Robot builds itself for special tasks

first_img“Swarm-bot combines the advantages of multi-robot and modular robot systems,” said Groß of the robot’s intelligence. “The component modules of swarm-bot, the s-bots, are fully autonomous and mobile, and they choose whether to assemble into a bigger entity to perform a task.”Each s-bot can perceive and connect only with its neighbors. However, as the assemblages build incrementally, the process allows for far-reaching connections. Additionally, in their tests, the scientists found that the more s-bots available, the higher the connection performance (up to 100%). Further, the bigger the swarm-bot structure becomes, the more surface it provides for potential connections—increasing the swarm-bot’s growth rate. The scientists explain that such super-linear growth likely occurs due to the decentralized control and evolutionary control design of the system.“Simulations with up to 100 modules indicate that a high density of modules is required to self-assemble a single artifact,” Groß said. “If the initial density of modules in the environment is too low, spare modules can lose visual contact with each other and consequently do not assemble. However, the control can easily be extended to let such isolated modules explore the environment. Ideally, the size of the final artifact should only be limited by the amount of resources, that is, the abundance of modules and the energy to charge them.”While the scientists did not design the swarm-bot for any particular application at this stage, a variety of applications that require high flexibility and autonomy could potentially benefit from this concept. Future tasks might include planetary precolonization, deep sea exploration, underground search for energy resources, and search and rescue missions, the group says. The scientists report that the swarm-bots have already succeeded in crossing ditches, transporting small heavy objects, and navigating rough terrain—none of which a single s-bot could have accomplished alone.Citation: Groß, Roderich, Bonani, Michael, Mondada, Francesco, and Dorigo, Marco. “Autonomous Self-Assembly in Swarm-Bots.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 22, No. 6, December 2006.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In one of the latest studies on autonomous robots, scientists sat back and watched as their robot created itself out of smaller robotic modules. The result, called “swarm-bot,” comes in many varieties, depending on the assigned task and available components. As the current state of the art in autonomous self-assembly, swarm-bots offer insight into the potential versatility and robustness that robots may possess to perform missions beyond human abilities. Citation: Robot builds itself for special tasks (2007, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-robot-special-tasks.html (Left) The rigid gripper used to connect s-bots. (Right) Three s-bots form a swarm-bot that can climb a step. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. A project coordinated by Professor Marco Dorigo, which was sponsored by the Future and Emerging Technologies program of the European Community, provided the impetus behind the swarm-bots. The researchers built small identical robots that can sense and latch onto each other to self-configure a giant specimen with no center of command. Looking sort of like a train or a swarm of bees, swarm-bots can assemble themselves up to any finite size, the scientists predict.“As components of many living systems, the s-bots of our system can self-organize,” co-author Roderich Groß told PhysOrg.com. “Each individual robot module, called an ‘s-bot,’ interacts only with other s-bots in its immediate vicinity. Failures that occur in one or a few s-bots are therefore unlikely to have any significant impact on the performance of the entire system. Also, the system does not require any supplementary equipment such as global communication channels. We make use of a design approach based on swarm intelligence and evolutionary computation principles, as it helps shape the control to be both reliable and effective even if large numbers of s-bots are involved.”center_img (Left) Independent s-bots with blue lights, and (right) s-bots joined into a swarm-bot with red lights. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Although a single s-bot is rather complex, the mechanisms used to create and control swarm-bots are fairly straightforward. The s-bots are 19 cm (7.5 in) high and weigh 700 g (1.5 lbs). They currently run on lithium ion batteries, with a lifetime of two hours. Around the center of an s-bot’s cylindrical body is a connection ring, which carries a claw-like gripper that can open and close around the rings of other s-bots. A loose grip enables some mobility, while a tight grip can enable lifting of the grasped s-bot.With a camera and eight colored LEDs, the s-bots can “communicate” with each other on their status. For example, blue lights mean that an s-bot is not connected, while a red light signifies that the s-bot has gripped another s-bot (or a passive object) and tells other s-bots to approach and latch on. A mobility system of tracks and wheels, or “treels,” enables the s-bots to navigate on rough terrain, and gives them good steering abilities. last_img read more

Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

first_img Researchers combine quantum expertise to advance research in ultracold molecules But at the core of these two sciences is the concept of motion. As a biological ecosystem evolves by the process of natural selection, it disperses energy, increases entropy, and moves toward a stationary state with respect to its surroundings. Similarly, as energy flows in various physical phenomena, they too cause biological systems to move toward stationary states with respect to their surroundings, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. Whether an object is animate or inanimate, science does not seem to make a distinction. In both cases, energy flows toward a stationary state, or a state of equilibrium, in the absence of a high-energy external source.In this way, explain Ville Kaila and Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki, the second law of thermodynamics can be written as an equation of motion to describe evolution, and, in doing so, connect biology with physics. Their study, “Natural selection for least action,” is published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society A.The second law of thermodynamics, which states that the energy of a system tends to even itself out with its surroundings (“a system’s entropy always increases”), can be expressed in many different forms. Kaila and Annila focus on two of these forms. When written as a differential equation of motion, the second law can describe evolution as an energy transfer process: natural selection tends to favor the random mutations that lead to faster entropy increases in an ecosystem. When written in integral form, the second law describes the principle of least action: motion, in general, takes the path of least energy.Then, the scientists showed how natural selection and the principle of least action can be connected by expressing natural selection in terms of chemical thermodynamics. As the scientists explain, nature explores many possible paths to level differences in energy densities, with one kind of energy transfer mechanism being different species within the larger system of the Earth.Mechanisms of energy transduction, especially biological species, can be intricate and complex. By randomly mutating individuals of a species, various paths are explored in the quest of increasing entropy most rapidly. These mutations sooner or later naturally converge on the most probable path. Although the energy landscape keeps changing, the most probable path is always that which is the shortest and follows the steepest energy descents. It leads toward a stationary state, such as an ecosystem evolving toward a state that will have just the right amount of plants, plant eaters, and other energy transfer mechanisms (both living and non-living) to maintain the highest rate of energy dispersal. Explore further “In a biological context, when two rather similar species (i.e. energy transduction mechanisms) compete for the same source of energy (e.g. food), the one with even slightly more effective mechanisms (e.g. claws, teeth, feet, etc.) captures more than the other,” Annila explained to PhysOrg.com. “Gradually, the population of the more effective species will increase at the expense of the other. The overall process is pictured as flows of energy that gradually and naturally select the more effective, steeper paths. In biology, this physical consequence, which can be deduced from Lyapunov stability criterion, is known as the competitive exclusion principle.“Let us assume that a mutation happens to improve the speed of a cheetah,” he added as an example. “Consequently, this cheetah will catch more food, i.e. more energy will channel through this individual – the path has become steeper. Likewise, a deleterious mutation will reduce the flow via the particular path that has turned less steep. In this case, the non-mutated paths are the healthy rivalries, and will enjoy correspondingly larger flows due to the diminished competition.”The researchers note that this abstract description provides a holistic view of evolving nature, not a detailed explanation for how individual species emerge from the process. For example, plant-eating species distribute the solar energy acquired by photosynthesis, and the cheetah, as a carnivore, disperses energy further down along the gradients of the food chain, which eventually terminates into cold space. And since these energy flows themselves yield and affect energy transfer mechanisms that, in turn, alter the flows, it’s virtually impossible to predict evolution’s next move. “A system evolves to reach a stationary state with respect to its surroundings,” Annila explained. “That is to say, when the surrounding environment is high in energy, then the system will evolve to a high-energy stationary state. Matter on Earth has evolved over eons in increasing its energy content to match that of the solar radiation density. During this process, mechanisms of energy transduction have improved, but presumably there are still ways to catch more of the sunlight to power activities that are presently fueled by non-renewables.”The idea of using the second law of thermodynamics to describe evolution is not new. As far back as 1899, physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, a great admirer of Darwin, was contemplating about connection. Also, Alfred J. Lotka, in his main work published in 1925, expressed full confidence that biotic systems follow the same universal imperative. Many scientists today have recognized the principle of increasing entropy as a way to understand life. The connection between increasing entropy and decreasing free energy, provided by Kaila and Annila via the principle of least action, has further strengthened the unified description of natural motions. More information: Kaila, Ville R. I. and Annila, Arto. “Natural selection for least action.” Proceedings of The Royal Society A. doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. By viewing evolution as the motion of energy flows toward a stationary state (entropy), evolution can be explained by the second law of thermodynamics, a law which conventionally describes physical systems. In this view, a cheetah serves as an energy transfer mechanism, and beneficial mutations allow the animal to transfer more energy within its environment, helping even out the energy. Image credit: Rob Qld.center_img Citation: Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2008, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-08-evolution-law-thermodynamics.html (PhysOrg.com) — Often, physics and biology appear as different worlds, from a scientist’s point of view. Each discipline has its own language and concepts, and physicists and biologists tend to look at the world in different ways – not least being from inanimate and animate perspectives. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Mars may act as a giant planetary pump

