- Status of transgenic crops in India
- Enhancing Climate Resilience of Farming Systems
- Large-scale wildfires in Canada
- Global Digital Public Infrastructure
- Great Indian Bustard and Asiatic Lions
- Jellyfish galaxy (JO206)
Status of Transgenic Crops in India
Three States, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana, have deferred a proposal, approved by the Centre’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), to test a new kind of transgenic cotton seed that contains a gene, Cry2Ai, that purportedly makes cotton resistant to pink bollworm, a major pest.
GS III: Agriculture
Dimensions of the Article:
- Status of transgenic crops
- What is the process of regulating transgenic crops in India?
- Why have Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana rebuffed the GEAC?
- What are GM Crops?
- Regulating Bodies concerned with GM Crops
Status of transgenic crops
In India, transgenic crops are currently limited in their cultivation and approval status. Here is an overview of the status of transgenic crops in the country:
- Commercially Cultivated Transgenic Crop: Cotton is the only transgenic crop being commercially cultivated in India. It has been widely adopted by farmers and is known as Bt cotton.
- Transgenic Crops in Trial Stages: Several crops such as brinjal, tomato, maize, and chickpea are undergoing trials using transgenic technology. These crops are at various stages of evaluation and testing for their suitability and safety.
- Mustard Hybrid DMH-11: The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), the apex technical body responsible for evaluating GM seed proposals, approved the environmental release of Mustard hybrid DMH-11 and its parental lines for seed production and testing in October 2022. This is a significant step towards potential commercial cultivation of GM mustard.
- Litigation and Supreme Court: The approval of transgenic crops in India faces legal challenges. There is ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court regarding the permission to cultivate transgenic food crops based on petitions filed by activist Aruna Rodrigues and the NGO Gene Campaign. The petitioners raised concerns about the potential use of herbicides and their impact on the environment and health.
- History of GM Crop Approvals: The GEAC had previously granted approval for GM mustard in 2017, but additional tests were imposed later. Similarly, GM brinjal received clearance in 2010, but it was placed under an “indefinite moratorium” by the government at that time.
What is the process of regulating transgenic crops in India?
- Development and Safety Assessment: The process begins with the development of transgenic crops through the insertion of specific genes into plants to confer desired traits, such as resistance to pests, diseases, or tolerance to environmental conditions. The safety of these transgenic crops is assessed through rigorous scientific evaluations.
- Evaluation Committees: Multiple committees are involved in the regulatory process. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex regulatory body responsible for evaluating and approving proposals for testing genetically modified (GM) seeds. The GEAC comprises scientific experts, representatives from government agencies, and environmentalists.
- Field Trials: Before a transgenic crop can proceed to commercial cultivation, it undergoes field trials. These trials are conducted in open plots of land, typically located at agricultural universities or ICAR-controlled plots. Field trials assess the performance, environmental impact, and agronomic characteristics of the transgenic crop.
- Comparative Evaluation: Transgenic crops must demonstrate clear benefits over non-GM varieties in specific traits, such as drought tolerance or insect resistance. The transgenic crop should be superior to existing alternatives without causing ecological harm to other cultivated species in the surrounding areas.
- Multi-Season Trials: Field trials are conducted over multiple crop seasons and different geographical conditions to evaluate the performance and adaptability of the transgenic crop across various states and regions.
- Data Submission and Analysis: Detailed data and results from field trials are submitted for analysis, including information on agronomic traits, yield potential, resistance to pests and diseases, and environmental impact. The data is thoroughly reviewed and assessed by regulatory authorities.
- Regulatory Clearance: Based on the evaluation of safety, efficacy, and environmental impact, regulatory authorities, such as the GEAC, make a decision on whether to grant regulatory clearance for further testing or commercial cultivation of the transgenic crop.
Why have Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana rebuffed the GEAC?
