Daily Current Affairs – Nov 8, 2023
GS- I >> Geography >> Earthquake
Context: Recently, a seismic swarm has hit the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland with more than 5,500 small earthquakes.
About Reykjanes Peninsula:
- Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, among the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.
Difference between aftershocks and swarms:
- Aftershocks are a sequence of earthquakes that happen after a larger mainshock on a fault. Aftershocks occur near the fault zone where the mainshock rupture occurred and are part of the ‘readjustment process’ after the main slip on the fault.
- Aftershocks become less frequent with time, although they can continue for days, weeks, months, or even years for a very large mainshock.
- A swarm, on the other hand, is a sequence of mostly small earthquakes with no identifiable mainshock. Swarms are usually short-lived, but they can continue for days, weeks, or sometimes even months.
- They often recur at the same locations. Most swarms are associated with geothermal activity.
GS- II >> International Relations >> Indo-Pacific Region
Context: Quad’s IPMDA a proof of our commitment to a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific by Navy Chief
About IPMDA Initiative:
- The IPMDA was announced by the Quad grouping, comprising India, Australia, Japan and U.S., at the Tokyo summit.
- To track ‘dark shipping’ and build a ‘faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters’, integrating three critical regions in the Indo-Pacific.
- It is a testament to the commitment to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific.
- Building networks and partnerships will be instrumental in ensuring the security and stability of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- It seeks to establish a comprehensive system for monitoring and securing maritime activities in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring the safety of critical sea lines of communication, and promoting cooperation among likeminded nations in the region.
GS- III >> Science & Technology >> Space
Context: Scientists have discovered the oldest black hole dating back to 470 million years after the Big Bang.
About Black Hole:
- This black hole is about 13.2 billion years old, as the universe itself is 13.7 billion years old.
- NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory were used to make observations with the gravitational lensing technique in the galaxy named UHZ1.
- Gravitational Lensing occurs when massive objects distort and magnify light from objects behind them, acting as cosmic telescopes and making distant galaxies appear brighter.
About Black hole in galaxy UHZ1:
- It is a supermassive black hole almost ten times bigger than black hole (Sagittarius A*) in our galaxy.
- It weighs anywhere from 10% to 100% of the mass of all the stars in its galaxy.
- It is considered a quasar since it’s actively growing and the gas is very bright.
- Black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out.
- They are formed when massive stars die or there is a direct collapse of gases.
Significance of studying black hole:
- To understand how matter behaves in extremely strong gravitational fields.
- To understand how fast the universe is expanding and how it has evolved.
About Chandra X-Ray Observatory and James Webb Telescope:
- Chandra X-Ray Observatory: It is a telescope deployed in 1999 and designed to observe X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe, such as the remnants of exploded stars.
- James Webb Telescope: Launched in 2021 in the second Lagrange point or L2 (1 million miles away from the Earth). It is the most powerful astronomical observatory ever sent into space; it sees the universe in the infrared.
GS- III >> Science & Technology >> Defence
Context: India successfully test-fires ‘Pralay’ missile off Odisha coast.
About Pralay Missile:
- Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation for deployment along Line of Actual Control and Line of Control.
- Range: 350-500 km Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM).
- Type: Surface-to-surface missile.
- Payload capacity: 500-1,000 kg.
- It is a solid-fuel, battlefield missile based on Prithvi Defence Vehicle.
- It has ability to change its path after covering a certain range mid-air.
- It is as powerful as Russian ‘Iskander’ and China’s ‘Dong Feng 12’.
- India’s other SRBMs: Prithvi I, Prithvi II etc.
GS- III >> Environment >> Pollution
Context: Production Gap Report 2023
About Production Gap Report (PGR):
- Report has been prepared by United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and other institutes such as Stockholm Environment Institute, etc.
- It tracks the misalignment between governments planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.
- Many countries have pledged for zero emission in alignment with COP 21 (Paris Agreement) and COP 26 (Glasgow) of UNFCCC to limit global warming. Production gap is different from emissions gap.
- Emission gap refers to difference between global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and accepted level in 2030.
- Reports highlight that major countries plans and projections would lead to an increase in global coal production until 2030, and in global oil and gas production until at least 2050.
- It includes countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, UAE, etc.
- Adopt near and long-term reduction targets in fossil fuel production.
- An equitable transition away from fossil fuel production must recognize countries’ differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.
- Governments with greater transition capacity should aim for more ambitious reductions and help finance the transition processes in countries with limited capacities.