first_img Particles trajectories (a) in experiments above an illuminated dust bed are consistent with those (b) in gas flow simulations. In both cases, gas quickly flows upward in the center illuminated (red) area, and falls downward more slowly on the sides. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. The scientists think that thermal creep could play a significant role in transporting gas and dust on Mars. In such a scenario, the Sun would heat the top layers of the soil everywhere except in the shadows, where the soil would be cooler. In these shadowed places, gas molecules would be soaked up into pores in the soil. Then the gas molecules would flow through the pores underground and be pumped up and erupt out of a heated part of the surface. To test the possibility of thermal creep occurring at conditions similar to those on Mars, the researchers carried out experiments that involved dropping a basaltic dust sample from the drop tower in Bremen, Germany. The dust is enclosed in a vacuum chamber with 4 mbar air pressure, and its being dropped from the tower greatly reduces the force of gravity in order to simulate the conditions on Mars. While the dust sample is falling, the lid is opened, and the dust is illuminated and heated with a red laser. The laser causes a temperature gradient that pumps the dust particles upward at a velocity of about 10 cm/sec, and then the dust particles move downward at about 1 cm/sec. The trajectories that the scientists observed in these experiments are similar to the scientists’ simulated trajectories of gas flow. However, as the scientists calculated, the average particle velocity on Mars would be lower, about 1.6 cm/sec. The lower velocity is due in part to a smaller temperature gradient than in the experiments.Since buried ice exists under the surface of Mars, one of the most intriguing implications of this study is that the thermal creep effect may explain how underground water vapor can be transported up to Mars’ surface. Since gas flow due to thermal creep has a higher velocity than other mechanisms previously considered, such as diffusion, thermal creep could be a dominant transport mechanism for water vapor across large parts of the martian soil. No analogue of this type of planet-wide pump exists on Earth. In fact, the scientists think that Mars is the only body in the Solar System on which such large-scale, continuous pumping can naturally occur. If it does indeed occur as theorized, the pumping might serve as a dominant mechanism for transporting water vapor across Mars’ surface.The scientists, Caroline de Beule, et al., at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Duisburg, Germany, have published their paper on the surface of Mars as a planetary gas pump in a recent issue of Nature Physics.”The idea of the martian soil acting as a planetary gas pump surprised us indeed,” de Beule told Phys.org. “We found this effect by accident when we studied light-induced dust eruptions under microgravity. As we saw eroded particles moving down to the surface again without thermal convection, we concluded that there must be a gas flow into and—even more important—through the soil.”So the greatest significance of our work is the detection of a gas flow which is not only above the martian soil, but through it. Until now, only diffusion has been considered as a transport mechanism of, for example, water vapor through the soil and therefore as an interaction between the regolith and the atmosphere. We showed now that there is a directed transport mechanism that is even more efficient, which leads to a gas flow and can for example drag water vapor along with it.”All of this is possible due to Mars’ low surface pressure. Although Mars and the Earth have a lot in common, one characteristic of Mars that