Scientists are on high alert after a surprising dust assault on the Webb telescope

The well-known observatory is making ready to reveal its first scientific images weeks after being struck by a micrometeoroid.


Engineers are maintaining a watch on a minor, however probably vital, future hazard as NASA’s James Webb House Telescope prepares to disclose its first scientific photographs on July 12: micrometeoroids. Though mission scientists anticipated the telescope to be bombarded by these small items of area mud throughout its deliberate 20-year lifespan, a quite vital influence in Might pressured them to rethink what they thought they understood in regards to the frequency with which Webb can be battered.
The Webb telescope has arrived at its final vacation spot, which is distant from Earth.
In the meanwhile, the telescope’s performance stays unaffected. Understanding the long run impact threat, alternatively, is important since Webb is a US$11 billion funding for NASA, the European House Company, and the Canadian House Company — and researchers consider it is going to alter astronomy. “Time will inform if that newest hit was merely an aberration,” Mike Menzel, Webb’s lead techniques engineer on the Goddard House Flight Middle in Greenbelt, Maryland, acknowledged at a press convention on June 29.
The telescope, which is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, appears into the universe with a 6.5-metre-wide important mirror, the most important ever despatched into area. Though the mirror makes Webb a strong telescope, its huge dimension renders the observatory vulnerable to fast-moving mud particles. To this point, 5 tiny micrometeoroids have struck the telescope, which was launched on December 25, 2021. All had been unknown in dimension, however consultants concluded that the fifth was bigger than the primary 4 and bigger than they’d anticipated.

Pelting forecasts

Engineers realized throughout Webb’s design section twenty years in the past that it could be routinely pummeled by micrometeoroids. Not like Hubble’s mirror, which is smaller and enclosed in a tube, Webb’s gold-coated beryllium mirror is absolutely uncovered to the area surroundings. So the designers shot high-speed particles into mirror samples to see what kind of pits they’d create, after which requested colleagues to calculate what number of particles could also be whizzing about at Webb’s proposed position — a area past the Moon’s orbit often known as L2.

The $11 billion Webb telescope will research the early Universe

In line with Invoice Cooke, chief of NASA’s meteoroid environment division on the Marshall House Flight Middle in Huntsville, Alabama, the mission crew “spent a substantial lot of labor 20 years in the past, to aim to get their meteoroid surroundings appropriate.”
Engineers projected that Webb can be subjected to 1 sufficiently big hit each month to dent the mirror. They usually thought it was a threat value taking. They projected that influence pits would develop over time, however that after ten years, the dents would cowl simply 0.1 % of the primary mirror. Telescopes could proceed to perform even when a portion of their important mirror is damaged.
Collisions between asteroids and different planetary our bodies produce micrometeoroids. The particles are usually a number of tens of micrometres broad — across the dimension of sand grains — however could also be as massive as a bus. As a result of the Solar’s gravity attracts particles, mud usually strikes from the Photo voltaic System’s outskirts to its core.
The historic Webb Observatory has been designated as a telescope
Even small particles could inflict bodily injury to spacecraft after they strike at speeds sooner than a bullet in area. Micrometeoroids, for instance, have brought on pits within the Worldwide House Station. A micrometeoroid additionally momentarily knocked off a US climate satellite tv for pc in 2013.
All the pieces signifies that area is a dusty place. “You’re going to be hit,” Cooke predicts. “Each on occasion, one will catch your eye.”

On excessive alert

Everybody’s consideration was drawn to Webb’s late-May effect. “I’ve spent the previous six weeks addressing micrometeoroid queries,” Menzel remarked at a press convention. The hit brought on a minor deformation in certainly one of Webb’s important mirror’s 18 hexagonal elements. Engineers had been capable of change the part to cancel out some, however not all, of the image deterioration for the reason that placements of Webb’s mirror segments may be modified with excessive precision. (NASA claims that the telescope remains to be outperforming forecasts.)
In line with David Malaspina, a plasma physicist on the College of Colorado Boulder who researches cosmic-dust impacts on spacecraft, massive micrometeoroids are far unusual than tiny particles, due to this fact Webb was unlucky sufficient to hit one fairly early in its existence. It is as if a card participant drew a particular card from the deck on the primary spherical of play, quite than later within the recreation. Scientists can solely speculate about what is going to occur subsequent.
In the meantime, Webb engineers are reviewing their impact-rate calculations, that are based mostly on a mannequin that has been modified quite a few instances since Webb was designed.
They’re additionally looking out for meteor showers, which happen when Earth passes by a concentrated path of particles left by a passing comet. The mud from meteor showers accounts for simply roughly 5% of Webb’s impact danger, in comparison with the 95% threat from random, or’sporadic,’ strikes generated by background mud streaming across the Photo voltaic System.
Cooke’s workplace is at the moment producing particular meteor-shower predictions for the Webb crew in order that mission controllers will know when the telescope goes to move by a dense cloud of mud and will reposition the system to forestall particles from hitting its mirrors. This situation may happen in Might 2023 or Might 2024, when Webb could journey by particles from Comet Halley.

