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ESO VLT spots hottest, largest planet-hosting star system yet

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) has been searching the heavens for exoplanets, stars, and black holes for a very long time. Recently, the VLT was used to image a planet orbiting a binary star system called b Centauri (via ESO). One of the more interesting aspects of the b Centauri system is that it can be seen with the naked eye. Another interesting aspect of the b Centauri system is that it’s the hottest and most massive planet-hosting star system so far.

The exoplanet orbiting the binary system circles its stars at a distance 100 times further away than Jupiter orbits the sun. Until discovering this exoplanet, some astronomers believed planets couldn’t exist around stars as massive as the b Centauri pair. Speaking with the ESO (linked above), Astronomer Marcus Janson from Stockholm University, Sweden, says that discovering a planet around b Centauri is very exciting because it completely changes opinions about massive stars as planet hosts.

The star system b Centauri is in the constellation Centaurus about 325 light-years away from Earth. The binary system is at least six times as massive as the sun, making it by far the most massive star system to host a confirmed planet. The discovery marks the first time a planet has been discovered orbiting a star system any more than three times as massive as the sun. The exoplanet in the system is called b Centauri(AB) or Centauri b for short.

Via ESO

Massive star systems don’t typically have planets because large stars are very hot, causing material around the star to evaporate quickly. The main star in a binary system such as we’re seeing here is a B-type star, a star with a surface three times hotter than our Sun.

Since the star produces so much heat, it also emits lots of ultraviolet and x-ray radiation. Massive stars such as this would strongly impact the gas that surrounds them, which scientists believe would work against planetary formation. Despite that belief, the planet orbiting the stars has been confirmed.

Janson says that since B-type stars have destructive and dangerous environments around them, it was believed that it would be difficult for large planets to form around them. The discovery of Centauri b shows that planets can form around B-type stars despite the harsh environment. The environment of the planet orbiting the stars would be nothing like the environment here on Earth, as Centauri b exists in an extremely hostile environment with extreme radiation.

Via ESO

Centauri b is ten times more massive than Jupiter, making it one of the largest exoplanets ever discovered. It orbits its host stars at a distance 100 times greater than Jupiter orbits the sun making it one of the widest orbits ever discovered. Astronomers believe it’s the vast distance from the host stars that it orbits that allowed the planet to exist at all.

Discovering the planet was possible thanks to the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research) instrument aboard the ESO VLT in Chile. In the case of Centauri b, SPHERE was critical in identifying the planet but wasn’t the first instrument to observe it. During their study, the team of astronomers looked into data from the archives on Centauri b and found the planet was imaged more than two decades ago using the ESO 3.6-meter telescope. At that time, Centauri b wasn’t recognized as a planet.

ESO astronomers are looking forward to utilizing the new Extremely Large Telescope (ESO) that will begin observations later in the decade, as well as upgrades to the VLT to help them make new discoveries. Those instruments will allow astronomers to learn more about how Centauri b formed and its features. Exactly how the planet formed remains a mystery.

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Tourist Spots In South Korea

South Korea

South Korea is a country that is brimming with natural, cultural, historical, and tourist attractions. The country offers wide open spaces with incredible natural beauty, including rock formations, green pastures, dense forests, and prominent tourist attractions like Seoul. The nation has a long and illustrious history in which numerous kingdoms and rulers have ruled. Their reigns can still be seen in the country’s ruins and restored palaces.

If you were wondering where to go in South Korea, the following is a list of the tourist spots in South Korea, ranging from well-known to less well-known destinations, including rural villages, grand Buddhist temples and palaces, ancient fortresses, and high-tech urban centers. The fact that most people only know about Seoul, South Korea’s capital, and believe it is the only place worth visiting is interesting.

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Top 4 Tourist Spots in South Korea

Mentioned below are the top 4 Tourist spots in South Korea:

#1 Busan

Things to do:

Visit the Haeundae Beach.

Visit the Gamcheon Culture Village, also known as Busan’s open art museum.