is different is its very low surface pressure of an average of 6 mbar, which is less than 1% of the surface pressure on Earth. The atmosphere on Mars consists mostly of carbon dioxide, and this surface pressure means that the carbon dioxide molecules have a mean free path (that is, the average distance between successive collisions with each other) of 10 μm. (Phys.org) —The surface of Mars is full of activity, with dust storms, dust devils, and drifting dunes in constant motion. Scientists suspect that similarly rich activity may exist underneath the surface, even though it has never been seen. Now in a new study, scientists have found that Mars’ low-pressure atmosphere and porous soil provide the perfect conditions for the planet’s entire surface to act as a giant gas pump, quickly cycling gas and dust particles a few centimeters above and below the soil. Citation: Mars may act as a giant planetary pump (2013, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-mars-giant-planetary.html Importantly, the sizes of both the dust particles and the pores in the martian soil are also on the order of 10 μm. Under these conditions—when the mean free path is comparable to particle size and pore size—an effect called thermal creep can occur. When one side of the pore is warmer than the other side, the pore acts as an efficient pump and transports gas from its cold side to its warm side. Schematic diagram of the drop tower experiment. Basaltic dust is illuminated with a red laser as the entire device falls from the drop tower in Bremen, Germany. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Explore further “Beside implications for the cycle of dust and the cycle of carbon dioxide, the greatest application of our work is a big step in understanding the global cycle of water on Mars—which is of course linked to the other two cycles,” de Beule said. “For example, the rate of water vapor transport through the dust surface on Mars determines the timescale of the existence of ice in the subsurface.”Due to the fact that Mars might have been habitable a few billion years ago, the current annual cycle of water vapor reflects the present and past behavior of water and is therefore a key interest concerning possible environments for past life on Mars.”The researchers added that there are many other interesting aspects of these results, which they plan to further investigate in the future.”Our future plans are to study the gas flow through porous material, analyzing compositional effects on the efficiency, like the porosity of the dust or the grain sizes,” de Beule said. “Finding the right conditions for Mars, the gas flow perhaps might reach even a meter below the surface. In addition, the flow of gas through porous material in a low-pressure environment might not only be considered for Mars, but for example on other bodies in protoplanetary disks, where a porous body is exposed to the light of the sun, and a gas flow through the illuminated surface parts can influence the rotation and trajectory. As can be seen, the list of potential applications is very long, and we are excited to investigate the details of this effect.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Caroline de Beule, et al. “The martian soil as a planetary gas pump.” Nature Physics. DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS2821 Journal information: Nature Physics © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. The natural soil pump on Mars: Underground gas flows from the cool deeper layers to the warm Sun-heated surface due to thermal creep. At shadowed places on the surface, gas is soaked up into the soil, travels underground, and is pumped up again to the heated surface. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Mars: What lies beneathlast_img read more

