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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Accretion Burst Event

Why in news?

Astronomers have recently found that the funnelling of matter into a forming star happens at different rates over time, as per the rotating disc of gas and dust theory.

  • Sometimes the forming star swallows up a huge amount of matter, resulting in a burst of activities in the massive star.
  • This is called an accretion burst event.


It is incredibly rare: only three such events have been observed, out of all the billions of massive stars in the Milky Way.

Need for these understandings:

  • Astronomers don’t yet fully understand how massive stars in our galaxy are formed. So far, observations have only yielded some pieces of the puzzle.
  • This is because nearly all the known massive stars in our galaxy are located very far away from our solar system. They also form in close proximity to other massive stars, making it difficult to study the environment where they take shape.
  • So, rotating disc theory helps in understanding these events.
  • With this, the astronomers will be able to develop and test theories to explain how high-mass stars gain their mass.

Maser Monitoring Organisation (M2O):

  • After the first detection of an accretion burst, in 2016, astronomers from around the world agreed in 2017 to coordinate their efforts to observe more.
  • This led to the formation of the Maser Monitoring Organisation (M2O).
  • The primary goal of M2O is to make the astronomy community aware of the importance of Maser monitoring. It is also to increase the number of sources monitored, the number of transitions monitored at, and increase cadence of observation.

What is a Maser?

  • A maser is the microwave (radio frequency) equivalent of laser. The word stands for “microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”.
  • Masers are observed using radio telescopes and most of them are observed at centimetre wavelength: they are very compact.
  • A maser flare can be a sign of an extraordinary event such as the formation of a star.

Fact for Prelims

About Padma Awards:

  • Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. They were instituted in the year 1954. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.


  • Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service;( it is a second degree honour).
  • Padma Bhushan is awarded for distinguished service of high order. (it is a third degree honour).
  • Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service in any field. (it is a fourth degree honour).
  • The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

The award is normally not conferred posthumously.

However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously if the demise of the person proposed to be honoured has been recent, say within a period of one year preceding the Republic Day on which it is proposed to announce the award.

v Ganga-Volga Dialogue:

  • It was held recently between India and Russia in New Delhi.
  • The dialogue focused in providing interface between the civilizations of the countries.
  • Theme: Connectivity


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