Visit the Sea life Busan Aquarium, a paradise for Marine lovers.

Visit the Buddhist Temple, Haedong Yonggungsa.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Busan is from April to November.

#2 Seoul

South Korea’s powerful capital is a city of contrasts. Among the glittering skyscrapers of global technology companies are centuries-old Buddhist temples. Additionally, billboards depicting K-pop stars strutting their stuff share space with traditional palaces and museums. There appears to be harmony among the various attractions of the capital, despite the dichotomy. Many visitors also praise the food and public transportation in the city as being less expensive than in neighboring East Asian nations.

Things to do:

Visit the Five Royal Palaces of Seoul, which are the perfect symbol of the culture and history of South Korea.

Visit the Seoul Museum of Arts (SeMA).

Travel through the Hongik University Street.

Visit the Lotte World.

Best time to visit:

#3 Jeonju

Jeonju is the capital of North Jeolla Province and the 16th largest city in South Korea. Due to the the proximity of Wanju County, which almost surrounds Jeonju, is both urban and rural. Jeonju translates to “Perfect Region.” It is a significant tourist destination known for its Korean cuisine, historic buildings, sports, innovative festivals, and other attractions. The Hanok village, or ancient downtown, in Jeonju, South Korea, is a tourist draw. The traditional Korean homes that are frequently beautiful are referred to as “hanoks.” Jeonju ought to be on your South Korean travel bucket list.

Things to do:

Wander through the Hanok Village.

Shop at Nambu Market.

Visit Jeonju Gyeonggijeon Shrine.

Walk through the Hwangbangsan Scenic.

Best time to visit:

The best months for good weather in Jeonju are May, June, July, August, September, and October.

#4 Jeju City

It’s not surprising that so many people annally return to Jeju City. There are so many beautiful things to do in this charming city. There is never a dull moment in this place, whether you like to go to local attractions or try more thrilling activities.

Things to do:

Try Tea tasting at the Osulloc Tea Museum.

Admire the Sunset at Yongmeori Coast.

Try thrilling rides at Shinhwa World.

Visit the Unique waterfall named “Jeongbang.”

Best time to visit:

March to April is the best month to visit as they have very mild and pleasant weather.

Conclusion – Tourist Spots in South Korea

South Korea has a long history, and its tourism resources include cultural landscapes and historical sites. Additionally, many century-old palaces remain from Seoul’s past as Hanyang. However, Seoul is now recognized as the fashion, avant-garde, and international metropolis of Asia. Busan is well-known for its sea because it was built with the ocean in mind. Tourists from all over the world come to vacation there because of the stunning natural scenery, the slow pace of life, and the green and fresh food. It’s not just about these cities but many more. Check the above list of tourist spots in South Korea to make your trip memorable.

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Who Is The Largest Debt Buyer?

A debt buyer is a corporation that acquires loans from lenders at a reduced price. Debt buyers, including collection agencies and private sector debt collectors, purchase overdue or charged-off loans from debt sellers for a percentage of their face value. The debt buyer subsequently recovers the money either by themself or by employing a collection agency or reselling parts of the debt, or by a combination of these options.

Debt collection is a complex and wide-ranging industry. The debt collection industry is big—an estimated $18 billion industry, in fact — and growing. Thousands of debt collectors exist, including collection agencies, law firms, and debt buyers. According to IBISWorld’s Debt Collection Business study, the industry employs more than 130k people.

Yahoo Finance has outlined the current trends in the industry in their United States Debt Collection Agencies Market Report.

Understanding Debt Buyers

Debt buyers typically pay a relatively small fraction of the debt’s face value – occasionally as little as pennies on the dollar. Debt buyers can be tiny, privately held organizations or huge publicly traded corporations. They are categorized as active if they attempt to collect the debt directly or passive if they use a collection agency or legal firm to recover a loan. The debt-buying industry is worth billions of dollars.

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Why are Debt Buyers Used?

