1) Coronal Holes: NASA released an image taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) where the Sun seems to be smiling.
- Coronal holes are cooler denser regions in the Sun’s corona. It is a patch of the Sun’s atmosphere with much lower density than elsewhere.
- They appear as irregular black patches when the sun is imaged in ultraviolet light or certain types of X-ray images. These regions also appear when fast solar wind gushes out into space.
- They are not periodical and can pop up on the solar surface at any time.
- These ‘coronal holes’ are important to understanding the space environment around the earth through which our technology and astronauts travel.
2) Senna spectabilis: Recently, Senna spectabilis, an alien tree that is an invasive species, has taken over hectares of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve’s (MTR) buffer zones in the Nilgiris hill district.
- Senna spectabilis, an attractive plant cultivated throughout tropical America. Spectabilis has long been a staple in conventional medicine.
- The species was introduced from South and Central America as an ornamental species and for use as firewood and has become highly invasive in the Sigur plateau.
- The plan was to use wood from Senna spectabilis from the MTR for paper-making, to raise funds for eco-restoration to bring back native species.
- Senna spectabilis, Lantana camara, wattle are among five major invasive weeds that had taken over vast swathes of the Nilgiris. Eucalyptus and pine, though exotic, do not spread as quickly as the other species and are considered easier to manage,
3) Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR): Mudumalai’s name translates to “the ancient hill range.”At the tri-junction of three states—Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu—the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is situated in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu.
- It plays a special role because it is a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, the country’s first biosphere reserve established in 1986.
- It shares a border with the Wyanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala on the west, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka on the north, the Nilgiris North Division on the south and east.
4) New Anode Material: Researchers from IIT Gandhinagar and Japan discovered a new anode material which could be helpful in ensuring the life and ultra-fast charging of lithium-ion batteries.
- It is a two-dimensional (2D) anode material, developed using Nano sheets derived from Titanium Diboride (TiB2). This anode had an ultra-fast charging capacity with a considerable discharge capacity at high-capacity retention. This innovation holds the potential to make India a leader in renewable energy.
- The Anode is the negative or reducing electrode that releases electrons to the external circuit and oxidizes during an electrochemical reaction
5) Doctrine of Pleasure: In India, Article 310 of the Constitution of India says every person in the defence or civil service of the Union holds office during the pleasure of the President, and every member of the civil service in the States holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
However, Article 311 imposes restrictions on the removal of a civil servant.