The states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Telangana have rebuffed the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) regarding the testing of transgenic cotton seeds. Here are the reasons and events that led to their disapproval:
- Cry2Ai Cotton Seed: The cotton seed developed by Bioseed Research India in Hyderabad contains the Cry2Ai gene, which imparts resistance against the pink bollworm, a major pest affecting cotton crops. Previous generations of transgenic cotton were developed to combat the American bollworm.
- State Approval for Testing: Since agriculture is a state subject in India, companies seeking to test their transgenic seeds must obtain approvals from respective states to conduct field trials. The GEAC recommended testing the Cry2Ai seed in farmer’s fields in Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Haryana. However, only Haryana granted permission for the trials.
- Responses from States: Telangana requested a 45-day extension to consider the proposal but ultimately declined to allow trials in the current cropping season. Gujarat responded that the proposal was “unacceptable” without providing specific reasons for their disapproval.
- GEAC’s Action: In response to the states’ disapproval, the GEAC asked the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to organize capacity-building activities. These activities aim to educate state governments about the technology involved in genetically modified (GM) crops and the regulatory framework in place for their evaluation.
- Activist Concerns: Some activist groups, such as the Coalition for a GM-free India, raised objections to the GEAC’s request for states to provide reasons for their disapproval. They perceived this approach as biased lobbying and raised concerns about the promotion of GM crops.
What are GM Crops?
- Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. More than 10% of the world’s crop lands are planted with GM crops.
- In most cases, the aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species like resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, herbicides etc.
- Genetic Modification is also done to increase nutritional value, bioremediation and for other purposes like production of pharmaceutical agents, biofuels etc.
Regulating Bodies concerned with GM Crops
- The top biotech regulator in India is Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).
- The committee functions as a statutory body under the Environment Protection Act 1986 of the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF).
- GEAC is responsible for granting permits to conduct experimental and large-scale open field trials and also grant approval for commercial release of biotech crops.
- The Rules of 1989 also define five competent authorities for handling of various aspects of the rules:
- The Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBSC),
- Review Committee of Genetic Manipulation (RCGM),
- Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC),
- State Biotechnology Coordination Committee (SBCC) and
- District Level Committee (DLC)
- The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement on biosafety as a supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity effective since 2003.
- The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.
-Source: The Hindu
Enhancing Climate Resilience of Farming Systems
Research conducted in the drought-prone Jalna district of Maharashtra sheds light on the effectiveness of different interventions in enhancing the climate resilience of farming systems.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Major Findings
- Major Impacts of Climate Change on Indian Agriculture
- Way Forward for Climate-Resilient Agriculture in India
- Research Scope: The study, featured in the International Journal of Water Resources Development, investigated the effects of agricultural development interventions in Babai and Deulgaon Tad, two semi-arid villages in Maharashtra, over a 15-year period.
- Farming System Comparison: The villages represented two distinct approaches:
- Babai: Interventions aimed at improving agricultural productivity and irrigation infrastructure.
- Deulgaon Tad: Interventions focused on adaptive capacities and agricultural productivity improvement.
- Watershed Development Impact: Implementation of watershed development interventions resulted in intensified agriculture and altered cropping patterns.
- Unintended Consequences: Over time, these approaches led to declining groundwater tables and deteriorating soil health, revealing the limitations of conventional agricultural development pathways in semi-arid regions.
- Enhanced Climate Resilience: Combining productivity-enhancing interventions with water management, soil health improvement, livelihood diversification, and food and nutrition security contributed to improved climate resilience indicators.
- Key Components for Resilience: Monitoring, evaluation, learning, and adaptive decision-making were essential elements for enhancing climate resilience.
- Babai vs. Deulgaon Tad Resilience: In 2007, Babai exhibited higher resilience due to better water resources and soil quality. However, the research indicates no substantial change in Babai’s overall resilience over the years. In contrast, Deulgaon Tad, with lower resilience initially, experienced improvements across all resilience attributes through interventions focusing on adaptive capacities and natural resource management.