If a creditor, such as a mortgage provider or financial firm, becomes unable to collect the money on an existing debt under the conditions of its funding, it may seek to reclaim a portion of its loss. In certain cases, a lender has little or no chance of recovering the funds within the time range specified when the loan or credit was issued.

After acquiring ownership of the account receivables, the debt buyer can undertake several techniques to regain residual value. This might involve settling on new repayment conditions with the borrower or employing fresh collection strategies through a collection agency to force payments.

The debt buyer may collect on their own, hire a collection agency, repackage and sell pieces of the bought portfolio, or employ any combination of these strategies.

Who is the Largest Debt Buyer?

In the United States, there are around 10,000 debt collectors and debt buyers.

Encore Capital Group, based in San Diego, CA, and its affiliates comprise the country’s largest debt buyer and collector. Encore, as a debt buyer, buys overdue or charged-off debts at a discount to the debt’s face value.

Despite paying a lower amount for the loan, they may try to collect the entire amount demanded by the initial loan company. They acquire the right to claim overdue consumer debts such as credit cards, phone bills, and other accounts.

Encore Capital Group and its affiliates are the nation’s largest debt buyers and collectors, having businesses and interests in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Encore Capital Group is a global specialized financial firm that offers debt collection as well as other associated services to customers dealing with a wide variety of financial assets. Encore buys retail debt portfolios from financial institutions, credit unions, and utility suppliers through its subsidiaries across the world.

It buys pools of delinquent consumer debts at steep discounts on face value and administers them by assisting individuals in repaying their commitments and regaining financial stability. Defaulted receivables are unfulfilled financial obligations made by customers to credit originators such as banks, credit unions, consumer financing businesses, and retail shops.

Receivables in default could also include those susceptible to insolvency procedures.

Encore works with people to assist them in paying off their debts, putting them on the path to financial rehabilitation and, eventually, enhancing their financial health. Encore is the only firm of its type to function under a Consumer Bill of Rights, and it offers customers top-line services.

Encore is a NASDAQ Global Select corporation (NASDAQ: ECPG) and a member stock of the Russell 2000, S&P Small Cap 600, and Wilshire 4500 indices.

In 2023, the company’s revenue was $1.40 billion, a decrease from $1.48 billion in 2023. FY2024 US GAAP net income of $351 million was up 66% year on year.

It moreover offers loan servicing as well as other portfolio management services to debt issuers in Europe for non-performing loans. Via Midland Credit Management, Inc., they are involved in debt portfolio acquisition and collection in the United States. Cabot Credit Management Limited provides debt management solutions in Europe and the UK.

China Is Now The World’s Largest Android Smartphone Market

Just how important is China to the top two smartphone platforms: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS? The Asian nation is now the largest single market for Android, with the United States a distant second. What’s more, half of the smartphones sold in America next year could be Android-powered unless Apple “makes radical changes to its aging iOS”, one research firm warns Tuesday.

China is rushing to turn in their feature phones for more powerful smartphones, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. Smartphones grew at an 85 percent clip compared to 2011. That’s nearly double the 45 percent year-over-year growth worldwide. Just in 2012 alone, an astounding 786 million smartphones were sold in the 1.33 billion people market…

The rapid growth of smartphones in China is nearly all fueled by Android handsets. A 50 percent penetration of sales during the first half of 2012 will reach 75 percent by year’s end, the researchers estimate.

Apple’s current five percent share of the country’s smartphone market could actually fall in 2013 if the iPhone maker “does not manage to create a TD-LTE variant”.

TD-LTE, or Time-Division Long-Term Evolution, is a radio technology used by China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with whom Apple has yet to cut an iPhone distribution agreement.

Meanwhile, Microsoft could see its share of China’s smartphone sales double from one to two percent in 2013, thanks to Nokia’s partnership with China Mobile.

While the forecast appears bleak for Apple in China, today’s report does not factor in a number of unknowns which could help Apple compete in a market largely driven by low prices.

