planet, the team said.
"These new discoveries are very promising for further studies. They should allow us to measure the relationships between the mass, size and composition of planets outside our own Solar System," said Professor Carole Haswell, head of Astronomy at the Open University.
Three separate studies concerning the discoveries have been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
A research center of crop diseases and pest monitoring and early warning has been founded in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to Tuesday's China Science Daily.
The research center, supported by the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, developed an automatic monitor for wheat scab, one of the main crop diseases in China, said the newspaper.
Helped by the Internet of Things and cloud computing, researchers from the university also developed an automatic warning system and equipment for wheat scab and implemented the technologies in 16 wheat-growing areas around the country.