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Current Affairs 10th June 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Baltimore

Context: Recently, a container ship crashed into the Baltimore Bridge, resulting in multiple sections breaking off and plummeting into the Patapsco River.

Fact
  • This bridge is named in honour of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
  • The Patapsco River connects the Port of Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

About Baltimore

  • Location: Baltimore is located in the northeastern part of the United States along the shores of the vast Chesapeake Bay.
  • State:
  • It is the biggest vehicle-handling port in the country.

Current Affairs 10th June 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam_4.1

Hydrogen Line

Context: The hydrogen line plays a crucial role in modern astronomy, enabling scientists to study a wide range of phenomena from distant stars to the potential existence of extraterrestrial life.

About Hydrogen Line

  • Hydrogen atoms consist of one proton and one electron, each possessing a characteristic known as spin.
  • Spins can be aligned (both up or down) or anti-aligned (opposite directions).
  • Anti-aligned spins result in higher energy states compared to aligned spins.
  • When the electron in a hydrogen atom flips from an anti-aligned to an aligned spin, it emits electromagnetic radiation.
    • This radiation has a specific wavelength of 21 cm.
  • This emission appears as a characteristic line in some detectors, known as the ‘hydrogen line’.
  • It was first discovered in 1951, marking a pivotal moment in radio astronomy.
  • Applications in Astronomy: The hydrogen line allows for the detection of cold, neutral hydrogen gas in interstellar space.
    • It enabled the creation of the first map of the Milky Way galaxy and the identification of its spiral arms.
  • Modern Uses: Astronomers use the 21 cm line to investigate the early galaxies of the universe and their first light emissions.
    • It is considered a potential method for transmitting information through space, possibly reaching extraterrestrial civilizations.

Examples, Case Studies and Data

Use Technology To Mitigate Global Warming (GS 3): Carbon dioxide (CO2) contributes to global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Despite its low concentration (419ppm or 0.04% as of 2023), it significantly impacts Earth’s temperature.

  • Capturing atmospheric CO2 through Direct Air Capture (DAC) requires pushing vast amounts of air (5,000 tons for every ton of CO2) through chemical reactants, a process that is energy-intensive and costly.
  • Around 60 startups worldwide, including Berkeley-based AirMyne, are developing DAC technologies..

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