Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 25 November 2021

1. LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9

A white dwarf in the binary system LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9 (J0240+1952 for short) completes a full rotation once every 24.93 seconds, making it the fastest spinning confirmed white dwarf, according to an analysis of data from the HiPERCAM instrument on the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias.

Insights

  1. The J0240+1952 binary system is located 2,016 light-years away in the constellation of Aries.
  2. Also known as CRTS J024048.5+195227, it consists of a white dwarf and a much larger companion star.
  3. The white dwarf is the size of the Earth but is thought to be at least 200,000 times more massive.
  4. Its immense gravity is pulling material from the companion star in the form of plasma.
  5. In the past, this plasma was falling onto the white dwarf’s equator at high speed, providing the energy that has given it this dizzyingly fast spin.
  6. The white dwarf has a spin period of 24.9328 seconds. That’s almost 20% faster than CTCV J2056-3014, a white dwarf with the most comparable spin rate, which completes a rotation in 29.61 seconds.
  7. J0240+1952 will have completed several rotations in the short amount of time that people take to read about it, which is really incredible
  8. The rotation is so fast that the white dwarf must have an above-average mass just to stay together and not be torn apart.
  9. At some point in its evolutionary history, J0240+1952 developed a strong magnetic field.
  10. The magnetic field acts as a protective barrier, causing most of the falling plasma to be propelled away from the white dwarf.
  11. The remainder will flow towards the star’s magnetic poles.
  12. It gathers in bright spots on the surface of the star and as these rotate in and out of view they cause pulsations in the light that the astronomers observe from Earth, which they then use to measure the rotation of the entire star.
  13. This type of gas is highly conducting and picks up a lot of speed from this process, which propels it away from the star and out into space.
  14. It establishes that the magnetic propeller mechanism is a generic property that operates in these binaries if the circumstances are right.”
  15. “This latest discovery has shown that the model works really well, it predicted that the star had to be spinning fast, and indeed it does.”

2. SDG Urban Index & Dashboard

In its journey towards localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and instituting robust SDG progress monitoring systems at the national, State/UT, and local levels, NITI Aayog has achieved yet another milestone with the launch of the inaugural SDG Urban Index & Dashboard (2021-22).

Insights

  1. The index and dashboard are a result of the NITI Aayog-GIZ and BMZ collaboration focused on driving SDG localization in our cities, under the umbrella of Indo-German Development Cooperation.
  2. The SDG Urban Index and Dashboard ranks 56 urban areas 77 SDG indicators across 46 targets of the SDG framework.
  3. The data on these indicators have been sourced from official data sources such as NFHS, NCRB, U-DISE, data portals of various ministries, and other government data sources.
  4. The index and dashboard will further strengthen SDG localization and institute robust SDG monitoring at the city level.
  5. It highlights the strengths and gaps of ULB-level data, monitoring, and reporting systems.
  6. Tools such as this index and dashboard will contribute to the creation of an ecosystem in which all stakeholders will be equipped to adopt and implement data-driven decision making.
  7. This transformative change is quite essential, given the increasing prominence of our cities and urban areas in charting the future of development in India.
  8. For each SDG, the urban areas are ranked on a scale of 0-100.
  9. A score of 100 implies that the urban area has achieved the targets set for 2030; a score of 0 implies that it is the farthest from achieving the targets among the selected urban areas.
  10. Overall or composite urban area scores are then generated from the Goal-wise scores to measure aggregate performance of the urban area.
  11. Urban areas have been classified as below based on their composite score:
    • Aspirant: 0–49
    • Performer: 50–64
    • Front-Runner: 65–99
    • Achiever: 100