The ‘tree of lice’ identifies the earliest animal with an infestation

An adventurous parasite travelled from a hen to an ancestor of latest elephants greater than 90 million years in the past.


At one level, at the very least 90 million years in the past, lice might not have been an issue for animals. Nevertheless it didn’t final. An ancient ancestor of elephants and elephant shrews acquired small pores and skin parasites from a hen, initiating an enchanting — and possibly uncomfortably shut — relationship between mammals and lice that persists to at the present time.
Following a genetic analysis of the mammalian ‘tree of lice,’ biologist Kevin Johnson of the College of Illinois in Champaign and his co-authors reached this outcome. The findings signifies that lots of the lice now parasitizing mammals might hint their ancestry again to a single louse that lived on a single animal earlier than the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs.

A horrible story

Not often recounted, the historical past of mammalian lice is in some respects as spectacular because the historical past of mammals. When seals developed to residing within the water tens of tens of millions of years in the past, their lice additionally tailored, changing into the one genuinely aquatic bugs. Bret Boyd, a scientist at Virginia Commonwealth College in Richmond, states, “Lice might co-evolve intently with their hosts.”
However lice additionally possess a exceptional capability to maneuver hosts when the prospect presents itself. This potential helps clarify why the lice discovered on seals, skunks, elephants, and people all appear to share a typical progenitor. After analyzing genetic information from 33 species of lice originating from the entire major mammal teams, Johnson and his colleagues imagine that lice have switched mammalian hosts at the very least 15 occasions since they first started parasitizing mammals.

Abounding in selection

This host-switching is essentially responsible for the issue in setting up the mammalian tree of lice, nevertheless it’s not all the rationalization. Vincent Smith, a specialist in biodiversity informatics on the Pure Historical past Museum in London, notes that buying lice from a wide range of host species so as to harvest their DNA is a logistical downside.
Boyd states that the tree has been debated all through the years. “It looks as if Kevin has labored it out.”
Jessica Gentle, an evolutionary scientist at Texas A&M University in School Station, warns that it could be untimely to conclude that that is the last word picture. “Future analysis with a bigger pattern measurement might verify or refute these outcomes,” she provides.
Immobilizing the tree of lice has far-reaching results. In keeping with Smith, early twentieth-century biologists used lice to check their theories on co-evolution, the interwoven improvement of two or extra species. He believes that the brand new findings might entice scientists desirous about these broad evolutionary points to look at lice in a brand new mild.
The tree of lice can also present mild on host-switching, a topic of nice curiosity because of the truth that the origins of some sicknesses, notably COVID-19, could also be defined by host-switching from different animals to people. In keeping with Johnson, a greater information of the method’s mechanics “might throw perception on the best way to restrict the danger of novel sicknesses transferring hosts to folks.”
Nevertheless, the process is complicated. Blood-sucking lice are capable of thrive on mammals, in line with Boyd, as a result of they comprise symbiotic micro organism that offer them with B nutritional vitamins they can’t readily obtain from mammalian blood. Nonetheless, simply as lice are capable of migrate between mammalian hosts, plainly micro organism can also swap between lice hosts. Whereas analyzing a marine seal louse a couple of years in the past, Boyd and his colleagues decided that its bacterial symbionts have been just lately acquired.
“The louse in all probability misplaced an ancestral symbiont and changed it with this new one, so it is much like host-switching on a deeper stage,” he explains. There are several tiers of complexity.