Major Impacts of Climate Change on Indian Agriculture:
Altered Rainfall Patterns:
- Climate change has disrupted rainfall patterns, including changes in timing, intensity, and distribution, leading to droughts, floods, and erratic rainfall.
- Such variations significantly affect agricultural productivity and crop yields.
- For instance, India witnessed delayed and deficient monsoon rains in 2019, resulting in reduced crop yields in many regions.
- Increasing temperatures have adverse effects on crop growth and development.
- High temperatures during the growing season can decrease crop yields and reduce the nutritional value of crops.
- Heat stress also negatively impacts livestock health and productivity.
- Recent heatwaves in India have particularly affected heat-sensitive crops like wheat and rice.
Pest and Disease Challenges:
- Climate change influences the distribution and abundance of pests and diseases, posing challenges to agricultural pest management.
- Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns can favor the spread of pests and diseases, impacting crop health.
- Instances include the increased incidence of pests like the pink bollworm affecting cotton production in India and locust swarms resulting from erratic rain.
- Climate change affects water availability, especially in regions reliant on rainfall or snowmelt for irrigation.
- Changes in precipitation patterns and melting glaciers can lead to water scarcity during critical crop growth stages, reducing agricultural productivity and intensifying competition for water resources.
Shifts in Crop Suitability:
- Climate change can alter the suitability of different crops in specific regions.
- Shifting temperature and rainfall patterns may require farmers to adapt their cropping patterns to maintain productivity.
- Some crops may become less viable, while others may become more suitable. For example, coconut production is projected to increase on an all-India basis due to climate change.
Extreme Weather Events:
- Climate change has been linked to an increase in extreme weather events like cyclones, storms, and hailstorms.
- These events can cause significant damage to crops, livestock, and infrastructure, leading to yield losses and economic hardships for farmers.
- An example is the recent Cyclone Biporjoy and its impact on agriculture.
Way Forward for Climate-Resilient Agriculture in India:
Engage Diverse Perspectives:
- Facilitate a national-level dialogue involving diverse stakeholders to seek suitable solutions for the future of agriculture in India, considering the country’s rich diversity of farming practices.
Embrace Precision Farming:
- Emulate advanced countries by adopting precision farming techniques that utilize sensors and scientific tools for precise practices and input applications.
- Implementing high-tech farming methods can reduce costs, increase farmers’ income, and address scalability challenges.
Promote Agroecological Practices:
- Encourage the adoption of agroecological practices such as diverse cropping systems and agroforestry.
- Growing different crops together or integrating trees with crops enhances biodiversity, reduces soil erosion, and boosts climate resilience.
- For example, intercropping legumes with cereals not only generates additional income but also improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
- Promote the cultivation of non-traditional crops that are resilient to climate extremes, reducing dependence on a single crop and mitigating risks. Drought-tolerant millets can be a suitable option in this regard.
Implement Climate-Smart Water Management:
- Efficient water management is crucial for climate resilience in agriculture, especially in water-stressed regions.
- Implement climate-smart water management practices to enhance agricultural productivity while conserving water resources.
- Construct ponds, check dams, and farm ponds to capture and store rainwater, replenishing groundwater and providing irrigation during dry spells.
- Stored water can be utilized during droughts or for supplementary irrigation, reducing reliance on unpredictable rainfall patterns.
-Source: Down To Earth
Large-Scale wildfires in Canada
New York City’s air quality is currently ranked among the worst in the world due to drifting smoke rising from wildfires in Canada.
GS I- Geography
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is wildfire?
- What causes Wildfire?
- What is causing the wildfires in Canada?
- How dangerous is inhaling wildfire smoke?
What is wildfire?
- A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that burns in the wildland vegetation, often in rural areas.
- Wildfires can burn in forests, grasslands, savannas, and other ecosystems, and have been doing so for hundreds of millions of years.
- They are not limited to a particular continent or environment.
What causes Wildfire?