Among the unknowns:

the impact of Apple’s record-breaking sales of 2 million iPhone 5 handsets during the first three days in China

whether Apple’s release of a $99 iPhone 4S and a free (with contract) iPhone 4 will counter cheap Android phones in China

the huge customer base available if Apple signs China Mobile in 2013

The research firm also paints a dreary landscape for Apple at home.

According to the findings, it expects Android to “consolidate its position further in the US to such an extent that one in every two handsets sold in country in 2013 will be powered” by the Google software.

The cure: “radical changes to [Apple’s] aging iOS, particularly to the user interface” which the firm said hasn’t changed in six years.

Principal analyst Malik Saadi writes:

Although Apple has upgraded the hardware of the iPhone 5, only a little has been done on the software chúng tôi situation could lead to even the most ardent Apple fans churning as they become disillusioned with using the same UI framework for more than six years.

In fact, iPhone sales in the US could drop to 34 million in 2013, down from 35.5 million in 2012.

Really?

I’m reminded of the saying that numbers can be tortured to prove any point.

But Android could have an unlikely Achilles heel both in China and in the US.

According to Informa, nearly half – 41 percent – of  “Android” smartphones sold in China actually use “alternative application frameworks” from local mobile firms like China-based search engine Baidu, e-commerce firm Alibaba and handset maker Xiaomi (in November, Xiaomi acquired an eReader and Apple app creator, according to The NextWeb.

Inexpensive Android handsets and local brands like the pictured Coolpad are slowing Apple’s growth in China.

By comparison, Apple retains its ecosphere of hardware, app stores and iTunes.

Additionally, in the US, Android’s lead could peak by 2024, and even fall due to a “more aggressive penetration” by mobile operating systems like Windows Phone, according to the research firm.

I don’t think Apple (or its supporters) should sweat the much-heralded future of Android ‘domination.’  The percentages are in Apple’s favor.

The World’s Largest Military Plane In Production Is China’s Y

On June 15th 2024, the first operational Y-20 heavy transport aircraft entered service into the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). China has now joined the United States and Russia as the only countries which can design and built its own strategic transport aircraft. It’s built by the Xian Aircraft Corporation, and apparently has been assigned the call sign “Roc”, after the giant mythical bird. In fact, of planes still in production, the 200 ton Y-20 is the world’s largest, as it’s larger than the Russian Il-76 and the American C-17A Globemaster ended production in 2024.

A New Dawn for Chinese Aviation

“11052” is China’s second operation Y-20 heavy transport aircraft. Capable of carrying 66 tons and flying nearly 8,000 km, the Y-20’s massive airframe means that it can also be a heavy aerial refueling tanker, and airborne early warning and control radar plane.

Currently, the 12th Regiment of the 4th Division of the PLAAF has taken delivery of multiple Y-20 transports, incluing 11051 and 11052. The Y-20 prototype first flew in December 2012, with four more flying prototypes completed by February 2024. With a maximum takeoff weight of 200 tons, the Y-20 can carry a 66 ton payload, allowing it to carry payloadthat might range from humanitarian disaster relief pallets to the heaviest Chinese tank, the ZTZ-99A. Its maximum range is over 7,800 km, though this would be less when at maximum payload. Its current four engines are Russian made D-30KP2 turbofans, though the domestic WS-20 turbofan will be installed around 2023, increasing the Y-20’s heavy lift range and short takeoff capability. The Y-20 can also be modified to serve as an aerial refueling tanker to extend the range of other transports, fighters and bombers, or as an airborne early warning and control aircraft to control and guide combat operations by fighters and drones.

A Fresh Bird

This Y-20, still in yellow zinc factory primer coating, is undergoing flight tests at the XAC factory, before it’s painted and enters PLAAF service.

The PLAAF’s first operational Y-20 are stationed in Qionglai, Sichuan Province. Situated close to the major aviation center of Chengdu, where it can respond to fast transport needs in any direction, from the South China Sea to the Himalaya mountains.