How satellite swarms pose a rising threat to astronomy


It has been three years since SpaceX, a Hawthorne, California-based aerospace agency, launched its first batch of Starlink Web-communication satellites, inflicting astronomers to be involved in regards to the streaks the spacecraft depart in photos of the night time sky. Since then, many extra Starlink satellites have been launched: over 2,300 of them presently orbit the Earth, accounting for roughly half of all energetic satellites.
How astronomy pictures can be photobombed by satellite tv for pc ‘megaconstellations’ Scientists have made some headway in combating the assault. For instance, the Worldwide Astronomical Union (IAU) will launch a web site with instruments to allow telescope operators estimate satellite tv for pc placements in order that they might direct their gear elsewhere within the coming days1.
Nevertheless, proof is mounting as to how a lot these satellite tv for pc’megaconstellations’ might intervene with astronomical observatories and different skywatchers all through the world. Satellite tv for pc companies have but to discover a answer. SpaceX tried to treatment the difficulty by putting in sun-blocking curtains on its Starlinks, which dimmed their look within the night time sky. Nature, however, has discovered that the agency has ceased doing so.
1000’s of further satellites is perhaps deployed within the coming years. “That is an unsustainable pattern,” astronomer Meredith Rawls of the College of Washington in Seattle stated. “In the interim, our science is OK. However when will we miss a breakthrough?”

The price of megaconjunctions

Astronomers have gone from fretting over the satellites photobombing scientific observations to coordinating a worldwide response since the first Starlinks launched. Following a collection of worldwide conferences in 2020 and 2021, the Worldwide Astronomical Union established the Centre for the Safety of the Darkish and Quiet Sky from Satellite tv for pc Constellation Interference. Its soon-to-be-launched web site will function a focus for astronomers, policymakers, satellite tv for pc operators, and most of the people to collaborate on methods to minimize the impacts of satellites blazing over the sky.
In line with a latest analysis, future satellite tv for pc constellations can be greatest seen on summer time evenings at latitudes of roughly 50 levels south and 50 levels north, that are dwelling to quite a few European and Canadian astronomical amenities. In line with the report, if SpaceX and different companies launch the 65,000 satellites requested, brilliant spots would buzz over the sky all night time lengthy at sure latitudes throughout the summer time solstice. Round one in each 14 stars seen to the bare eye between daybreak and nightfall can be a satellite tv for pc.
“It is really very scary,” says Samantha Lawler, an astronomer from Canada’s College of Regina who led the analysis.
Astronomical observatories that examine massive areas of the sky fairly than particular celestial objects can be essentially the most impacted. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which displays the sky with a 1.2-metre telescope on Palomar Mountain in California, discovered satellite tv for pc streaks in 18% of its pictures collected after twilight in August 20213. And that quantity has risen because the variety of satellites has grown, in line with lead writer Przemek Mróz, an astronomer on the College of Warsaw. He carried out a preliminary evaluation of ZTF information from April 2022 and found that satellite tv for pc streaks impacted round 20–25 p.c of twilight pictures.
Mróz claims that the ZTF hasn’t had lots of its measurements ruined by satellite tv for pc streaks since its image-processing applied sciences can establish and conceal satellite tv for pc traces. Different observatories, nonetheless, confront higher hurdles, most notably the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, an 8.4-metre-wide telescope financed by the US and now below building in Chile. It is going to be particularly delicate to satellite tv for pc streaks following throughout its pictures since it would shoot the entire seen sky each three days. Rawls and different astronomers are growing strategies to cut back the hurt, together with as algorithms to detect and take away satellite tv for pc streaks from information. Nevertheless, repairing the information nonetheless requires a major quantity of effort and time. “It is positively consuming away at my profession,” Rawls provides.