- Wildfires require right climatic conditions, burnable fuel and a spark.
- Rising temperatures suck moisture out of plants, creating an abundance of dry fuel.
- Drought and high heat can kill plants and dry out dead grass, and other material on the forest floor that fuel the fire once it starts sweeping through a patch.
- While dry vegetation is the burnable fuel that serves as kindling for fires, the spark is sometimes caused by lightning, at other times by accident or recklessness of the local population.
What is causing the wildfires in Canada?
- Lightning is a major cause: The majority of forest fires in Canada have been caused by lightning strikes.
- Long-Continuing-Currents (LCC): Laboratory experiments and field observations have shown that prolonged electrical currents in lightning, known as Long-Continuing-Currents (LCC), have the potential to ignite fires.
- Increased risk from LCC lightning: An increase in LCC lightning over land has led to a higher risk of lightning-ignited wildfires.
- Human activities: Human activities, such as accidental fires or negligence, contribute to the occurrence of forest fires.
- Low snowfall and dry spring: Some analysts attribute the recent wildfires to low snowfall during winter and an unusually dry spring in Atlantic Canada.
- Influence of North Atlantic Ocean: Nova Scotia province, influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean, typically has higher humidity and more moderate temperatures. However, this year, the region experienced low rainfall and a late-May heat wave, exacerbating the wildfire situation.
How dangerous is inhaling wildfire smoke?
- While fire poses a direct risk to people’s life and property, wildfire smoke, and particularly the concentration of PM 2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 microns, can also affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
- For those already suffering from cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses, there is a risk of flare-ups.
Source: Indian Express
Global Digital Public Infrastructure
The third meeting of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) commenced in Pune, Maharashtra with the inauguration of the Global DPI (Digital Public Infrastructure) Summit and Exhibition.
GS III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Digital Public Infrastructure
- Highlights of the Summit
- About One Future Alliance
- During the session, the focus was on discussing the common principles and design elements of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI). The session covered aspects such as open standards, partnerships, interoperability, and affordability.
- India has proposed the establishment of One Future Alliance, an alliance of countries that share similar goals. This alliance aims to leverage technology to enhance the lives of people by promoting collaboration among member nations.
- The Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) plays a crucial role in shaping global policy discussions in the digital domain. It is estimated that the global digital economy will be valued at USD 23 trillion by 2025, highlighting the significance of the DEWG’s work.
- Originally known as the Digital Economy Task Force (DETF), the DEWG was formed in 2017 under the German G20 presidency. Its primary objective is to encourage the implementation of a secure, interconnected, and inclusive digital economy on a global scale.
About Digital Public Infrastructure
Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) is a collection of platforms and systems that enable the delivery of essential services to people, promoting digital inclusion and empowering citizens. It encompasses various components that facilitate the flow of people, money, and information. Here are key aspects of DPI:
- DPI includes a digital ID system that enables the secure and efficient identification of individuals in the digital realm.
- This system allows for seamless authentication and verification processes, enhancing access to services and enabling digital interactions.
- DPI incorporates a real-time fast payment system that facilitates swift and convenient financial transactions.
- This infrastructure enables individuals and businesses to transfer funds quickly and securely, fostering economic activities and financial inclusion.
Data Exchange Solutions:
- DPI encompasses a consent-based data sharing system that governs the flow of personal information.
- This system ensures that individuals have control over their data and can choose how and when their information is shared.
- By empowering citizens with data control, DPI enables the realization of its benefits while ensuring privacy and security.
India’s DPI Implementation (India Stack):
- India has been a pioneer in developing a comprehensive DPI ecosystem known as India Stack.
- India Stack includes three foundational DPI components: digital identity (Aadhaar), real-time fast payment (UPI), and account aggregation built on the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA).
- DEPA establishes a digital framework that allows users to share their data on their own terms through consent managers, which are third-party entities.
- This approach ensures privacy, security, and user control over data while facilitating the seamless flow of information.
