December 14, 2011

Higgs Boson

The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is predicted to exist by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. It is known as God Particle. The higgs Boson ia an integral part of theoretical Higgs Mechanism.

Scientists say they have found hints of the existence of the Higgs Boson, anever before seen subatomic particle long thought to be a fundamental building block of the Universe. 

The standard Model of particle physics lays out the basic of how elementary particles interact in the universe. But the theory crucially fails to explain how particles actually get their mass.

Particles, or bits of matter, range in size and can be larger or smaler than atoms. Electrons, protons and neutrons, for instance are the subatomic particles that make up an atom.

Scientists belive that the Higgs Boson is the particle that gives all matter its mass.

December 7, 2011




BALARAMA VARMA- 1798- 1810

Maharani Ayilyom Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi - (1791–1814)

Maharani Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi- (1815- 1829)

Sri Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma- (1829-1846)

UTHRAM THIRUNAL- ( 1846- 1860)



MOOLAM THIRUNAL ( 1885- 1924)

SETHU LAKSHMI BAI ( 1924- 1931)


December 6, 2011


The Kepler spacecraft is an American space observatory, the space-based portion of NASA's Kepler Mission to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The spacecraft, named in honor of the 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, was launched in March 2009with a planned mission lifetime of at least 3.5 years.
The Kepler mission is "specifically designed to survey a portion of our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets." Kepler's only instrument is a photometer that continuously monitors the brightness of over 145,000 main sequence stars in a fixed field of view. This data is analyzed to detect periodic fluctuations that indicate the presence of extrasolar planets that are in the process of crossing the face of other stars.

Mission Of Spacecraft

The centuries-old quest for other worlds like our Earth has been rejuvenated by the intense excitement and popular interest surrounding the discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars. There is now clear evidence for substantial numbers of three types of exoplanets; gas giants, hot-super-Earths in short period orbits, and ice giants. The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in thehabitable zone→ of their stars where liquid water might exist on the surface of the planet.

The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone→ and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets. 


The Kepler instrument is a specially designed 0.95-meter diameter telescope called a photometer or light meter. It has a very large field of view for an astronomical telescope — 105 square degrees, which is comparable to the area of your hand held at arm's length. It needs that large a field in order to observe the necessary large number of stars. It stares at the same star field for the entire mission and continuously and simultaneously monitors the brightnesses of more than 100,000 stars for the life of the mission—3.5 or more years.

The photometer must be spacebased to obtain the photometric precision needed to reliably see an Earth-like transit and to avoid interruptions caused by day-night cycles, seasonal cycles and atmospheric perturbations, such as, extinction associated with ground-based observing.

Results from the Kepler mission will allow us to place our solar system within the context of planetary systems in the Galaxy. 

Courtesy Wekipedia, NASA

Kepler 22b

WASHINGTON: In another step toward finding Earth-like planets that may hold life, NASA said on Monday the Kepler space telescope has confirmed its first-ever planet in a habitable zone outside our solar system.
French astronomers earlier this year confirmed the first rocky exoplanet to meet key requirements for sustaining life. But Kepler-22b, initially glimpsed in 2009, is the first the US space agency has been able to confirm.
Confirmation means that astronomers have seen it crossing in front of its star three times. But it doesn't mean that astronomers know whether life actually exists there, simply that the conditions are right.
Such planets have the right distance from their star to support water, plus a suitable temperature and atmosphere to support life.
"We have now got good planet confirmation with Kepler-22b," said Bill Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA Ames Research Center.
"We are certain that it is in the habitable zone and if it has a surface, it ought to have a nice temperature," he told reporters.
Spinning around its star some 600 light years away, Kepler-22b is 2.4 times the size of the Earth, putting it in class known as "super-Earths," and orbits its Sun-like star every 290 days.
Its near-surface temperature is presumed to be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius). Scientists do not know, however, whether the planet is rocky, gaseous or liquid.
The planet's first "transit," or star crossover, was captured shortly after NASA launched its Kepler spacecraft in March 2009.
NASA also announced that Kepler has uncovered 1,094 more potential planets, twice the number it previously had been tracking, according to research being presented at a conference in California this week.
Kepler is NASA's first mission in search of Earth-like planets orbiting suns similar to ours, and cost the US space agency about $600 million.
It is equipped with the largest camera ever sent into space -- a 95-megapixel array of charge-coupled devices -- and is expected to continue sending information back to Earth until at least November 2012.
Kepler is searching for planets as small as Earth, including those orbiting stars in a warm, habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet.
The latest confirmed exoplanet that could support life brings to three the total number confirmed by global astronomers.
In addition to French astronomers' confirmed finding of Gliese 581d in May, Swiss astronomers reported in August that another planet, HD 85512 b, about 36 light years away seemed to be in the habitable zone of its star.
However, those two planets are "orbiting stars smaller and cooler than our Sun," NASA said in a statement, noting that Kepler-22b "is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our Sun."
"The Europeans have also been very active, actively working on confirming our candidates," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler deputy science team lead at San Jose State University.
"They have already confirmed two that are published and they have got another batch that are on the preprint servers so those will be, I'm sure, in the published literature soon," she added.
"So we are just thrilled about this. We need all telescopes observing these candidates so we can confirm as many as possible."
A total of 48 exoplanets and exomoons are potential habitable candidates, among a total of 2,326 possibilities that Kepler has identified so far.

 courtesy NASA