A crowded sky

The rising variety of satellites additionally threatens to hurt radio astronomy and enhance the amount of house particles. Different, greater results may need a worldwide affect: satellites contribute to a background gentle within the sky, which might disorient animals that rely upon celestial navigation. Satellite tv for pc streaks might also disrupt human understanding programs, corresponding to Indigenous data programs that rely upon data from the night time sky to report main occasions all through the year4.
SpaceX is testing a darkish satellite tv for pc to lower the hazard of a “megaconstellation” to astronomy. In line with Karlie Midday, a PhD candidate in astronomy and an Indigeneous analysis affiliate at Australian Nationwide College in Canberra, the rising hazard of satellite tv for pc constellations exacerbates different night time sky degradations corresponding to gentle air pollution. “Our skies are being invaded in the identical method that our soils have been,” she argues. “This is not restricted to Indigenous folks.” She claims that companies have launched satellites with out first contacting the scientific group.
Some satellite tv for pc suppliers have been striving to deal with the difficulty. Firms corresponding to SpaceX, OneWeb in London, and Amazon’s Venture Kuiper in Seattle, Washington, have met with the IAU and nationwide astronomical societies frequently to debate reduce the impact of satellites. SpaceX has experimented with darkening their Starlinks, corresponding to inserting sunshades. The sunshades certainly decrease the brightness of the satellites5, however they appear to have been faraway from the latest era of Starlinks. These satellites, which have been deployed since September, work together with each other by way of lasers fairly than radio waves, and the sunshades intervene with their transmissions.
As a substitute, SpaceX is engaged on different mitigations, corresponding to including stickers or different supplies to satellite tv for pc mirrors to mirror gentle away from Earth, in line with David Goldstein, an engineer with the corporate, throughout a webinar hosted earlier this month by the UK-based Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS).
How successfully that may operate is but being decided. An unpublished examination of 102 observations of Starlink brightness over time reveals that the present era appears brighter than these identified to have sunshades. Nevertheless, with out sunshades, they aren’t as good as the unique Starlinks, in line with Anthony Mallama, a retired astronomer in Bowie, Maryland, who carried out the investigation.
In the meantime, OneWeb has launched 428 of a complete of 648 satellites. They orbit at a considerably higher altitude than the Starlinks – 1,200 kilometers vs 550 kilometers. The satellites are usually fainter than Starlinks resulting from their higher distance, though their brightness might differ enormously relying on how they seize and mirror daylight.
In line with Jeremy Tregloan-Reed, an astronomer on the College of Atacama in Copiapó, Chile, a preliminary examination of fifty OneWeb satellites in 2021 revealed that over half of them have been a bit brighter above the’protected’ degree stipulated by astronomers. In line with Maurizio Vanotti, OneWeb’s vice-president of house infrastructure growth and partnerships, the corporate is dedicated to lowering the visibility of its satellites; it makes use of a telescope in Sicily to measure their brightness and is utilizing that data to design future satellites which are fainter.
Astronomers advocate for a worldwide dialogue on large satellite tv for pc swarms. Amazon’s Venture Kuiper, which might add over 3,200 satellites, intends to launch the primary two prototype satellites by the tip of this yr. One in every of them may have a sunshade in order that the company can evaluate its capability to decrease the brightness of the satellites.
There are not any rules governing how brilliant satellites ought to look within the night time sky, regardless of the IAU and different astronomical organizations urging the United Nations to deal with the difficulty. Representatives from a number of international locations will deal with the safety of the sky throughout a convention of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceable Makes use of of Outer House, which opens on June 1 in Vienna.

The long-awaited accelerator is now ready to investigate the origins of elements

One of the greatest hopes of nuclear physicists is about to come true. After decades of anticipation, a US$942 million accelerator in Michigan will open on 2 May. Its studies will map previously uncharted sections of the unusual nuclei landscape and give information on how stars and supernova explosions generate the majority of the elements in the Universe.

“This initiative has enabled the whole community of nuclear physicists to realize a long-held desire,” says Ani Aprahamian, an experimental nuclear physicist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Kate Jones, a physics student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, concurs. “This is the facility that we have been waiting for,” she adds.

The disappearing neutrinos that have the potential to upend basic physics

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing had a $730 million budget, with the majority of funding coming from the US Department of Energy and the state of Michigan contributing $94.5 million. Additional $212 million was given by MSU in a variety of ways, including the land. It takes the place of an older National Science Foundation accelerator at the same location, dubbed the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). FRIB construction began in 2014 and was finished late last year, “five months ahead of schedule and under budget,” according to nuclear physicist Bradley Sherrill, FRIB’s scientific director.
Nuclear scientists have been clamoring for decades for a facility of this size — one capable of producing rare isotopes orders of magnitude quicker than the NSCL and comparable accelerators globally. The initial suggestions for such a machine date all the way back to the late 1980s, and agreement was established in the 1990s. “The community was convinced that we needed this technology,” says Witold Nazarewicz, a theoretical nuclear physicist and principal scientist at FRIB.

