Researchers may have discovered proof of a new planet similar to Earth.
A team of astronomers in Japan, including those from the country’s National Astronomical Observatory, believe that there is an unknown planet that may be circling the Sun in an orbit past Neptune. As of now, we know for sure that there are eight planets in our solar system. Their order from nearest the Sun to furthest away goes: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Satum, Uranus, Neptune and then a possible Planet Nine.
The published research suggests that this possible Planet Nine, could be hiding in the Kuiper Belt. The researchers found that the way that some of the objects in the Kuiper Belt behave suggests there could be a small planet among them. The astronomers think this new planet could be three times as big as Earth but it would not have life as we know it, because the temperatures would be too cold. The team say finding this new discovery near the Kuiper Belt, could lead to finding more possible planets.
According to NASA, the Kuiper Belt is a doughnut shaped region of icy bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune – the eighth and most distant planet in our solar system.
Did You Know?
For more than 70 years, Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet in our solar system. However, in 2006, the International Astronomical Union downgraded Pluto to a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet orbits the sun just like other planets, but it is smaller.
Novak Djokovic Wins US Open For Record-Equalling 24th Grand Slam Title
The 36- year-old tennis star from Serbia, Novak Djokovic won the US Open final by defeating Danil Medvedev. He has become the first player to win 24 Grand Slams in the Open Era, which began in 1968. He has won three of the four Grand Slam titles in 2023, becoming the first man to achieve this feat on four occasions. In winning 24 grand slam titles, Djokovic now equals Australian Margaret Court’s record.
American teenager Coco Gauff has won the US Open tournament for the first time. The 19-year-old beat Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka in a nail-biting final. This win makes her the youngest American to win a major tennis championship since 1999. Cori Gauff, who’s nicknamed “Coco”, made headlines when in 2019 she became the youngest player (at 15 years and 122 days) to qualify for the main Wimbledon draw since the professional era began in 1968. The US Open is her first major title win.
A Grand Slam is a very prestigious tennis tournament. There are four Grand Slam tournaments that take place every year – The US Open, Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon.
The Open Era is the current era of professional tennis. It began in 1968 when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professional players to compete with amateurs, ending the division that had persisted since the dawn of the sport in the 19th century.
Did You Know?
Tennis balls are very hard to recycle and they’re causing a problem for the Earth. Nearly all of the 330 million balls made worldwide each year eventually get wasted, with most ending up in landfill. Tennis balls can take more than 400 years to decompose. Grand Slam events go through nearly 100,000 balls over the course of the tournament and the tennis industry is scrambling for a solution.
India’s Newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, 41 and Counting – Santiniketan, West Bengal
During the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia, Santinikentan was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Santiniketan is a famous place in West Bengal where well-known Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, established a world university, called Visva-Bharati in 1921.
He was a poet, playwright, novelist, musician, and painter. In 1913 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, for the English version of his collection of poetry, Gitaniali. He was the first non European to win a Nobel Prize in literature. He also wrote the national anthem of India. “Jana Gana Mana”.
Did You Know? Santiniketan, originally an ashram established by Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Maharshi Deben-dranath Tagore.
India’s 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site – Hoysala Temples, Karnataka
The Hoysala temples of Karnataka, located in the Belur, Halebidu and Somananthpura regions, have also been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The temples were built in the 12th to 13th centuries and stand as symbols of the creativity and skill of the artists and architects of the Hoysala era. The Hoysala Empire ruled a large portion of the modern day state of Karnataka between the 10th and 14th centuries. The capital of the empire was initially located at Belur and later moved to Halebidu.
What is UNESCO World Heritage List?
UNESCO has been working with countries around the world since 1972 to identify World Heritage sites and protect them for future generations. There are more than 1,000 sites on the World Heritage List, in three categories -cultural (such as a temple), natural (like a rainforest), and mixed (where both cultural and natural elements exist at the same location).
Diwali, is a five day festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali or Deepavali gets its name from the Sanskrit word Dipavali, which means “row of lights”. Diwali marks the start of the New Year. Diwali is also a symbolic celebration of good triumphing over evil. The festival of lights honours the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. People celebrate this festival by lighting little earthen oil lamps and decorating their homes with lights. The lamps and light are said to help Goddess Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ homes, bringing prosperity in the year to come.
There are many different legends associated with Diwali.
For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the Nirvana or spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira. In Sikhism, Diwali honours the day Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Sikh Guru was freed from imprisonment.
Hindus have many beliefs associated with Diwali, based upon where they live. But there’s one common theme: the victory of good over evil.
In northern India, Diwali is a celebration of the day Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating the demon Ravana in Lanka and serving fourteen years of exile. According to legend, when Rama returned to Ayodhya, the people of the city welcomed him by lighting thousands of rows of clay lamps.
In southern India and even in Nepal, Diwali marks the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, an evil demon. In western India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.
Diwali is Celebrated Over Five Days
Day one: People clean their homes and shop for gold kitchen utensils to help bring good fortune.
Day two: People decorate their homes with clay lamps create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.
and Day four: This is the first day of the new year, when friends
Day three: On the main day of the festival, families gather for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, followed by yummy feasts and fireworks festivities ( Although fireworks may not be the most eco-friendly).
