China connected the world's largest floating solar power plant in central Anhui province to its power grid in early June 2017. The solar farm will generate electricity for 15,000 homes. STR/AFP/Getty Images Just as the United States was pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, China, the world's largest emitter of heat-trapping gases, flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar power plant in the city of Huainan. Located on a lake that appeared when a coalmine that was extensively excavated collapsed, the panels began generating 40 megawatts of electricity the first week of June 2017. That's enough power for 15,000 homes. The floating power station, which has 160,000 solar panels, sits in the middle of the coal-rich Anhui province and dwarfs the next largest floating array, a 13.7-megawatt plant in Japan that has 50,904 solar panels. The construction of the Huainan plant underscores a move by China to reduce its use of carbon-spewing fossil fuels. While China leads … [Read more...] about China Flips Switch on World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm
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Howard Hughes' enormous H-4 Hercules may still hold the record for wingspan. But that doesn't mean there's not a bigger plane out there. See more flight pictures. Keystone Features/Getty Images The quest to understand flight has obsessed humanity since man first looked up and saw a bird soaring effortlessly across the sky. The quest to make everything bigger, better and faster has obsessed humanity since man first walked upright. Where the two obsessions meet we end up with some pretty incredible flying machines. Achieving controllable flight has not been an easy endeavor. Or a quickly advancing one. As early as 400 B.C., innovators in China were using specially designed kites to test weather conditions [source: NASA]. More than 2,000 years later, the Montgolfier brothers flew the first hot air balloon, carrying a (presumably surprised) rooster, duck and sheep to an altitude of 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) for more than a mile [source: NASA]. The quest moved more quickly after … [Read more...] about What’s the world’s largest airplane?
Dubai Image Gallery An aerial view of Dubai's palm island. See more Dubai pictures. Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images You can see the flattened palms from space. Their logo-like shapes span Dubai's coastline, providing prime gulf real estate to interested millionaires. Buyers who want a little more space can even purchase their own private islet on an archipelago shaped like a map of the world. Since the 1980s, Dubai has exploded to the forefront of global business and tourism. The ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, pursues development as a way to eliminate the emirate's reliance on dwindling oil supplies. But Dubai's geographical setting limits development: It's a small desert state with a coastline only 37 miles long. High-rises and hotels gobbled up Dubai's Persian Gulf coast in the 1990s, creating a wall of buildings. In 1993, construction began on Dubai's first man-made island, the future home of the Burj Al Arab, Dubai's … [Read more...] about Why is the world’s largest artificial island in the shape of a palm tree?
The 1109-carat rough Lesedi La Rona diamond, the biggest rough diamond discovered in more than a century, sits in a display case at Sotheby's on May 4, 2016 in New York City. CNN/Spencer Platt/Getty Images Here's a way to really make a fashion statement, assuming you have several million lying around. Sotheby's will auction off the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona diamond on June 29. It's the largest uncut diamond in the world and the second-largest one ever found. The diamond is about the size of a tennis ball, and has exceptional transparency and clarity, according to the auction house. It was found in Botswana in southern Africa in November 2015, and is expected to fetch $70 million. Estimates place the stone's age between 2.5 and 3 billion years. William Lamb, the CEO of the Lucara Diamond Corporation (which owns the diamond), told the New York Times that they decided to sell it whole, rather than cut it into smaller pieces, because large stones like these have brought record prices … [Read more...] about This One’s More Than Two Months’ Salary: World’s Largest Diamond Up for Auction
This artist's rendition depicts a Mamenchisaurus, a sauropodian dinosaur that lived in what is today China; researchers recently discovered footprints in Australia that came from a large sauropod. StockTrek Images/Getty Images We live in a time of dainty little animals. After the fall of the dinosaurs, evolution decided to turn its laissez-faire attention to making miniature organisms like elephants. (We do have one stand-out colossus — the blue whale is likely the largest animal the world has ever known.) One of the enchanting things about terrestrial dinosaurs, besides their weird horns, proportions and protuberances, is the fact that being freaking immense was pretty commonplace back in the late Cretaceous. But the discovery of a complete skeleton of one of these big guys is pretty much unheard of, so it's tough to know exactly which of the known prehistoric behemoths was the biggest. A good indication of the size of an animal is the size of its foot, if that's what you've … [Read more...] about World’s Largest Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Australia