Internal mechanisms

All FRIB tests will begin at the basement of the facility. Ionized atoms of a particular element, often uranium, will be propelled into a 450-metre-long accelerator that bends like a paper clip to fit within the 150-metre-long hall. At the pipe’s terminus, the ion beam will collide with a graphite wheel that will spin continually to prevent overheating any one location. Although the majority of the nuclei will pass through graphite, a small percentage will collide with its carbon nuclei. This results in the disintegration of uranium nuclei into smaller combinations of protons and neutrons, each of which has a nucleus of a distinct element and isotope.
This beam of various nuclei will subsequently be directed upward to a ground-level ‘fragment separator.’ The separator is composed of a set of magnets that deflect each nucleus in a direction determined by its mass and charge. By fine-tuning this technique, the FRIB operators will be able to generate a fully isotope-free beam for each experiment.

The impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the world’s largest physics experiments

After that, the selected isotope may be sent via a labyrinth of beam pipes to one of the several trial rooms. Although production rates for the most rare isotopes may be as low as one nucleus per week, Sherrill believes the lab will be able to transport and analyse practically every single one.
A distinguishing aspect of FRIB is the presence of a second accelerator capable of smashing rare isotopes against a fixed target, simulating the high-energy collisions that occur within stars or supernovae.
FRIB will initially operate at a modest beam intensity, but its accelerator will progressively ramp up to create ions at a pace orders of magnitude greater than that of NSCL. Additionally, each uranium ion will travel quicker to the graphite target, carrying 200 mega-electronvolts of energy, compared to the 140 MeV carried by NSCL ions. FRIB’s increased energy is excellent for synthesizing a large variety of various isotopes, including hundreds that have never been synthesized previously, according to Sherrill.

The frontiers of knowledge

Physicists are anticipating the launch of FRIB, since their understanding of the isotope landscape is still incomplete. In theory, the forces that keep atomic nuclei together are the product of the strong force — one of nature’s four basic forces and the same force that holds three quarks together to form a neutron or a proton. However, nuclei are complicated things with many moving elements, and their structures and behaviors cannot be predicted precisely from basic principles, according to Nazarewicz.
As a result, researchers have devised a number of simplified models that accurately predict some properties of a particular range of nuclei but fail or provide only rough estimations beyond that range. This holds true even for fundamental problems, like as the rate at which an isotope decays — its half-life — or whether it can exist at all, Nazarewicz explains. “If you ask me how many isotopes of tin or lead exist, I will give you an answer with a big error bar,” he explains. FRIB will be able to create hundreds of hitherto undiscovered isotopes (see ‘Unexplored nuclei’) and will use their characteristics to test a variety of nuclear hypotheses.
Jones and others will be particularly interested in isotopes with’magic’ numbers of protons and neutrons — such as 2, 8, 20, 28 or 50 — because they generate entire energy levels (known as shells). Magic isotopes are important because they enable the most precise checks of theoretical predictions. Jones and her colleagues have spent years studying tin isotopes with increasingly fewer neutrons, creeping closer to tin-100, which has both magic quantities of neutrons and protons.
Additionally, theoretical uncertainties imply that researchers do not yet have a clear explanation for how the periodic table’s components arose. The Big Bang primarily created hydrogen and helium; the other chemical elements in the periodic table, up to iron and nickel, were synthesized mostly by nuclear fusion inside stars. However, heavier elements cannot be formed by fusion. They were created by other sources, most often radioactive decay. This occurs when a nucleus accumulates enough neutrons to become unstable, and one or more of its neutrons converts to a proton, resulting in the formation of new element with a higher atomic number.
This may occur as a result of neutron bombardment of nuclei during short yet catastrophic events like as supernovae or the merging of two neutron stars. The most investigated incident of this sort occurred in 2017, and it was consistent with theories in which colliding orbs generate materials heavier than iron. However, astrophysicists were unable to determine which particular atoms were produced or in what amounts, according to Hendrik Schatz, an MSU nuclear astrophysicist. FRIB’s primary strength, he argues, will be its exploration of the neutron-rich isotopes produced during these events.
The linear accelerator at the FRIB is composed of 46 cryomodules that accelerate ion beams at temperatures just above absolute zero.
The facility will contribute to the basic issue of “how many neutrons may be added to a nucleus and how does this affect the nucleus’s interactions?” According to Anu Kankainen, an experimental physicist from Finland’s University of Jyväskylä.
FRIB will complement existing state-of-the-art accelerators used to investigate radioactive isotopes, according to Klaus Blaum, a scientist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics. Japan and Russia have optimized their facilities to create the heaviest elements conceivable, those at the end of the periodic table.
The €3.1 billion Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), an atom smasher now under construction in Darmstadt, Germany, is slated to be finished in 2027 (although Russia’s withdrawal from the project during the invasion of Ukraine may cause delays). FAIR will generate both antimatter and matter and will be capable of storing nuclei for extended periods of time. “A single computer cannot handle everything,” adds Blaum, who has served on advisory panels for both FRIB and FAIR.