Starfish use their eyes to stay close to home researchers find

first_img(Phys.org) —A starfish has an eye at the end of each arm. While scientists have known about the existence of these eyes for about two hundred years, until now, they haven’t been able to find out what starfish can see or what starfish use their eyes for. By performing morphological studies as well as behavioral experiments, Anders Garm and Dan-Eric Nilsson have discovered that starfish can see very low resolution images, and they use their eyes to avoid straying too far from their habitats. Their research appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Visual navigation in starfish: first evidence for the use of vision and eyes in starfish, Published 8 January 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3011AbstractMost known starfish species possess a compound eye at the tip of each arm, which, except for the lack of true optics, resembles an arthropod compound eye. Although these compound eyes have been known for about two centuries, no visually guided behaviour has ever been directly associated with their presence. There are indications that they are involved in negative phototaxis but this may also be governed by extraocular photoreceptors. Here, we show that the eyes of the coral-reef-associated starfish Linckia laevigata are slow and colour blind. The eyes are capable of true image formation although with low spatial resolution. Further, our behavioural experiments reveal that only specimens with intact eyes can navigate back to their reef habitat when displaced, demonstrating that this is a visually guided behaviour. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a function of starfish compound eyes. We also show that the spectral sensitivity optimizes the contrast between the reef and the open ocean. Our results provide an example of an eye supporting only low-resolution vision, which is believed to be an essential stage in eye evolution, preceding the high-resolution vision required for detecting prey, predators and conspecifics. Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Bcenter_img Visual system of the starfish L. laevigata. (a) Linckia laevigata in its natural coral reef habitat at Akajima, Japan, where it feeds on detritus and algae. (b) As in other starfish species, the compound eye of L. laevigata is situated on the tip of each arm (arrowhead). It sits in the ambulaceral groove which continues to the top of the arm tip. (c) Lateral view of the compound eye, also called the optical cushion, which is sitting on the base of a modified tube foot. The eye has approximately 150 separate ommatidia with bright red screening pigment. (d) Frontal view of the compound eye showing its bilateral symmetry. (e) The tip of the arm seen from below. The view of the compound eye is obscured by a double row of modified black tube feet (arrow). (f) The arm tip seen straight from above. Note that the eye is again obscured from view by a modified black tube foot (arrow). (g) The compound eye (arrowhead) seen from 45° above horizontal in a freely behaving animal. When the animal is active, the modified black tube feet spread out to allow vision. (h) If the animal is disturbed, it closes the ambulaceral groove (broken line) at the arm tip and withdraws the modified tube feet. The compound eye is then completely covered, leaving the animal blind. Credit: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3011 While previous research has already shown that starfish can distinguish between light and dark, scientists haven’t been sure if starfish can see images. Starfish don’t have brains. While they have compound eyes, like arthropods do, starfish eyes, unlike arthropod eyes, don’t have lenses. Previously, no one had ever seen a starfish use its eyes to navigate.Garm and Nilsson examined the eyes of the blue sea star (Linckia laevigata), a starfish that lives around coral reefs in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. The researchers found that these starfish cannot distinguish colors, and because their eyes lack lenses, they can see only very crude, low resolution images. Blue sea stars also have very slow responses to light. The sea stars could not use their eyes to evade predators, find food or search for mates.Although starfish cannot detect small visual details, the placement of an eye on each arm gives them a large visual field. They can see large unmoving or slowly moving structures, such as the coral reefs that are their homes. Garm and Nilsson hypothesized that sea stars use their eyes to avoid straying too far from their coral reefs and becoming stranded on patches of sand, where they would be unable to find food and have no protection from predation. The researchers noted that while starfish cannot see colors, the ocean would appear light to them, while coral reefs would appear dark.To test their hypothesis, Garm and Nilsson placed starfish either one, two or four meters away from a coral reef. When they were one meter away, the starfish walked directly toward the reef. At four meters, they walked in random directions. Two meters, the distance at which the starfish would no longer be able to resolve the image of the reef, appeared to be the limit for successful navigation. The results were the same whether the reef was east-west facing or north-south facing. Blinded seas stars were lost even when they were only one meter away, and sighted ones couldn’t find their way back when they were one meter away on a moonless night. These results indicated that the sea stars were using their eyes to guide them.The researchers think the development of the ability to recognize habitats could have been one of the earliest stages in the evolution of vision. Citation: Starfish use their eyes to stay close to home, researchers find (2014, January 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-starfish-eyes-home.html Seeing starfish: The missing link in eye evolution?last_img read more

