Science & Technology

Space rock hit Moon at 61,000 km an hour in January

A space rock collided with the Moon at 61,000 km an hour, making a 10-15 metres crater during January’s total lunar eclipse, say astronomers.

Unlike the Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect it and even small rocks can hit its surface.

Since these impacts take place at huge speeds, the rocks get instantaneously vaporised at the impact, producing an expanding plume of debris whose glow can be detected from our planet as short-duration flashes.

Observers watching the January 21 total eclipse saw a short-lived flash as a meteorite hit the lunar surface, according to a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Observers in North and South America and Western Europe enjoyed the best view of the lunar eclipse. Just after the beginning of the eclipse, a flash was seen on the lunar surface.

Amateur astronomers indicated that the flash was bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.

The Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), which uses eight telescopes in south of Spain to monitor the lunar surface, recorded the moment of impact. Spanish astronomers Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva and Jose L. Ortiz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia operate the MIDAS.

The impact flash lasted 0.28 seconds and is the first filmed during a lunar eclipse, despite a number of earlier attempts. MIDAS telescopes observed the impact flash at multiple wavelengths (different colours of light), improving the analysis of the event.

Madiedo and Ortiz concluded that the incoming 30-60 cm rock had a mass of 45kg and hit the surface at 61,000 km an hour.

“It would be impossible to reproduce these high-speed collisions in a lab on Earth. Observing flashes is a great way to test our ideas on exactly what happens when a meteorite collides with the Moon,” Madiedo said.

The impact site is close to the crater Lagrange H, near the west-south-west portion of the lunar limb, the study said.




TVS Motor Company logs 4% sales growth in January

Two and three-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company Ltd on Saturday said it closed last month with four per cent growth in sales volume.

The company sold 282,630 units last month, up from 271,801 units sold in January 2018, TVS Motor said in a statement issued here.

According to TVS Motor, last month it sold 269,277 two-wheelers and 13,353 three-wheelers as against 262,995 two-wheelers and 8,806 three-wheelers sold in January 2018.





Reversing declining trend, GST revenue Rs 1,02,503 cr in January

Reversing the declining trend of two months, the revenue collection under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) showed a marked improvement in January and stood at Rs 1,02,503 crore, crossing the Rs 1-lakh crore-mark only for the third time this fiscal.

The January collection was also 14 per cent higher than last year’s collection in the same month, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday.

The revenue collected in January relates to transactions made in December. The collection in December (for November transactions) was Rs 94,726 crore, down from Rs 97,637 crore in November.

The last time the GST collections had breached the Rs 1-lakh crore-mark was in October when it stood at Rs 1,00,710 crore.

Out of the Rs 1,02,503 crore collected in January, Rs 17,763 crore was collected as Central-GST (CGST), Rs 24,826 crore as State-GST (SGST), Rs 51,225 crore as Integrated-GST (IGST) and Rs 8,690 crore as cess, the Ministry said.

“In FY19, it is for the third time that GST revenue collection has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore,” it said in a statement.

It said a total of 73.3 lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed till January 31, up from 72.44 lakh returns the previous month.

The Ministry said that January 2019 collections were 14 per cent above the January 2018 collections of Rs 89,825 crore.

“This jump has been achieved despite various tax reductions having come into force that provided major relief to the consumers. The gross GST collections over the last three-month period has been 14 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year,” it stated

The announcement of GST figures crossing the Rs 1-lakh crore-mark was already made by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday during his Interim Budget speech, when he said the collection for the month was expected to be at around Rs 1,03,000 crore. However, the actual numbers were released on Saturday.

The average monthly GST collection this year has been Rs 97,100 crore, as compared to Rs 89,700 crore last year.



Suzuki Motorcycle India logs 40% growth in January

Two-wheeler manufacturer Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Ltd on Saturday said it closed last month with 40 per cent sales growth in the domestic market.

In a statement issued here, the company said it sold 63,209 units last month as against a corresponding figure of 45,287 units sold in January 2018.

Suzuki’s cumulative sales for the period April 2018-January 2019 stands at 6,14,845 units over 4,70,719 units achieved during the corresponding period last year.

The overall sales for the month stood at 69,162 units (domestic + exports) with a 39 per cent growth over 49,618 units clocked during the same month previous year.

“The year 2019 starts with a good note for Suzuki Motorcycle India. The strong consumer sentiments and growing economy have propelled the double-digit growth for the brand in January,” Satoshi Uchida, Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Ltd, was quoted as saying in the statement.



GST collections for January expected at Rs 103,000 cr

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections for January have crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark and is expected to be Rs 103,000 crore, acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, Goyal said the Rs 1 lakh crore barrier in average monthly collections seen over the past two years had finally been broken this January with the collection for last month expected to be at around Rs 103,000 crore.

“The average monthly GST collection this year has been Rs 97,100 crore, as compared to Rs 89,700 crore last year,” Goyal said.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Finance Ministry said the total GST collection for January last year was Rs 89,825 crore.

“There has been a significant improvement over collection of Rs 94,725 crore last month (December) and Rs 89,825 crore during the same month last year,” it said.