Monday, September 15, 2008

Highest mountains

People used to think that Kangchenjunga was the world’s highest mountain. Then the great Trgnometrical survey of India was completed, which measured all the country’s land features. The survey showed that Everest was the world’s highest mountain. The mountain name was suggested in 1865 as a tribute to sir George Everest, the surveyor general of India, who had led the survey.




1. Everest



2. K2



3. Kangchenjunga



4. Lhotse



5. Makalu



Friday, August 15, 2008


Geysers are jets of boiling water and steam that erupt from beneath the ground where water is heated by volcanic activity. USA has more geysers than anywhere else. There are 500 active once including steamboat geyser, which erupts to a height of 120 m.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Artificial Satellites

The USSR’s sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to enter Earth’s orbit. This 83.6kg metal sphere transmitted signals back to earth for three weeks before its batteries failed. In 1958 the usa began to launch its own satellites. Five went into orbit, including SCORE which transmitted back to earth a pre recorded Christmas message from president Eisenhower. All of the earliest satellites have since crashed bask to earth, except Vangaurd 1 which is still in space and likely to remain so for another 200 years.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Planets visited by Aircrafts

No human has yet set foot on any space body other than earth and the moon. But unmanned spacecrafts have taken photographs, made scientific readings, and gathered data either by flying past or landing. Pluto is scheduled for its first visit in 2015.

Astronomers have never seen this side of Mercury until now. The image was taken from a Nasa spacecraft 125 miles away

** Longest space walk **

The record for the longest ever space walk was broken from 10-11 march 2001, when mission specialist James voss and Susan Helms stepped outside space shuttle “discovery STS-102” to do construction work on the space station. Their EVA (extra vehicular activity) lasted 8 hours and 56 minutes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Moon

Earth’s moon is the most familiar and also the largest satellite in relation to its planet in the entire solar system. It is the first body in the solar system on which vehicles from earth landed, and the only one to be explored by humans.

** The only human that remained on the moon was geologist Eugene Shoemaker who was an expert on planetary collision. His ashes were carried aboard NASA’s lunar prospector spacecraft, which was crashed into a crater on 31 July 1999 **

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is there a 10th Planet?

Astronomers think they have discovered another planet. In 2005, Palomar Observatory ,USA ,spotted a rocky object in the most distant part of the solar system. Its official name is 2003 UB313 but it has been nicknamed Xena. The planet might be 3,000 Km in diameter, which is larger than Pluto. It has at least one moon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Number 13

The belief that no. 13 is unlucky comes from time immemorial. The Romans believed that no 13 was a symbol of death and destruction. The Norse people who lived in ancient medieval Scandinavia or modern Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark believed that the 13th guest at a feast is a spirit of evil. The Christian belief that the no 13 brings bad luck comes from the painting the “Last supper”(Leonardo da Vinci), when Christ sat down with his 12 disciples-making 13 people, the day before he was crucified. It is also believed that the first person to leave a dinner table at which there are 13 dinners will die before the end of the year. The popularities of these believes in Italy can be seen as Paris has no building that bears the no. 13. Also Italy omits the no 13 from its national lottery.

Some instances that suggest that 13 is in fact an unlucky number are as follows-

  • The 13th Apollo space mission was known as Apollo 13. On 13 April 1917 there was a explosion on board and the space craft began to leak oxygen. This happened 2 days after it took off at 13:13 Hr. the spacecraft only just made it to back to earth.
  • On Friday 13 September 1928, a hurricane killed 2000 people in Puerto Rico, Florida and the Virgin Islands and caused approximately $25 million worth of damage.
  • The 13 of the month costs the usa about $ 1 billion a year through cancellations on trains and plane, absenteeism from work and reduced business activities.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Traveling at the speed of light

In space, light travels at a speed of 299,792.46 km a second. When we look at even the nearest star, what we are seeing is light that left it more than four years ago. Many stars are so far away that If someone could stand on one 65 million light years away and look at the earth, they would see light that left at the time the dinosaurs became extinct. And from a distance of 4.7 billion light years they could watch the earth and sun being formed!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Twinkle twinkle little star

Stars seems to twinkle because we see them through the layers of earth’s atmosphere. As light passes through these layers, it is distorted so that the amount wee actually see changes constantly. Stars do not twinkle when viewed from space, which is why telescope in space, such as hubble, give the best possible view of the distant stars and galaxies.

The reason why Planets do not twinkle is that planets are nearer to us and appear to be bigger in size, thus they are considered as expanded sources of light rather than point sources of light as in case of stars. Or planets are also considered as a collection of many point sized sources of energy. So the total amount of twinkling effect in a planet averages out to be zero.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Names of the months

The names of the months in English came from Latin words.


Januarius – this month was dedicated to janus. The roman god of doors. Janus had two faces, one looking back at the old year and the other looking to the new year.


Julius – after Julius Caesar. This month was named in caeser’s honour by mark antony in 44 BC. Previously this month was called Quintilis from the word quintus, five, as it was the fifth month in the roman calendar.


Februarius - Februa was the roman purification festival, which took place at this time of year.


Augustus – named in 8 BC in honour of Emperor Augustus.


Martius - from mars, The roman god of war


Septem – means seven, as it was the seventh month in the roman calendar.


Aprilis – from aperire, latin for open, because plants begin to open during this month.


Octo – eight (as in octopus, which has eight legs) the eighth month of the roman calendar.


Malius – probably comes from mala, the roman goddess of growth and increase.


Novem – nine,the ninth month of the roman calendar.


Junius – either from a roman family name junius, or perhaps after the goddess juno.


Decem – ten, the tenth month of the roman calendar.