Highlights of the Summit:
India’s Exemplary DPI Implementation:
- India was recognized as a successful case for the implementation of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and digital transformation.
- The country’s achievements in scaling up digital solutions through the India Stack were highlighted.
- India signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname to share its successful digital solutions with these countries.
Focus on Digital Identity:
- The session emphasized the role of digital identity as a foundational element for national priorities and social cohesion.
- Different models of implementation, such as centralized, federated, and decentralized, were discussed.
- Notable examples of successful digital identity systems, including India’s Aadhaar and the Philippine’s PhilSys, were highlighted.
Facilitating Inclusive Digital Payments:
- The role of DPI in enabling fast and inclusive digital payments was a key topic of discussion.
- Conversations covered various aspects such as settlement types, risk management, user onboarding costs, and using DPI to bridge the financial divide.
Implementation of DPI in Judicial Systems:
- The session explored the implementation of DPI in judicial systems, focusing on digitization efforts in the legal sector.
- Topics discussed included e-court systems, e-filing, paperless courts, and live streaming of proceedings.
- The importance of establishing appropriate institutions and regulations to build trust in DPI-powered judiciary systems was highlighted.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Mutual Recognition Framework:
- The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, released a Draft PKI Mutual Recognition Framework.
- This framework aims to lead the implementation and adoption of India’s DPI beyond the country’s borders.
- The framework outlines guidelines for recognizing and trusting digital identities and certificates issued by different countries.
About One Future Alliance
One Future Alliance is a collaborative alliance of countries aiming to utilize technology for the improvement of people’s lives. The key features of the alliance are as follows:
Leveraging Technology for Development:
- The alliance seeks to harness the potential of technology to drive social, economic, and sustainable development.
- By sharing knowledge and collaborating, member countries can effectively leverage technology for the betterment of their citizens.
- One Future Alliance emphasizes building upon existing open-source customizable stacks.
- Countries are encouraged to innovate and customize these solutions to address their specific needs and challenges.
Embracing Technological Advancements:
- The alliance recognizes the evolving nature of technology, including the power of artificial intelligence and multilingual capabilities.
- It aims to implement and advance Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), which includes digital identity, payment infrastructure, and data exchange solutions.
Cooperation in Cybersecurity and Digital Skilling:
- One Future Alliance promotes cooperation among member countries in areas such as cybersecurity and digital skilling.
- By sharing expertise and best practices, countries can enhance their cybersecurity measures and develop skilled digital workforce.
-Source: The Hindu
Great Indian Bustard and Asiatic Lions
As Cyclone Biporjoy approaches the port of Jakhau in Kutch, Gujarat, there are concerns about the impact on the Great Indian Bustards (GIB) in Naliya region and the Asiatic Lions in the Gir forest.
Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Species in News, Conservation of Biodiversity)
Dimensions of the Article:
- About the Great Indian Bustard
- About the Habitat of Great Indian Bustard
- Asiatic Lions
- Gir National Park
About the Great Indian Bustard
- The Great Indian Bustard is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck.
- GIBs are the largest among the four bustard species found in India, the other three being MacQueen’s bustard, lesser florican and the Bengal florican.
- The GIB is Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and comes under the Appendix I of CITES, and Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Threats to the GIB include widespread hunting for sport and food, and activities such as mining, stone quarrying, excess use of pesticides, grassland conversion and power projects along with the expansion of roads and infrastructures such as wind-turbines and power cables.
About the Habitat of Great Indian Bustard
- The Great Indian Bustard’s habitat includes Arid and semi-arid grasslands with scattered short scrub, bushes and low intensity cultivation in flat or gently undulating terrain. It avoids irrigated areas.
- GIBs’ historic range included much of the Indian sub-continent but it has now shrunken to just 10 per cent of it.
- Among the heaviest birds with flight, GIBs prefer grasslands as their habitats. Being terrestrial birds, they spend most of their time on the ground with occasional flights to go from one part of their habitat to the other.