Research shows collision created Chelyabinsk asteroid

first_img Citation: Research shows collision created Chelyabinsk asteroid (2014, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-collision-chelyabinsk-asteroid.html (Phys.org) —On February 15 2013, an asteroid exploded about 30 kilometers above Chelyabinsk, Russia. The explosion, shared on video around the world, was the Earth’s second largest recorded airburst. By analyzing fragments of the meteorite that fell to Earth, Shin Ozawa at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and colleagues determined that the asteroid formed when a parent asteroid collided with another asteroid and then broke apart. The research appears in Scientific Reports. © 2014 Phys.org Insight into space collisions from Chelyabinsk fireball More information: Jadeite in Chelyabinsk meteorite and the nature of an impact event on its parent body, Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5033 DOI: 10.1038/srep05033AbstractThe Chelyabinsk asteroid impact is the second largest asteroid airburst in our recorded history. To prepare for a potential threat from asteroid impacts, it is important to understand the nature and formational history of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like Chelyabinsk asteroid. In orbital evolution of an asteroid, collision with other asteroids is a key process. Here, we show the existence of a high-pressure mineral jadeite in shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk meteorite. Based on the mineral assemblage and calculated solidification time of the shock-melt veins, the equilibrium shock pressure and its duration were estimated to be at least 3–12 GPa and longer than 70 ms, respectively. This suggests that an impactor larger than 0.15–0.19 km in diameter collided with the Chelyabinsk parent body at a speed of at least 0.4–1.5 km/s. This impact might have separated the Chelyabinsk asteroid from its parent body and delivered it to the Earth. Journal information: Scientific Reportscenter_img (a) The host-rock showing an equilibrated chondrite texture. (b) A shock-melt vein cutting through the host-rock. The two white dotted lines represent the boundaries between them. (c) Coarse-grained fragments and fine-grained matrix in a shock-melt vein. (d) Enlarged view of the area shown by the white rectangular in (c). Needle-like and skeletal-rhombic crystals of jadeite occur with feldspathic glass. Ol = olivine, En = enstatite, Di = diopside, Fsp = albitic feldspar, Me = Fe–Ni metal, Tro = troilite, Chr = chromite, SMV = shock-melt vein, Mtx = matrix of shock-melt vein, Jd = jadeite, Gl = feldspathic glass. Credit: Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5033 doi:10.1038/srep05033 When an asteroid, 17 to 20 meters in diameter, burst over the south of Chelyabinsk city, in Russia’s southern Ural region, it generated shockwaves that injured more than 1000 people and damaged many buildings. Unlike many other Near Earth Objects (NEOs), the Chelyabinsk asteroid had a well-recorded trajectory, and it left fragments on the Earth. This gave scientists a unique opportunity to study its formation.Previous studies of the asteroid’s fragments had shown they contain shock-melt veins, which form when heat and pressure from an impact cause materials in a section of an asteroid to melt. Eventually, shock-melt veins lose heat to cooler surrounding rock and solidify, forming glassy structures.Ozawa’s team examined the shock-melt veins in the Chelyabinsk fragments and found they contain the mineral jadeite, which forms under extremely high pressure. Some terrestrial rocks and meteorites contain jadeite. However, when the team examined the jadeite from the Chelyabinsk meteorite under an electron microscope, they found the mineral had a unique composition and structure that indicated it had crystallized very rapidly.By calculating the rate at which the jadeite must have solidified, the team were able to determine that the asteroid must have formed when a parent asteroid collided with a second asteroid, which was at least 150 meters in diameter and moving at a relative speed of 0.4 to 1.5 kilometers per second. A previous study of the isotopes in the meteorite had shown that a collision could have occurred up to 290 million years ago. The jadeite would have formed as the result of this collision, as the mineral would not have survived a later impact. Earlier calculations had shown that asteroids in the main asteroid belt have lifetimes of less than 10 million years. The researchers think the Chelyabinsk asteroid broke off from its parent after the collision and moved into an orbital resonance less than 10 million years ago. It then fell into an orbit crossing that of the Earth.The research increases our understanding of how NEOs form and evolve. It shows that NEOs, which have the potential to strike the Earth, can survive much longer than previously believed. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Magic in marble

first_imgShe defines all things fine and Italian and her works are like magic flowing through marble and metal. Simona Bocchi, the Italian artiste who has made India her home over the last few years, unveiled her latest work Devotion Divine in the Capital. The evening was a celebration of art and its finer nuances as the Italian Ambassador of Italy, Daniele Mancini spoke about Bocchi’s works and her fine talent. The piece, crafted entirely out of marble flows in tandem with Bocchi’s deep attachment to spirituality. In fact, Bocchi’s India chapter is all about her spiritual connect with the country.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bocchi was born in Monza, Italy and her initial enlightenment in her field happened in her academic sojourn through art schools in Milan, Brera, Wimbledon, finally graduating in Carrara. She came to India in 2006, invited to organise an exhibition in Delhi by the Italian Embassy. And then there was no looking back. Her experience in India brought her closer to the spiritual search she had been on forever and Udaipur soon became her home. The piece, Devotion Divine, reflects an figure that has the finesse of a female body, the soft curves and flow but it also has the slight edge of the masculine chiseled in. This connects to Bocchi’s fascination with Shiva-Parvati, a theme that has been an intricate part of her work.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHost VN Dalmia expressed his love for art with a simple line, ‘Never buy a piece that doesn’t give you joy,’ he says, explaining why he picked Bocchi out of a million other artistes. Bocchi is not only the perfect cultural ambassador for her country, she now merges the finer arts learned in India with her past.  She is currently working on a personal exhibition scheduled for next year and at the same time concentrating on her book.last_img read more

