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Month: October 2016

Science

This Planet Surface Has Water But Can It Hold Life?

Proxima Centauri is closest to the earth and scientists have evidence of a plant near the star’s habitat. It lies with the orbit’s range where water could exist on the surface. Hundreds of similar planets have been spotted by researches and all these have shown the potential to host life. But Proxima Centauri is the reason for all the buzz because it lies in close proximity to earth with a distance of about 4.25 light years. It can be seen within the range of telescopes. Moreover, it is easier to learn about the composition when compared to other exoplanet found till date.

There were many unauthorized news circulating on the discovery of the planet discovered using the radial velocity method. Many groups are constantly hinting a planet around Proxima Centauri but there is nothing concrete. Meanwhile the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) observes the start for about 2 months in a row for 20 minutes. The latest data informs that the planet looks 1.3 times the size of earth moving in orbits approximately every 11.2 days. This only goes to prove rocky planets are seen around all types of stars.

In the case of Proxima Centauri, it is just 1/8th the sun’s mass and burns less brightly. Moreover, the energy hitting star is just 65% of what earth receives from the sun. This goes to prove that water could easily exist if the planet has a means to trap heat. The planet may not be particularly capable of supporting life. The planet is tidally locked, showing only the same face every time to the star causing permanent night and day resulting in drastic variation in temperature. The closeness of the planet to Proxima Centauri gives it 100 times higher energy radiation when compared to Earth in terms of ultraviolet light. But if Proxima Centauri has no transit then there is always hope for life.

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Politics

Is Zika Prevention Kits Made Available To Possible Victim?

A warning was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pregnant women travelling to Miami on the Zika virus. The Florida Governor, Rick Scott also issued a message to pregnant women to contact their Gynecologist to obtain Zika prevention kit. In the month of June soon after the argument on the blocked federal funds for Zika prevention, the Republican governor set aside $26 million from the state funds to procure CDC Zika prevention kits which includes a mosquito repellents, tablets to kill mosquitoes infested in the water and condoms.

Scott informed that the governor’s office and the state department of health are working in coordination to educate people in the concern area. The zika prevention kits were also distributed to pregnant women through OB-GYNs. But it is still not clear how far the kits have reached. Meanwhile, the spokesperson from the Florida Department of Health in an email said that prevention kits are available at the offices of OB-GYNs but was not clear on how they were distributed. While speaking to the Planned Parenthood vice president of South East and North florida, she said that they did not receive any such kit from the department of health. She also added that there was no guidance from the state department on the severity of the outbreak.

The complaint is that the state has taken on Zika and has blocked the state funding for reproductive health clinics when most of the pregnancies are unforeseen. Reports say that the recent Zika cases are not the first in the state. By the end of July around 400 cases were reported and within a span of many months, 55 pregnant women were involved. These cases were travel oriented and this goes to prove that it was brought home from outside of the United States. Now the department of Health is testing pregnant women free of cost for Zika symptoms and the virus is contained informs Jeri Bustamante, Spokesperson of the Governor

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