Prelim Bits 30-09-2019

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September 30, 2019


  • It is a new mineral from the Earth’s mantle, found inside a diamond in Koffiefontein, South Africa.
  • It has been named after Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, the Norwegian scientist acknowledged as the founder of modern geochemistry.
  • It has high concentrations of niobium, potassium and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium.
  • It is an unusual chemical signature for a mineral from Earth’s mantle, which is usually dominated by elements such as magnesium and iron.
  • Though the mantle makes up about 80% of the Earth’s volume but very little is known about it.
  • Diamonds hold clues as they are found up to 160 km beneath the surface, in the upper mantle.
  • Diamonds that are unearthed were brought up closer to the surface, probably as a result of violent volcanic eruptions when the Earth was hotter.

Galo Community

  • The Galo community is one of the 26 major communities of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • They are found in Siang, Subansiri, Lepa Rada districts.
  • They belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet.
  • They trace their common origin to a primeval ancestor, Abotani.
  • They have unique system of naming which helps them to maintain Genealogy (Tracing the names of ancestors).
  • They have a system of prefixing the second syllable of a father’s name to that of a son, who passes on the suffix in his name to his son.
  • But unlike the Mising (Assam), Adi, Apatani, Nyishi and Tagin, the other communities do not have this practice.

Naming of an Asteroid

  • International Astronomical Union (IAU) serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on them.
  • According to IAU’s guidelines, the privilege of naming a planet is first given to discoverers, who have 10 years to propose a name.
  • The discoverer or team is expected to write a short citation, explaining the reasons for assigning the name.
  • All names proposed are judged by the 15-member Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the IAU.
  • It has recently named an asteroid after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj.
  • It is located between Mars and Jupiter, and was discovered on November 11, 2006 by the Arizona based telescope.

Lithium deposits in Bolivia

  • Lithium Triangle is an intersection of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, known for high quality salt flats.
  • Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Salar de Atacama in Chile and Salar de Arizaro in Argentina contains over 45%of known global lithium reserves.
  • Beneath Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat lies the world’s greatest lithium deposits.
  • Bolivia, one of South America’s poorest countries, envisions development by harvesting lithium on an industrial scale from underground saltwater brines.
  • It can be mined from rock or processed from brine.
  • Lithium dissolved in underground saline aquifers called “brine”, pumped to surface by wells and then allowed to evaporate in vast knee-deep ponds.
  • A demand for electric vehicles and smart devices powered by lithium-ion batteries gives an opportunity for the development.



Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express, Graphic News

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