Day Four: This is the first day of the new year, when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
Day five: Brothers visit their married sisters, who welcome them with love and a mouth-watering meal.
Celebrating And Embracing Diverse Diwali Celebrations In India
The festival of lights is an extremely significant and auspicious festival for India. India is a multicultural country and most Indians celebrate Diwali, based on their own beliefs and customs. Almost every region in India has distinctive traditions for celebrating Diwali. However, the triumph of good over evil remains the common belief. Read to find out about the unique ways different cultures celebrate Diwali in India:
Dev Deepavali in Varanasi
Dev Deepavali or Dev Diwali, also known as the festival of gods, is celebrated 15 days after Diwali in Varanasi on a full moon night. On Dev Diwali, millions of diyas are lit on the ghats of Varanasi. It is believed on this day, gods and goddesses come down to Earth to take a bath in the Ganges. Dev Diwali also marks Lord Shiva’s victory over demon Tripurasur.
Kali Puja in West Bengal and Assam
In West Bengal and Assam, Diwali is celebrated as Kali Puja. Goddess Kali is worshipped on this day and worshippers offer her flowers, fish, sweets, and meat. While most of India, worships Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali, in these two Indian states, Goddess Kali is worshipped. It is interesting to note that the festival of Kali Puja became popular in Bengal only in the 18th century.
Narka Chaturdashi in Goa
In Goa, Diwali is celebrated as Narka Chaturdashi. On Narka Chaturdashi, locals burn huge effigies of the demon Narakasura made from grass and hay. According to a legend in Goa, the demon Narakasura was the king of Goa. He was very arrogant and troubled people. He was ultimately killed by Lord Krishna.
Kaunriya Kathi in Odisha
One of India’s most culturally diverse states, Odi-sha, celebrates Diwali differently. During Kaunriya Kathi, the people of Odisha burn jute sticks to invite their ancestors, who are said to descend from heaven on Diwali. The ancestors are invited to visit them on Diwali, to bless them and their families.
The burning of jute sticks is often accompanied by a prayer. During Diwali, people in Odisha worship Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, and Goddess Kali.
Significance Of Diwali In Sikhism, Jainism, And Buddhism
Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism are different religions, with their own beautiful traditions, cultures, and customs. The festival of Diwali is celebrated differently by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. Each of these religions celebrate Diwali for slightly different reasons.
Bandi Chhor Divas celebrated by Sikhs
Sikhs celebrate Band Chhor Divas on Diwali. Band Chhor Divas or Prisoner Release Day, celebrates the release of the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib in 1619, from a prison in Gwalior. He was held captive by the Mughals. It is believed that Guru Hargobind agreed to be released from prison only if the 52 Hindu princes, who were imprisoned along with him, were allowed to go free. The day is seen as a triumph of right over wrong and a tribute to the Guru who saved the lives of 52 men without violence. On Diwali, the Golden Temple in Amritsar is illuminated with Diyas.
Dipalikaya celebrations by Jains
For Jains, Diwali holds a great significance. On this day, the 24th and last Tirthan-kara of Jainism (a savior and spiritual teacher of dharma), Lord Mahavir attained moksha. Moksha is the freedom from the cycle of reincarnation. It is believed that heaven and Earth were illuminated with many lamps to mark the occasion of Lord Mahavir’s enlightenment. Jains celebrate the famous festival of Diwali to worship Lord Mahavir.
Some Buddhists also celebrate the festival to honour their Emperor Ashoka’s decision to convert to Buddhism and follow a path of peace and enlightenment after winning the Kalinga war. On this day, Buddhists decorate their monasteries and temples and Lord Buddha is wor-shipped.
Legend Of Lord Rama Is Global
Did You Know that Ramayana is popular not only in India but in many other Asian countries? It also has many different and diverse versions and adaptations.
The ancient Indian mythological tale, Ramayana is performed all over India during the festival of Dussehra and until Diwali. Ramayana was originally written in Sanskrit by sage Valmiki. It is estimated that there are approximately 300 different versions of Ramayana. This epic story is not only popular in India but in some other Southeast Asian countries as well. Other than India, different and diverse versions of Ramayana are found in Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, and China. Some of the versions in these countries are drastically different from the original.
The following illustrates the names of various versions of Ramayana that are popular outside India:
Thailand Ramakien or the Glory of RamaBuddhist Version Dasarata JatakaJain Version PaumachariyamLaos Phra Lak Phra RamMyanmar Yama ZatdawSri Lanka JanakiharanJapan Hobutsushu and Sambo-EkotobaIran Dastan-e-Ram O SireCambodia ReamkerPhilippines Maharadia LawanaIndonesia Kakawin RamavanaMalaysia Hikayat Seri Rama
Some Interesting Facts About Diwali
Diwali is also celebrated in Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. All these countries have a significant overseas Indian population.
It was on the day of Diwali that the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid in the year 1577.
Diwali is always celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik on a no moon night.
It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, was born on Diwali.
Diwali, which is celebrated in the month of Kartik, marks the end of the harvest season in India. Farmers in India offer their harvest to Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali.
The Women Reservation Bill, 2023, or the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’, was passed with a whopping majority in the Lok Sabha. The historic bill has also been passed by the Rajya Sabha. The bill calls to reserve one-third or 33% of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.