10 of the Largest Construction Projects in the World

What comes to mind when you consider the world’s biggest building projects? You’re correct if you guessed airports, canals, and subways. And, of course, industrial complexes and utility projects are included. However, some of the current projects included on the list may surprise you, such as the International Space Station and an amusement complex modeled like Disney World.

Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport

Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, new Al Maktoum airport was a massive development project. Bowman, Charles No other airport compares to Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, which spans over 21 square miles. The facility is capable of handling 200 wide-body aircraft simultaneously. The second phase of the airport’s development is anticipated to cost more than $32 billion. Originally expected to be completed in 2018, the newest expansion phase has been postponed, and no completion date has been established.

Saudi Arabia, Jubail II

Jubail Industry City was a massive building project in Saudi Arabia’s Middle Eastern Cultureia. Getty Images / Ali Al Mubarak Jubail II is a 22-year-old industrial city extension project with a $11 billion expansion budget. It started its second phase in 2014. It will eventually include at least 100 industrial units, an 800,000-cubic-meter desalination plant, miles of trains, roads, and highways, and an oil refinery capable of generating at least 350,000 barrels per day. The full project is scheduled to conclude in 2024.

Dubailand is located in Dubai.

Dubailand, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was a massive development project. Getty Images / Matilde Gattoni Three Walt Disney Worlds may be included inside the Dubailand complex. Dubailand, which would cover an area of 278 square kilometers and cost $64 billion, will be divided into six sections: amusement parks, sports arenas, eco-tourism, health facilities, scientific attractions, and hotels. Additionally, it will have the world’s biggest hotel, with 6,500 rooms, and a 10-million-square-foot shopping mall. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2025.

Space, International Space Station

International Space Station building was an astronomically vast undertaking. Britannica/UIG / Getty Images Every 92 minutes, the International Space Station (ISS) rounds the globe. It is being built at a cost of more than $60 billion by a collaboration of 15 countries and five space agencies. The space station’s total cost and anticipated extensions might approach $1 trillion, at which time it could become a residence for up to 1 million extraterrestrial people.

China’s South-North Water Transfer Project

The South-North Water Transfer Project in China’s Qinghai province was a massive building undertaking. Getty Images / Christophe Boisvieux Although the north of China is home to about half of the country’s population, it only possesses around 20% of the country’s water resources. To address this imbalance, China has sponsored the building of three massive canals, each more than 600 miles long, that will transport water from China’s three major rivers to the north. The project is scheduled to be completed in 48 years. When fully operational, it will provide 44.8 billion cubic meters of water per year.

Crossrail Project in London

Men engaged in building work on the Crossrail subterranean metro system in London. Getty Images / Lionel Derimais The world’s first subterranean railway system continues to expand, with the addition of 26 miles of tube connecting 40 stops. Construction is anticipated to cost $23 billion. The project is slated to be completed in stages, with the first new line—the Elizabeth line—expected to open in 2019 and the additional lines following in 2020.

