Coal mine turns into a park
Norway is turning the country’s last Arctic coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago near the North Pole into a 3,000-sq km natural park called Van Mijenfjorden National Park. With 20 million birds’ nests and about 3,000 polar bears using its sea ice as hunting ground, Svalbard is a region of ecological importance in the North Pole. The new park will extend the ecological boundary to help the region return to its pristine green state.
Solar probe grazes sun’s atmosphere
NASA’s spacecraft Parker Solar Probe flew through the sun’s upper atmosphere, called the corona, becoming the first ever to do so. Launched in 2018, the probe is providing insight into the sun’s evolution and its impact on our solar system. Using seven venus flybys over seven years, it will gradually shrink its orbit around the sun, coming as close as 6.16 million-km to it. The probe has so far discovered that striking magnetic zig-zag structures in the solar wind, called switchbacks, originate on the solar surface.
An Olympic medal helps a sick child
Maria Andrejczyk, who won a silver in javelin at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, has auctioned her medal at $125,000 to help raise funds for an eight-month-old boy, Miloszek Malysa, who was born with a serious heart defect. The winning bid came from Polish supermarket chain Zabka, which later told Andrejczyk to keep her medal.
Queen says she is still young
An England magazine presented Queen Elizabeth II with the Oldie of the Year Award. The 95-year-old monarch declined the award saying she does not meet the criteria. Sending a message to the magazine, she said “You are as old as you feel.” With best wishes to the organisers, she said, “hope you will find a more worthy recipient.”
US scholarship for farmer’s daughter
Swega Swaminathan, daughter of a farmer from Kasipalayam village in Erode, Tamil Nadu, has received a full scholarship of ₹3 crore to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Chicago University. This first-generation student was trained by the Dexterity Global Group, a platform to connect underprivileged students from remote Indian towns and villages with global educational institutes, where she enrolled in its leadership and career development programmes.