Do Aliens Exist?

The debate of extraterrestrial life has always been never ending.With many claims and unproven citing of UFOs have created a huge stir among the scienctists fraternity.However no solid proof has surfaced yet.The famous astronomer Carl Segan previously assumed that the solar system is filled with bacteria, however no concrete proof has been received yet.He ,along with famous Russian astronomer I. S. Shklovshii wrote a book named ” Intelligent life in the Universe ” .Just the year before the release of the book Sagam attended first summit of the the new wing of NASA , Search for Extra Terrestrial Research and is acronym as SETI.

Celebrity physicists Stephan Hawking says that other than carbon life form, life can also exist as silicone based lifeform.

To understand the massive tast of finding life.We can take an example- consider the vast ocean on the earth, now we know that marine life exists inside it.Take a tumbler and pour some water from the ocean.You won’t notice any fish inside the tumbler. But fish do exist inside the ocean.

The tumbler here gives the magnitude of universe which has been explored by humans for the search of aliens.

Another probability of life on the planet can be given by Drakes Equation which takes parameter such as distance of planet from its star, size of planet and start etc etc and gives out the actual result.

On the contrary, some scientists also believe that finding alien life could proof lethal to humanity as the alien race might be hostile to us.You would be watching Star Trek , but in real.

On the last notes, its too early to say that aliens do not exist.With new advancements, a clue of extra terretrial life can certainly be found.

Do You Know?

If you look around, you will find many spoken facts that you encounter daily but never noticed. Lets read five juicy facts –

1.NEWS- The word news comes as an acronym from North East West South.

2. Onions- Onions belong from the family of lilies.

3. Pineapple- Botanically speaking, pineapple is a berry.

4. The letter B comes only in and after Billion and letter A comes in Thousand.

5. Till 18th century , diamond was found only in India.Infact, India had discovered diamond more than 4000 years ago.

Can you cite a Shooting Star every month ?

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Many people believe that if you cite a shooting star in the night sky, your wishes come true.A romantic date will be perfectly complete if a couple sees one. The shooting stars make the enchanting night sky even more charming. But what if you can observe these beautiful  stars every month ? However, some mythologies also report that citing of a shooting star brings bad luck. That’s where the word disaster originated which amalgamation of ‘dis-aster’ meaning bad star.But don’t  you be afraid , these beliefs are very old.

Probably everyone would have heard of the comets and these are also know as shooting star. These are the icy balls which complete one revolution around the Sun in an average of 75 years or more. Halley’s Comet being the most popular of all which is predicted to be seen on 28th July 2061.Many of us will be old by then.

But this is not why am I writing this article for. What if you could observe such beautiful event annually or lets be precise, monthly? Yes, this is possible. There is a phenomenon by which every month some of the comets debris come in contact with earth’s gravitational field giving rise to meteors , which fall on the earth. Many of them disintegrate before touching the ground because of friction provided by the atmosphere.This is process when multiple meteors are cited from a particular part of the sky is called meteor shower.Technically, they are not shooting stars , but they look like one. The location of each meteor shower is fixed which is determined by the constellation in which it is seen  ( to know more about the sky map and constellations  please read the previous article “How did the Zodiac signs got their names”)

There are roughly 15 meteor showers which occur annually. The density of the meteors in a meteor shower is given by the ZHR i.e. Zenith Hourly Rate.Given below is the list of the popular meteor showers along with the constellation and date in which they are cited.

 

Quadrantid          Draco (NE)                               Jan. 4

EH Lyrid               Lyra (E)                                    April 22

Eta Aquariid        Aquarius (E)                           May 5

 Delta Aquariid   Aquarius (S)                           July 28

Perseid                  Perseus (NE)                         Aug. 12

Orionid                   Orion (SE)                             Oct. 21

Southern Taurid  Taurus (S)                            Nov. 5

Leonid                    Leo (E)                                   Nov. 17

Geminid                 Gemini (S)                           Dec.13

But before you proceed with night watching please take the following points in mind

  1. There should be minimal light pollution i.e. the night sky should be dark so that even the faintest stars are visible
  2. Take care of the constellation in which the meteor shower is about to occur.
  3. Be patient and vigilant as the meteors cited in the shower barely last for few seconds.

Perseid  having the highest ZHR which is cited in the month of August.I have myself cited Geminid which occurs in December.

Therefore, don’t wait to make you stargazing experience enriched by the beauty of the meteor shower.Go ahead, find the perfect date and the constellation in the night sky and watch these twinkling meteors.

 

 

What is the Golden ratio?

Collage

0,1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…..

If you have read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown you would remember that this is a Fibonacci series. But what is actually common in Fibonacci series and your fingers or the tree branches or the sunflower ? Well, it the Golden Ratio!!!

Lets first understand this ratio. Consider a line, and divide into two parts such that the shorter length is that times of the larger length, as the larger length is to the whole line i.e the ratio of the shorter length to the larger length is equal to the ratio of the larger length to the whole line.

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This ratio is equal to 1.618 . And this ratio is also called as the Golden Ratio or the  Divine Proportion or the Golden Number. It is denoted by Greek letter Phi  [φ].

Strikingly, this ratio is also followed in human body. The ratio of your fingers, legs and even features of your face. The nature holds symmetry even what appears to us the most asymmetric. The growth of the branches, the arrangement of seeds in beautiful sunflower, the spirals of sea shell ( The Nautilus ), the converges of mighty hurricane and the galaxies etc are just few example to be noted.