California’s High-Speed Railway

Trains Traveling Along A Railroad Track With A City in the Background Getty Images / Ren Morales California’s high-speed rail construction started in 2015 and is slated to conclude in 2029. It will link eight of the state’s ten major cities, stretching from San Diego to San Francisco. The project is divided into two phases: The first phase will link Los Angeles to San Francisco; the second phase will expand the connection to San Diego and Sacramento. The train will be totally electric, run entirely on renewable energy, and capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Japan’s Chuo Shinkansen

Pond 5 inside Sellafield Getty Images / Barry Lewis Officially known as the Linear Chuo Shinkansen, Japan’s newest high-speed train line will connect Tokyo and Nagoya, a distance of 286 kilometers, in 40 minutes at a top speed of 505 kilometers per hour. This section of the high-speed route is expected to be completed by 2027. A further phase will see the railway extended to Osaka. The Tokyo-Nagoya line will be underground for about 86 percent of its length, necessitating major tunnel construction. This magnetic levitation (a.k.a. “maglev”) train is the world’s fastest.

Beijing International Airport, China

Beijing, China, Beijing Capital International Airport. A portion of the new Terminal 3 building, which opened in February 2008 and is the world’s second biggest structure. Getty Images / Christian Kober Beijing International Airport will ultimately outperform Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport in terms of cost, total square miles, passenger and aircraft capacity. The first section of the airport was finished in time for the 2008 Olympic Games. Additional expansion is expected to be completed by 2025. Terminal 1, built by Zaha Hadid, embodies a variety of sustainable design principles inside a future architectural shell.

Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project

Truck with colossal pipe Getty Images / Friedrich Schmidt Since 1985, Libya has been developing the “Great Man-Made River” (GMR) project. It is the world’s biggest irrigation project. When finished, it would irrigate over 350,000 acres of agricultural land and significantly boost drinking water availability in the majority of Libya’s metropolitan areas. The project’s water supply comes from the subterranean Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2030.

Albania


Albanìa (in Albanian: Shqipëria; historically Arbëria [7]), officially the Republic of Albania (in Albanian: Republika and Shqipërisë, AFI: [ɾepublika e ʃcipəˈɾisə]), is a state located in the Balkan peninsula. It borders Montenegro to the north-west, Kosovo to the north-east [8], North Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. Its coasts overlook the Adriatic Sea (the Otranto Channel) and the Ionian Sea. The country, with its borders, has an area of ​​28756 km² and a population of 2.8 million inhabitants.
Cradle of the Illyrian civilization, it was united in the Kingdom of Epirus with Pyrrhus, underwent the Greek-ancient colonization on the coast and in the classical age was part of the Roman Empire, becoming one of the cultural and religious centers of the Byzantine Empire in 1190 (Principality of Arbanon). Subsequently invaded by the barbarians (Slavs, Avars, Bulgarians), it had the military penetration of the Kingdom of Sicily (with the Sovereigns of the Altavilla, Swabian and Aragon dynasties) and the commercial penetration of the Republic of Venice. In the Middle Ages the battle of Kosovo (1389) brought the Turco-Ottomans to Albania who, initially contained by the League of Albanian peoples, or League of Lezhë, created in 1444 by Giorgio Castriota known as “Scanderbeg”, had the better of the death of these ( 1467). The Principality of Albania was the only country in the Balkans that in the 15th century resisted – for well over two decades – the attacks of the Ottomans. Albania was divided into small autonomous principalities subjected for four and a half centuries to the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire.
In the nineteenth century popular revolts for independence were accentuated, including that of Epirus which managed to make itself independent (1820-1822). The League of Prizren (1878) promoted the idea of ​​an Albanian national state, also in defense of the borders from Serbian-Montenegrin and Greek pressures, and established the modern Albanian alphabet. On November 28, 1912, it declared its independence from the Turks, later recognized by the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1913, the year in which the first provisional government was born in the midst of the Balkan wars, the Kingdom of Albania. Briefly became an Italian Protectorate at the end of the First World War, it was again occupied and annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1939. During the Second World War, parts of the territories of the so-called ethnic Albania were incorporated, including only the territories of the north-west and ethnic Albanian settlements left beyond the borders of the state. From 1944 to 1990 Albania was an extremely isolationist, Stalinist and anti-revisionist Communist state. Since 1998 Albania has been a parliamentary republic.
Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Since 24 June 2014, Albania is officially a candidate for membership of the European Union [9] after having formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009. Free market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, in particular in the development of energy and transport infrastructures. It is among the emerging countries of Europe and, thanks to the numerous historical and natural beauties, among the new tourist destinations of the Balkan Peninsula and the Mediterranean basin.
The capital of Albania is Tirana. Other major urban centers are Durres, Valona, ​​Shkodra and Gjirokastra. Albanian is the official language; Albanians call themselves shqiptarë.
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Balkan Peninsula


The Balkan peninsula, also known as the Balkans (from the abbreviated form of the Balkan Mountains, a mountain system between Bulgaria and Serbia; from the Turkish balkan ‘mountain’ [2]), is a peninsula in Eastern Europe; it is bounded to the west by the Adriatic Sea, to the southwest by the Ionian Sea, to the east by the Black Sea, to the southeast by the Sea of ​​Marmara, and to the south by the Aegean Sea.