- GIBs are considered the flagship bird species of grassland and hence barometers of the health of grassland ecosystems.
- They feed on insects, lizards, grass seeds etc.
- The Asiatic Lion, also known as the Persian Lion or Indian Lion, belongs to the Panthera Leo Leo subspecies and is found exclusively in India.
- It used to inhabit regions in West Asia and the Middle East but became extinct in those areas.
- Asiatic lions are slightly smaller in size compared to African lions.
- Historically, the Asiatic lion was found in regions extending from West Bengal in the east to Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, central India.
- Currently, the only natural habitat for the Asiatic lion is the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The Asiatic lion is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, indicating a high risk of extinction.
- It is listed under Appendix I of CITES, which provides the highest level of protection against international trade.
- In India, the Asiatic lion is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, which grants it strict legal protection.
Gir National Park
- Location and Area: Gir National Park is situated in the Junagadh district of Gujarat, covering a vast area of approximately 1,412 square kilometers.
- Asiatic Lions: The park is renowned for being the only natural habitat of the Asiatic Lion. The population of these majestic creatures had reached a critically low point, with less than 20 lions remaining in the early 20th century. However, concerted conservation efforts and strict protection measures have helped the population recover to over 500 individuals today.
- Flora and Fauna: Gir National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park’s vegetation primarily consists of dry deciduous forests, scrubland, grasslands, and rocky hills. Apart from the Asiatic Lion, the park harbors various other mammal species, including leopards, hyenas, wild boars, chital (spotted deer), sambar deer, four-horned antelope, and Indian pangolins.
- Avian Diversity: The park boasts a rich avian population, with over 300 species of birds recorded. Some notable bird species found in Gir National Park include the critically endangered white-backed vulture, Indian vulture, Indian eagle-owl, painted stork, crested serpent-eagle, and various species of owls, parakeets, and peafowls.
-Source: The Hindu
Odisha is currently facing an intense heatwave since April 2023, with temperatures exceeding 40°C in most monitoring centers across the state.
GS III- Environment (Climate change)
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Heat Wave
- Criteria for Heat Waves
- Health Impacts
About Heat Wave
- A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
- Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
- Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
Criteria for Heat Waves
- The heat wave is considered when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.
- If the normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C, then an increase of 5°C to 6°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition.
- Further, an increase of 7°C or more from the normal temperature is considered as severe heat wave condition.
- If the normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C, then an increase of 4°C to 5°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition. Further, an increase of 6°C or more is considered as severe heat wave condition.
- Additionally, if the actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, a heat wave is declared.
- The health impacts of Heat Waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
- It also causes heat cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
- The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death.
Source: The Hindu
Jellyfish galaxy (JO206)
Recently, NASA released an image showcasing the jellyfish galaxy JO206 which was captured by the Hubble telescope.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Jellyfish Galaxy (JO206):
- Key facts about the Aquarius constellation:
About Jellyfish Galaxy (JO206):
- Jellyfish Galaxy (JO206) is located approximately 700 million light-years away from Earth.
- It is situated in the constellation Aquarius.
- The name “Jellyfish” is given to galaxies that resemble their marine counterparts, and this resemblance is evident in the image of JO206.
- In the image, the bright star formation in the form of “tentacles” can be seen trailing from the main disc of the galaxy.
Key facts about the Aquarius constellation:
- Aquarius is one of the 12 zodiac constellations.
- Its name, derived from Latin, means “the water-bearer” or “cup-bearer.”
- The region of the sky where Aquarius lies is often referred to as the Sea, as it contains several other constellations associated with water.
- Aquarius is the 10th largest constellation, covering an area of 980 square degrees.
- It is one of the 15 equatorial constellations.
- Located in the southern hemisphere’s fourth quadrant (SQ4), Aquarius can be observed at latitudes ranging from +65° to -90°.
Source: Indian Express