Biker group joins hands with Kolkata Police to spread message of Safe

first_imgKolkata: “Riders And World”, a group of motorcycle riders organised a Safe Drive, Save Life bike rally from Shyambazar to Queens Way, Victoria Memorial Hall, in collaboration with Kolkata Police on Sunday.The awareness campaign was launched as the number of motorcycle accidents is on the rise in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, during monsoon. A 22-year-old management student was killed, when the premium bike he was riding met with a fatal accident on Sunday in Charu Market. As the roads are slushy, a different riding technique is required during monsoon as grip levels from tires are compromised. But there are motorcycle riders who have a tendency to accelerate even on wet roads, which often results in fatal accidents. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPamphlets to make people aware of safe riding techniques during monsoon were distributed among two-wheeler riders at Bowbazar, Esplanade and Shyambazar crossings. The group handed over a memento as a token of appreciation for their daily support on the road to Kolkata Traffic Police personnel at Victoria Memorial. Inspector Pijush Sadhukan received the memento on behalf of Kolkata Traffic Police and appreciated the campaign of the riding group. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBollywood star Raja Murad made a surprise appearance at the end of the rally. He met the riders and appreciated them for their campaign at Queens Way, Victoria Memorial. Subhojit Dutta, the founder of the group, stated that Riders And World is trying to promote motorcycle tourism and also working for other social causes. The group has already done a health checkup camp for street children, in association with Medical Bank and Indian Dental Association. Dutta said: “Safe Drive Save Life is a very crucial campaign for us as we have seen many road accidents in recent days. We can avoid meeting with such accidents if we take certain precautions while riding motorcycles and be adequately careful. We have already distributed pamphlets to make people aware of the dos and don’ts in this regard, in three major crossings during the rally.”last_img read more

City of Joy witnesses first Norwester of 2019 train flight services hit

first_imgKolkata: With the weather taking a sudden turn for the worse without warning, the City of Joy witnessed the first Nor’wester of the season on Friday afternoon. Due to the sudden storm and rain, train services were disrupted in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions. Flight services were also suspended for almost half-an-hour due to the storm at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport.According to the Alipore weather office, thundershower is likely to occur on Saturday in Sikkim, Jharkhand, Odisha, Darjeeling and Kalimpong of Sub-Himalayan Bengal, along with East and West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas and Jhargram of Gangetic Bengal. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOther districts across the state may witness dry weather. The temperature may increase during day by 2-¬3 degree Celsius during the next few days. On Saturday, Kolkata may witness light rain or thundershower accompanied gusty winds. The maximum and minimum temperature will be around 35 degree and 23 degree Celsius. On Friday, the maximum and minimum temperature was 34.6 degree Celsius which was normal and 25.3 degree Celsius which was 2 degree above normal. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDue to the sudden Nor’wester on Friday afternoon, train services were hampered in both Howrah and Sealdah sections. In several places of the Sealdah South section, trees got uprooted and fell on the overhead electric wires, suspending train services. Several local and long distance trains commenced late from Sealdah. Apart from train services, flight operation at the NSCBI Airport in Kolkata was also suspended for almost half an hour due to the gusty winds and storm. Traffic across the city also got affected due to the storm as it almost came to a hault, resulting in huge congestion. Following the storm, thundershower also affected traffic movement. In some parts of the city, vehicular movement slowed down to a crawl due to waterlogging. According to police report, traffic movement was very slow on Strand Road and M G Road due to waterlogging. Reports of waterlogging were also received from Sealdah, Judges Court Road and Diamond Harbour Road. Vehicular movement was disrupted in front of Writers’ Buildings after a huge tree got uprooted and blocked the road completely. Kolkata Police and its Disaster Management Group (DMG) managed to clear the road by cutting the tree within a few hours. Trees were uprooted in 11 more places across the city, as per police report. An uprooted tree fell on the empty vehicle of the Additional OC of Muchipara police station, which was parked outside the police station. No one was injured in the incident. Apart from Kolkata, Gangetic districts such as Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura and Burdwan also witnessed storm and thundershower on Friday afternoon. Two firefighters at Budbud in East Burdwan died after being struck by lightning. Another person also died in a lightning strike at Manteswar in East Burdwan district. Hailstorm took place in some parts of Hooghly and South 24-Parganas.last_img read more

