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‘Ibuki’ : Japan’s ‘Green’ Monitor Orbits the Earth

Where: Tokyo, JapanJanuary 23, 2009 : A space centre in Tanegashima, a remote island about 970 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, today launched the first satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide emissions. It is named 'Ibuki', which means 'breath'. The satellite has sensors which can measure light reflected from earth, and gauge the density of carbon dioxide and methane....

An invasion of toxic toads

Where: State of Queensland, AustraliaApril 2, 2007: This is certainly not a toad you’d want to kiss. Not only will the toad not turn into a handsome prince, you may not be left alive to tell the tale.It’s as big as a small dog, has the body of a football and enough poison to kill a crocodile if it...

Global Warming: Melting kingdom of the Polar Bear

Through the long and dark Arctic winter, the mother Polar Bear sat quietly in her den. She had given birth to her cubs, and was waiting for them to grow strong enough to follow her out to the ice pack. The ice pack is her refrigerator, the place where she gets her food. It’s quite literally a floating, rotating...

What is the Weight of Air?

Barometer measures atmospheric pressure
As you stand in the middle of a playground or while you are sitting in your class, there is an immense weight right over your head, but you do not feel it! This is the weight of the atmosphere, or air, as we know it.Composed of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, it surrounds the earth like an...

Coconut Oil + Kerosene = Fuel

March 27: Fossil fuels or fuels that are naturally found in the earth, are being rapidly consumed by humans. And the world has begun searching for an 'alternative fuel'. Necessity is the mother of invention. And out of necessity, a coconut farmer in a village in Thailand has 'invented' an alternate fuel.Guess what this 'invention' is - a little...

Why does Cola Fizz?

Why does Cola Fizz?
Switch on the television and you are bound to see some cola advertisements. Aamir Khan, a Bollywood hero, pops open a cola and the bubbly drink fizzes to the top. Have you ever wondered what causes the countless teeny bubbles in all these soft drinks?Soft drinks are carbonated, i.e. carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in the liquid. This gas...

Who stole the Candle Wax?

Who stole the Candle Wax?
On every Diwali, known as the festival of lights, our family has a big discussion on the kind of lighting we should have. And after talking about candles or electric bulbs we invariably choose the diyas or earthen lamps for their beautiful flames. But last year, we reached the kumhara or potter's roadside shop a bit too late. The...

Everything is made of something

3d model of an atom
How do you make tea? Simple, put a teaspoon of tea into a boiling cup of water. Strain the water, pour some milk and sugar to taste and the tea is ready! Interestingly, everything that we prepare has a recipe and is made up of simpler ingredients.For example, what is sugar made of? It is made of sugar molecules,...

The Big Meltdown

September 23: Earth is the only planet with an atmosphere congenial to life forms as we know of. If a blanket of air didn't surround us…our planet would have been a frozen wasteland - much too cold for human habitation. We have a lot to be thankful for. But we humans have been taking things for granted. As a...

Why do Plants Lean Toward Sunlight?

Why does the Sun follow You?
Plants kept inside a room always grow in the direction of the window. In woodlands where there is a thick canopy of trees and sunlight rarely falls on earth, very few plants survive. Those that do, do not require sunlight to make their food.People have long wondered about this phenomenon until the answer was discovered and explained by the...

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