(GS-I: Important Geographical phenomenon)
Stunning aurora glow was recently observed above Iceland after a ‘dead’ sunspot erupted.
What is Aurora?
An Aurora is a display of light in the sky predominantly seen in the high latitude regions (Arctic and Antarctic). It is also known as a Polar light.
There are two types- the aurora borealis and aurora australis – often called the northern lights and southern lights.
Where do they occur?
They commonly occur at high northern and southern latitudes, less frequent at mid-latitudes, and seldom seen near the equator.
While usually a milky greenish color, auroras can also show red, blue, violet, pink, and white. These colors appear in a variety of continuously changing shapes.
Science behind their occurrence:
Auroras are a spectacular sign that our planet is electrically connected to the Sun. These light shows are provoked by energy from the Sun and fueled by electrically charged particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field.
The typical aurora is caused by collisions between fast-moving electrons from space with the oxygen and nitrogen in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
The electrons—which come from the Earth’s magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by Earth’s magnetic field —transfer their energy to the oxygen and nitrogen atoms and molecules, making them “excited”.
As the gases return to their normal state, they emit photons, small bursts of energy in the form of light.
When a large number of electrons come from the magnetosphere to bombard the atmosphere, the oxygen and nitrogen can emit enough light for the eye to detect, giving us beautiful auroral displays.
Where do they originate?
They origin at altitudes of 100 to more than 400 km.
Why do auroras come in different colors and shapes?
The color of the aurora depends on which gas — oxygen or nitrogen — is being excited by the electrons, and on how excited it becomes. The color also depends upon how fast the electrons are moving, or how much energy they have at the time of their collisions.
High energy electrons cause oxygen to emit green light (the most familiar color of the aurora), while low energy electrons cause a red light. Nitrogen generally gives off a blue light.
The blending of these colors can also lead to purples, pinks, and whites. The oxygen and nitrogen also emit ultraviolet light, which can be detected by special cameras on satellites.
Auroras affect communication lines, radio lines and power lines.
It should also be noted here that the Sun’s energy, in the form of solar wind, is behind the whole process.
(GS-II: Important International institutions)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave a “positive assessment” to their cooperation on the OPEC+ producers group to stabilize the world oil market.
What’s the issue?
Saudi Arabia and other major Persian Gulf oil producers have so far resisted U.S. calls to increase output as prices have surged amid the crisis in Ukraine and concerns about possible sanctions on Russian exports. So, measures such as these are necessary to set things right.
What is the Opec+?
Opec+ refers to the alliance of crude producers, who have been undertaking corrections in supply in the oil markets since 2017.
OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.
What is OPEC?
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in September 1960 by five countries namely Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. They were to become the Founder Members of the Organization.
OPEC is a permanent, intergovernmental organization.
OPEC’s objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.
It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and which shares the ideals of the organization.
International Day for Monuments and Sites
(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)
Every year, the United Nations marks April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites.
In many countries the day is also celebrated as World Heritage Day.
Globally, the day is promoted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
The theme for World Heritage Day 2022 is “Heritage and Climate”.
What is a World Heritage site?
These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.
Heritage sites in India:
India is home to 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Harappan city of Dholavira in Gujarat as India’s 40th world heritage site.
Ramappa Temple (Telangana) was India’s 39th World Heritage Site.
Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim has been inscribed as India’s first and the only “Mixed World Heritage Site”.
Alluri Sitaram Raju and the Rampa Rebellion
(GS-I: Modern History and historical events)
The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu recently visited the birthplace of noted freedom fighter and revolutionary, Shri Alluri Sitarama Raju in Pandrangi village near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
About Alluri Sitaram Raju:
In 1922, Indian revolutionary Alluri Sitaram Raju led the Rampa Rebellion against the British raj for their imposition of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, which severely restricted the free movement of the tribal community within their own forests.
Under the implications of this Act, the community was unable to fully carry out the traditional Podu agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation.
The armed struggle came to a violent end in 1924, when Raju was captured by police forces, tied to a tree, and shot by a firing squad. His heroics resulted in him being titled manyam veerudu, or ‘the hero of the jungle’.
The Rampa Rebellion of 1922, also known as the Manyam Rebellion, was a tribal uprising, led by Alluri Sitarama Raju in Godavari Agency of Madras Presidency, British India. It began in August 1922 and lasted until the capture and killing of Raju in May 1924.