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Rapid Fire Current Affairs

  • 06 Feb 2023
  • 5 min read

World Wetlands Day 2023

The State Govts and UT administrations across India celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) at all 75 Ramsar sites on 02nd Feb 2023.

The 2023 theme for World Wetlands Day is ‘Wetland Restoration’ highlighting the urgent need to prioritise wetland restoration.

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ structured on a “whole of society” approach for wetlands conservation.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated all over the world to commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971).

India has been a party to the Convention since 1982 and has so far declared 75 wetlands as Ramsar across 23 states/UTs. India has the largest network of Ramsar Sites in Asia.

Read More - World Wetlands Day, Ramsar Sites, Ramsar Convention (Infographics)

Sant Guru Ravidas Jayanti

The birthday of Sant Guru Ravidas was observed on 05th Feb 2023. Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima (full moon day in the Magh month of the Hindu lunar calendar).

Guru Ravidas was a 15th century saint and reformer of the Bhakti movement who gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems. He dedicated his whole life to the abolition of the caste system and openly despised the notion of a Brahminical society. Around 41 of his poems were included in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the religious text of the Sikhs.

Read More - Guru Ravidas Jayanti

Jupiter Becomes the Planet with Most Moons

Astronomers recently discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter, increasing the total number of moons it has to 92 - the largest number any planet on our solar system has (Saturn has 83 moons).

The moons were discovered using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile in 2021 and 2022 and have been added to a list kept by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre (size of these moons ranges from 1-3 kms).

Upcoming missions to Jupiter include - (a) ESA’s spacecraft to Jupiter to study the planet and some of its biggest, icy moons (in 2023), (b) NASA’s Europa Clipper to explore Jupiter's moon Europa which could harbour an ocean beneath its frozen crust (in 2024). NASA earlier launched Mission Lucy to explore the Jupiter Trojan Asteroids.

Apart from Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus has 27 confirmed moons, Neptune 14, Mars 2 and Earth has 1 moon while Venus and Mercury have no moons.

Read More - Jupiter and Europa

Medium Density Amorphous Ice

Scientists at University College London (UCL) have recently created a new type of ice that matches the density and structure of water. The ice is called medium-density amorphous ice.

The ice was created by shaking regular ice in a small container with centimetre-wide stainless-steel balls at temperatures of -200°C to produce the novel variant. The ice appeared as a white granular powder that stuck to the metal balls.

Normally, when water freezes, it crystallises and its molecules are arranged into the familiar hexagonal, solid structure - ice. Ice is less dense than its liquid form - an unusual property for a crystal.

Depending on conditions such as pressure and the speed of freezing, water can also solidify in many other regular arrangements. Amorphous ice, however, is different as it has no such order. Hence, this study could probably help in studying water’s mysterious properties.

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