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Mathematically, phi is an irrational number just like his more famous relative pi. That means that phi can’t be denoted in fractional form. Here are few interesting calculations related to phi.

1/phi= phi -1

phi2=phi+1

Also try it, 1.618 x 1.618 = 2.168. None of the other numbers holds such a beauty .

When Golden Ratio is followed in architectural landmarks such as

The Great Pyramids of Egypt

The Parthenon

Notre Dame Cathedral

Famous philosopher, scientist and artist Leonardo Da Vinci quite subtly embraced the beauty of the phi in his paintings Mona Lisa and The Last Supper .

The 17th century violinist Antonio Stradivari discovered that the 1st, 3rd , 5th and 8th (octave) numbers have a harmonious relationship.

A rational question arises in mind though, how is the Fibonacci series and the Golden Ration related?

The answer lies in the quotient

By dividing each of the successive term to the preceding term, the ratio remains close to 1.6.Lets check out –

5/3=1.666

8/5=1.600

13/8=1.625

21/13=1.615

34/21=1.619 and so on

 

Now you see the magic of this amazing number. Plotting the Fibonacci series number on a special graph, the Golden Spiral  is obtained , which is followed in all the above mentioned spirals.

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So you see, even the nature follows an intricate design in which all of us are carefully embroidered to form a beautiful masterpiece called the life. Look closely , and you would find it almost everywhere.

 

 

 

Why do jeans have small pocket?

images (1)Your wardrobe is definitely not complete if you don’t own a pair of jeans. But did you ever wonder why their exists a tiny pocket above the main pocket?

Well the answer lies 200 years ago.Back in 1800’s, when jeans where far away from treated as fashion symbol.Infact they were used by cowboys ,miners and factory workers. Watches were not the contemporary wrist watches ,instead pocket watched were in vogue.Hence they were to be kept inside the waistcoat.

However it was difficult for a cowboy to keep his watch intact as it might get broken.Therefore, Levis introduced a new prototype of jeans with the introduction of the tiny pocket especially to keep the pocket watch.

The prototype became so prevalent that it became standard model and now the tiny pockets are used for keep coins and bits.

How were Paparazzi and Casanova coined?

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A paparazzi is an impulsive photojournalist who makes life of celebrities quite a mess and brings the top photos to their fans. This term is quite a usage currently in modern media. It was taken from a movie character  in the 1960 Italian movie La Dolce Vita. A photojournalist named Paparazzo .The screenwriter who coined the name for the character claimed that Paparazzo is an Italian family name but it is the name was taken as it is loosely based on term papataceo , which means large and troublesome mosquito. (Perfect name of the profession isn’t it? )

Casanova , also called as a ‘womanizer’ is inspired from an actual person named Giacomo Girolamo Casanova. Born in 1725 in Venice he was a scam artist , spy, alchemist and church cleric. He was quite a genius who graduated when he was an early teen. However later on he became famous all over  Europe because of his gambling pursuits and of course his scandals involving women. He fought duels and went to prisons multiple times.His autobiography is named Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life).

 

Why is King Tut’s tomb most talked about?

King Tutankhamun  (c 1332 – 1323 B.C.E.)was an Egyptian Pharaoh who died young at the age of nineteen.The cause of the death still remains a mystery . The mummies of Egyptian pharaoh were laid at a special site called as the Valley of the Kings. If was a belief that all the things of basic requirements should be sent with the dead ones as they might need them afterlife. For the same reason, the kings were loaded with heavy jewels, clothes and flowers.

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However, after their burial, most of the tombs were looted by the thieves. As a reason the , the mummies found by the researchers do not bear any gold or the jewelry worn by the pharaohs.

But King Tut’s tomb was an exception.Founded by Howard Carter and George Herbert in 1922. His tomb was found almost intact .It bore all the jewels and gold he was buried with.This was a major achievement for the researches as they could finally see the extent of Ancient Egyptian’s wealth and culture.The most famous being his death mask all made of pure gold.

How did the zodiac signs got their names?

We often glaze at stars wondering how these tiny little twinkles are dazzling the long cold dark night. Just like map of earth which comprises of continents, oceans and islands, each star is grouped under a constellation, just like cities are grouped under one country. There are 88 constellations which form the sky map.

 

 

Though stars are stationary, but because of rotation of earth, they appear to rise in the east and set in the west. The galaxies , black holes , nebulae etc are located by their constellation in which they fall under. Just like Taj Mahal is in India.

 

For example the famous Crab Nebula is located in the constellation of Taurus. And yes, this zodiac sign of Taurus has got its name because of the constellation of same name.

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Furthermore, the twelve zodiac sign have got their names because of the ecliptic .If we trace a path of Sun’s movement around the earth ( technically, its the earth which is rotating) the path is called as Ecliptic . Like equator is an imaginary line that divides the earth into two hemisphere, ecliptic traces the path of the Sun’s motion .Each zodiac month, the Sun resides in one constellation , which becomes the birth sign of the person.fig1_12

For a complete view of night sky , and further information  you can download the Stellarium software available free of cost from the following site-

http://www.stellarium.org

 

 

 

Long Love for Encyclopedia

Do you also love facts and love being an encyclopedia? Well I too share the same genes. The difference between a turtle and a tortoise, various breeds of cats and dogs, childhood stories of celebrities etc. None of the subjects exists where you don’t have any knowledge. Join my ride , in this world of general knowledge where science, history, journalism and health are the just the beginning topics to be talked about.