Population of onehorned rhinos in Jaldapara Gorumara goes up

first_imgKolkata: The population of one-horned rhinoceros in Jaldapara and Gorumara in North Bengal has gone up.The latest census report of the rhinos was released by state Forest minister Bratya Basu in presence of senior officials of his department on Monday at Sukna in Siliguri. The total count of the animals stands at 291. According to the report, the count has gone up in both the forests in North Bengal in comparison to the last census, the report of which was released in the year 2015. The rhino population in Gorumara has increased from 49 to 52 while that in Jaldapara has risen from 204 to 239 . Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The findings have come from a recent survey carried out by the department in the two national parks in the state in February . ” This is for the first time when apart from direct sighting we have collected the dung of the animal to estimate the population. Both the reports have been tallied and the census report was released accordingly,” said a senior official of state Forest department. Samples have also been sent for DNA analysis in Hyderabad for ascertaining the correct figure of the male and female rhinos in the two national parks. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”Apart from our officials, adequate number of forest guards, 18 pet elephants were involved in the count. There were some NGOs too as observers during the census process,” the official added. The increase in population is a clear indication that steps like improvement in habitat and prevention of poaching has augured well. However there are still some sporadic incidents of poaching. “Three such incidents of rhino poaching were reported last year. We are taking stromn measures to prevent such incident,” said Ravi Kant Sinha, state Chief Wildlife Warden. It may be mentioned that the state Forest department has already started work for developing the third habitat for rhinoceros at Patlakhawa in North Bengal. The third home for the one horned rhino is being developed for balancing the rhino population that have increased by both at Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park in North Bengal. The Patlakhawa forest has a large wetland and was once a game reserve of the Koch dynasty that had ruled Cooch Behar. The department is presently developing the infrastructure of Patlakhaw that includes boundary of the habitat, grassland improvement watch towers, deployment of security staff, construction of staff quarters and training of staff. Bengal has the second highest population of rhinoceros after Assam.last_img read more

Staircases escalators at Bengal Chemical Salt Lake stadium stations enough to handle

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) that is executing the East-West Metro project will soon write to the state Fire and Emergency Services department informing them that the staircases and escalators at Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium Metro stations are sufficient for quick evacuation of passengers in case of an emergency. The state Fire department had recommended additional exits for quick passenger evacuation. “We have followed the guidelines of US-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on ‘Fixed Gateway and Passenger Rail Systems’ which has become the standard regulation for international projects, particularly those connected with urban mobility. The calculated volume of passengers which will be using this station can be evacuated by the time frame set by NFPA,” a senior official of the KMRCL said. According to the NFPA, people need to be evacuated in four minutes time during an emergency. There are six stations in the route from Sector V to Salt Lake stadium which the KMRCL is hopeful of making operational by July. This route includes Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium. The state Fire department has already given clearance to four of these stations after fire audit but is yet to do so in case of Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium. There are two staircases and one escalator in these two stations. “We have already given the Metro authorities land on behalf of the state Urban Development department for an additional staircase. This will be able to clear out passengers at a faster pace during any emergency. The state government gives utmost priority to people’s safety and security,” state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose said. The state Fire department had reasoned that there would be huge rush incase of a soccer match at the Salt Lake stadium. The additional exit at Bengal Chemical has been recommended keeping in mind the Duttabad slum which caught fire on more than one occasions earlier and is located close to the station.last_img read more