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Python Program To Find The Largest Element In A Tuple

One of the most common problems in computer science is the problem of searching. To check whether a given element exists in a variable is important and sometimes the item we must search for, can be the maximum, minimum, most frequent etc. in this article we will see how we can find the largest element in a tuple.

We know that tuple is a pre-defined datatype that stores heterogenous data. It is sort of a container that holds several items inside it.

We can define a tuple in python using the round brackets enclosing the data that we wish to store −

Var = (1, ‘a’, 3.7)

We can find the maximum element of a tuple in different ways. We will discuss the naïve way as well as the pythonic way to search for the maximum element.

Using For Loop

As a tuple is basically an iterable we can use the iterative statements of python to go through all the elements of the tuple one by one. That way we can determine the largest by comparing all the values.

We will use a variable to hold the greatest value at a given point in time. When the loop has gone over all the elements the variable will hold the largest element. Let us look at the algorithm for the program.

Algorithm

Lets look at the algorithm for the above method −

Step 1 – Create a tuple

Step 2 – Create a variable to store the max element and store the first value of the tuple in it.

Step 3 – Start iterating over the elements using for loop from the second element onwards

Step 4 – Check whether the current value is greater than the max variable

Step 5 – if yes, then update the max variable and set its value to the current variable

Step 6 – if no, then continue to the next element

Step 7 – When the program gets out of the loop, print the max element

Example A = (1, 2, 3) maxElem = A[0] for element in A: maxElem = element print("Maximum Element in the tuple is : ", maxElem ) Output Maximum Element in the tuple is : 3 Explanation

In this method we first take the 1st element as the maximum element then we iterate over the list and compare the current element with the current maximum element and if the current element is greater than the current maximum element we update the current maximum element. After the iteration we will print the maximum element.

Using the sorted() method

The sorted() function returns a sorted list of the specified iterable object.

We can always choose from the vast set of libraries and built-in methods to easily solve most of the common problems in python.

This approach discusses the use of the built-in python function sorted(). This takes in an iterable as a parameter and returns a sorted list of its elements.

We will use this function to sort the elements of the tuple in ascending order and access the last element from the resulting list. That last element will be the maximum element of the tuple.

Algorithm

Step 1 – Create a tuple

Step 2 – Use the sorted function with the tuple as an argument

Step 3 – Access the last element using negative indexing and store it in a new variable

Step 4 – Print the newly created variable

Example

Following example sorts the array using the sorted() method. In this example we are trying to sort the whole list and then print the last element of this sorted array to get the largest element.

inputArray = (5, 2, 2, 1, 7) sortedArray = sorted(inputArray) print("Maximum Element is: ", inputArray[-1]) Output Maximum Element is: 7 Using the max() method

Python also provides a method named max() to find the greatest element from the list, tuple, etc.

As we discussed in the above approach there are several useful methods that are built-in python and can be used to solve mostly all the common problems.

It takes in an iterable, or two or more number type objects as input argument and returns the maximum out of all the elements in the iterable.

Syntax 

The syntax for using the max method is as follows.

max(iterable, *, key=None) max(iterable, *, default, key=None) max(arg1, arg2, *args, key=None)

Where, a and b are values from which you need to find the maximum element.

Algorithm

Step 1 – Create a tuple

Step 2 – Create a variable to store the maximum element

Step 3 – Use the max method with the tuple as input argument

Step 4 – print the maximum element

Example

In this example we used the max function of python to get the maximum element of the whole list at once.

array = (1, 5, 2, 8, 7, 0) maxElement = max(array) print("Maximum Element is : ", maxElement) Output Maximum Element is : 8 Conclusion

In this article, we focused on three different ways to find the maximum element in a tuple. We saw how we can use the naïve approach of using the for loop to implement linear search.

We also saw how we can make use of methods like sorted and max to find the element. The use of built-in methods is preferred as they are already optimized to perform in a fast and efficient manner.

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