- Dirty Bomb: Russia recently claimed that Ukraine is planning to use a dirty bomb.
- It is a bomb that contains radioactive material, such as uranium, which is scattered through the air when its conventional explosive detonates. It doesn’t need to contain highly refined radioactive material, as is used in a nuclear bomb. Instead, it could use radioactive materials from hospitals, nuclear power stations etc.
- Thus, it is much cheaper and quicker to make than nuclear weapons. They can also be carried in the back of a vehicle. However, as weapons, they are very unreliable.
- For the radioactive material in a dirty bomb to be scattered across its target zone, it has to be reduced to powder form. But if the particles are too fine or released into strong winds, they will scatter too widely to do much harm.
2) Partial Solar Eclipse: An eclipse happens when the moon while orbiting the Earth, comes in between the sun and the Earth, due to which the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching the Earth, causing an eclipse of the sun or a solar eclipse.
- Total solar eclipse: This happens when the sun, moon and Earth are in a direct line. The dark silhouette of the Moon completely covers the intense bright light of the Sun. Only the much fainter solar corona is visible during a total eclipse which is known as a Totality.
- Partial solar eclipse: This happens when the sun, moon and Earth are not exactly lined up. The shadow of the moon appears on a small part of the sun.
- Annular solar eclipse: This happens when the moon is farthest from the Earth, which is why it seems smaller. In this type of an eclipse, the moon does not block the sun completely, but looks like a “dark disk on top of a larger sun-colored disk” forming a “ring of fire”.
3) New Basmati Varieties: Five new Basmati varieties, developed by a group of scientists from Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), in 2020 and 2021
- Three of the five varieties can resist two common diseases of paddy. Bacterial leaf blight (BLB) and blast (leaf and collar) diseases caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.
- India is known for its Basmati rice, with the produce from seven States — Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand — earmarked for Geographical Indication.
4) Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD): It is caused by phytoplasma — bacterial parasites of plant tissues — which are transmitted by insect vectors. The disease was first reported in Kodagu in 1899.
- It is being classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN in 1998. Presently, there is no option but to cut down and remove the infected tree to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Between 1 and 5% of sandalwood trees lost every year due to the disease.
5) ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3-M2: ISRO has renamed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark -III as Launch Vehicle Mark-III, mainly to identify its task of placing satellites into a variety of orbits. LVM3 -M2 is the dedicated commercial satellite mission of New Space India Limited (NSIL), CPSE under the Department of Space, Government of India.
- It can carry up to 8 tonnes into low earth orbit (LEO-up to 1,200 km above the Earth). The rocket is a three-stage launch vehicle consisting of two solid propellant S200 strap-ons on its sides and core stage comprising L110 liquid stage and C25 cryogenic stage. The PSLV is much lighter and can carry between 1.4 and 1.75-tonne payloads.