Tuesday, March 22, 2011


World Water Day – March 22

Water (H2O) is a finite natural resource that must be conserved; it is limited and scarce in many places. Even if you live in an area with ample rainfall, using water uses energy to process it, pump it, heat it, pump it, and process it again.

Ways to save water:

  1. Use your washing machine only when it is filled to its total capacity. You can save about 4500 litres per month in this process. Besides saving water, this method is also helpful to save electricity.
  2. Avoid using a shower for bathing. Try using a bucket instead. This will help you save about 150-200 litres everyday.
  3. Turn off the tap while brushing and save more than 200 litres of water every month.
  4. Don't drink water if you are not thirsty.
  5. Use sprinklers to water the plants provided you have a large garden.
  6. Ensure that your home has no leakages. Also check whether all water bottles are closed properly.
  7. Use small glasses for drinking water. The smaller the container, the less consumption of water.
  8. Whenever you waste water, just think about those millions of people who still struggle to save every drop of water for their survival.
  9. Convert your toilet to low flush. Place a plastic bottle of water in the tank to displace some of the water used for each flush. Weigh the bottle down with pebbles or sand, if necessary. Or, try ordering a 'save-a-flush' or 'hippo' from your local water board.
  10. Plant small trees under big trees. This will help prevent evaporation and provides some shade for your plants. You can also plant a shade garden under trees.
  11. Lastly, spread awareness regarding water conservation.

Well, do you have any more ways to save water?



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meaningless to equate ‘supermoon' with earthquake or tsunami

An auroral and unusually big ‘supermoon' was seen lighting up the sky on Saturday, offering a visual treat to an enthusiastic audience of curious sky-gazers.

The phenomenon was special, as the moon came closest to the earth in 18 years, becoming the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. The moon was around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the other full moons, Nehru Planetarium Director N. Rathnasree said.

“The ‘supermoon' is the biggest and brightest of 2011,” C.B. Devgun, director of the Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE), told PTI.

The moon was only 3,56,577 km away. The phenomenon occurred in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005.

Full moons coinciding with the moon's closest point to the earth in fact happen after every one year, one month and 18 days when it is about 3,63,104 km from the earth, Mr. Devgun said. “This is because the moon's orbit is an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to the earth than the other. In astronomy, the two extremes are called ‘apogee' [far away] and ‘perigee' [nearby].”

A public sky-watch with telescopes and a live show with full dome visuals were organised by the Nehru Planetarium on Saturday evening for sky-gazers to have a better view of the perigee full moon, Ms. Rathnasree said. Hundreds of people thronged the planetarium to see the earth's natural satellite, she said, adding it was totally safe to watch the moon with naked eyes.

Dispelling reports that a correlation existed between the moon and earthquakes, she said the data for the past 100 years and more showed no correlation.

“It is meaningless to equate the ‘supermoon' with earthquake or tsunami. No inference should ever be drawn from looking at just two data points; any statistical correlation has to be checked over a number of data points.”

Earthquakes and tsunami were earth's internal affairs, R.C. Kapoor, a retired professor of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics said. The moon could cause a higher tide and nothing else.

The term ‘supermoon' was first coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. He defined it as a situation in which the moon is slightly closer to the earth on its orbit than the average, which is 90 per cent or more of its closest orbit, and the moon is a full or new moon.

At the closest, the moon lies roughly 3,56,630 km from the earth.