A supermassive black hole suddenly vanished. Scientists think it’s floating through space.

Black holes continue to elude scientists, with a lot about the celestial objects still shrouded in mystery. Now, a cosmic event has shaken astronomers!

A supermassive black hole earlier believed to be situated in the centre of a far off galaxy has suddenly vanished.

The galaxy officially called “A2261-BCG” seems to have lost its black hole. Scientists now believe that the black hole might be floating through space, marking the first such instance ever recorded.

The first ever “recoiling” black hole may now be floating through the universe.

Scientists posit that this implies that a powerful force emanating from somewhere in the galaxy may be behind the ejection of this supermassive black hole. The power of the force would have been strong enough to push the black hole far away!

According to scientists, every galaxy in the universe has at least one giant black hole at the centre. This includes our very own Milky Way.

Recently, a team from the University of Michigan published a study about recoding black holes in the American Astronomical Society Journal.

Lead by Dr Kayhan Gultekin, the team found that a black hole had suddenly went missing. He had had been studying A2261-BCG for quite some time when the unexpected event occurred.

In conversation with Motherboard, the doctor claimed that he was sceptical about seeing anything at the centre of the far-off galaxy, but found nothing.

The team of scientists observing it also believe that the black could be hiding somewhere in the galaxy where it cannot be detected.

A massive force is required to push a black hole from its position, and scientists claim that it could be owing to the collision of two supermassive black holes.

Even then, proving this remains difficult, as we have never been able to observe the collision of two supermassive blackholes

How to Cope up with Stress? (for students)

Ashton Eaton’s key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused. Stress can cause many ill-effects to our body and mental health. Therefore, we need to cope up with stress that is caused by the challenges in life. 

Stress can be caused in students by various factors like examinations, surprise tests, deadline of an unsubmitted assignment, noise pollution, etc. There are two types of stress – distress and eustress. Stress affects us mentally and physically. It causes various diseases. It decreases our confidence and makes us lonely. I have written about this in detail in my previous article. 

Steps for stress management

  1. Identify the cause of stress. You need to know what has caused the stress. The cause can be a presentation, a speech, a dance performance, etc. In students, the most common stressor is an examination or a stage performance at school. Some students get stressed during preparing for the examinations, they are a prey of self doubt and low self esteem. 
  1. Reaction to a stressful situation plays a key role in managing it. Identify how you are dealing with this situation emotionally. This is the second step and the easiest step to regulate stress quickly. You should know about the emotions that you are feeling, if you know this then you can share this with anyone or can deal with it faster.
  1. Seek solutions for avoiding stressors. Stressors are the challenges and the situations due to which we acquire/experience stress. However, avoiding stressors in every situation is not a good thing and this will eventually decrease your self confidence. If you feel stressed by delivering speeches in front of the public, then you can imagine that there are no people in the room. You can also focus on only one person in the room and then deliver the speech to them.
  1. Identifying symptoms of stress is as crucial as the reactions to it. For example, during a presentation to an audience, and you have blanks of memory, you are uncomfortable, and you are distracted. These are the symptoms of stress and they can derail your presentation in front of the audience.

Management techniques 

  • Exercise. It can help to improve your sleep. And better sleep means better stress management. Exercise also seems to help mood. Part of the reason may be that it stimulates your body to release a number of hormones like endorphins and endocannabinoids that help block pain, improve sleep, and sedate you. People who exercise also tend to feel less anxious and more positive about themselves. 
  •  A healthy diet can lessen the effects of stress, build up your immune system, level your mood, and lower your blood pressure. Lots of added sugar and fat can have the opposite effect. And junk food can seem even more appealing when you’re under a lot of stress.
  • Do Yoga. This is a form of exercise, but it can also be a meditation. There are many types of yoga. The ones that focus on slow movement, stretching, and deep breathing are best for lowering your anxiety and stress. Here are some asanas that can relieve stress – child pose, bridge pose, corpse pose, camel pose, cobra pose. Here are some pranayamas that students should practice – bhramari, nadi shodhan, shitali, and anulom- vilom.

In a nutshell – slow down, keep calm, be positive, take it easy, unplug, enjoy life, have fun, breathe, go outside, relax and meditate.

Why President Biden could cap the Keystone XL pipeline project?

After US President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday, one of the first actions the Democrat might take is cancelling the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project, a Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) report said.

The controversial XL pipeline, if built, will become part of a larger pipeline network that is already in existence. This functioning network, which is also called Keystone, connects oil sands in Canada’s Alberta province to refineries in the US states of Illinois and Texas

What is the Keystone XL proposal?

Keystone XL is the proposed fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline network between Canada and the US, which aims to cut short the distance between Alberta’s oil sands and the Texas Gulf Coast, where most of North America’s refineries are situated.

The first three phases of Keystone are complete, and are currently carrying 5.5 lakh barrels of oil every day to the US from Canada via a longer route.

The planned 1,897 km XL pipeline’s more direct route, as well as larger diameter, would boost the oil supply from Canada, potentially carrying 8.3 lakh barrels of oil per day. It would be privately financed, with costs of building shared by Canada-based TC Energy and other oil companies. The XL pipeline would carry both Canadian and American oil to refineries in Texas, from where it can be exported.

So, why build a shorter route?

A key reason is that the oil sands in Canada are landlocked, and a direct connection to international markets through the Texas refineries and ports would mean that they can be further developed. This would benefit the energy industry in both Canada and the US.

Another important reason stated is that if North America increases its own supply of oil, it can further reduce its reliance on imports from the Middle East, thus providing fuel at lower prices for domestic consumers. President Donald Trump has claimed that 28,000 jobs would be created for the pipeline’s construction.

Then, why is there opposition to the project?

There are a number of groups that have a problem with the XL proposal.

Environmentalists claim that building the pipeline would signify a commitment to developing the Alberta oil sands, where oil production is set to double by 2030. They argue that if the pipeline is built, it would increase North America’s reliance on fossil fuel. This would not only take away the focus from developing renewable sources, but also end up exacerbating climate change.

There are complaints about the carbon footprint of extracting Canadian oil, too. The fuel extracted from Alberta’s oil sands is bitumen, an inferior quality of petroleum. Its extraction process is more akin to mining than conventional oil drilling, and generates 15 per cent more greenhouse emissions compared to the production of one average barrel of oil used in the US, as per The Washington Post.

There is also opposition in the US state of Nebraska, where leaks from the pipeline could threaten the Ogallala Aquifer, among the world’s largest fresh water reserves which provides drinking water to 20 lakh people in eight US states. Experts say the Canadian bitumen could be especially harmful to the waterway, because unlike conventional crude, which floats on top of water in case of a spill, some of bitumen’s heavy elements settle to the ground, rendering conventional cleanup technologies redundant.

Native American groups have also opposed the project, saying the pipeline construction would affect water supplies upstream of many of their reservations.

And, how did this issue play out politically?

Because the proposed pipeline crosses the international border, it requires the approval of both national governments. Although Canada approved the XL project in 2010, former US President Barack Obama, a Democrat, axed it in 2015, saying it would increase greenhouse emissions, and that Canada would reap most of the project’s benefits.

Then in 2017, Republican President Trump, who openly questions the veracity of climate change, reversed Obama’s decision soon after taking office, allowing the pipeline to move forward.

According to a Reuters report, the XL pipeline’s construction is currently underway in Canada, and the border crossing with the US is complete. In all of the US states that the pipeline passes through, construction is taking place on pump stations, the report said.

Now, as the White House again returns to Democratic hands, the project could again get in jeopardy. In the past, Biden has already declared that he would cancel the XL pipeline’s permit if elected.