Description

As often happens for the peninsulas, the definition of its border on the mainland is uncertain, aggravated by the fact that it is one of its most extensive borders. Furthermore, the definition of this dividing line does not help the fact that the territory presents within it great differences and fragmentations by history, nationality, language, culture and religion of the populations who live there.
The border is usually established on the Danube and its tributary Sava. In this way, parts of Slovenia and Romania (an Eastern Romance-speaking country) are also included in this area, which however historically had to do with the Balkans only after the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire. According to geographer Vittorio Vialli, the northern boundary is represented by the geographical line Istria-Odessa. Slovenia excludes from the region the interpretation of the border that includes the Kupa River, starting it from the city of Rijeka and reaching the mouth of the Danube. [3] In this way it borders to the west with the so-called Italian geographical region, [4] [5] which also includes territories that are not part of the Italian Republic. The political definition of the Balkans came into use in the 19th century to designate the European countries affected by the expansion and subsequent dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. [6]
After all, the characteristics of the territory, crossed by parallel mountain ranges that hindered the movement in a north-south direction and a uniform colonization already at the time of the Greco-Roman expansion, and its very geographical location help to explain the tormented historical events that have characterized the peninsula. [7]
Until 1975 the peninsula was crossed by the Balkan Express, a train departing from Vienna and arriving in Istanbul. The climate is continental in the north and east of the territory (with hot summers and very cold winters), while the western area and Greece have a Mediterranean climate.
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Balkan Peninsula


The Balkan peninsula, also known as the Balkans (from the abbreviated form of the Balkan Mountains, a mountain system between Bulgaria and Serbia; from the Turkish balkan ‘mountain’ [2]), is a peninsula in Eastern Europe; it is bounded to the west by the Adriatic Sea, to the southwest by the Ionian Sea, to the east by the Black Sea, to the southeast by the Sea of ​​Marmara, and to the south by the Aegean Sea.

Description

As often happens for the peninsulas, the definition of its border on the mainland is uncertain, aggravated by the fact that it is one of its most extensive borders. Furthermore, the definition of this dividing line does not help the fact that the territory presents within it great differences and fragmentations by history, nationality, language, culture and religion of the populations who live there.
The border is usually established on the Danube and its tributary Sava. In this way, parts of Slovenia and Romania (an Eastern Romance-speaking country) are also included in this area, which however historically had to do with the Balkans only after the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire. According to geographer Vittorio Vialli, the northern boundary is represented by the geographical line Istria-Odessa. Slovenia excludes from the region the interpretation of the border that includes the Kupa River, starting it from the city of Rijeka and reaching the mouth of the Danube. [3] In this way it borders to the west with the so-called Italian geographical region, [4] [5] which also includes territories that are not part of the Italian Republic. The political definition of the Balkans came into use in the 19th century to designate the European countries affected by the expansion and subsequent dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. [6]
After all, the characteristics of the territory, crossed by parallel mountain ranges that hindered the movement in a north-south direction and a uniform colonization already at the time of the Greco-Roman expansion, and its very geographical location help to explain the tormented historical events that have characterized the peninsula. [7]
Until 1975 the peninsula was crossed by the Balkan Express, a train departing from Vienna and arriving in Istanbul. The climate is continental in the north and east of the territory (with hot summers and very cold winters), while the western area and Greece have a Mediterranean climate.
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Monasterolo Casotto


Monasterolo Casotto is a small town located in the Casotto valley, of which the best known town is Pamparato. Monasterolo is divided into various hamlets. The main ones are: Borgata Sottana, Borgata Cravena, Borgata Soprana and Borgata Case Scuole. Often this village is desolate in winter, but in summer it becomes a small town where many Ligurians and Turinese go on holiday. Until a few years ago a typical restaurant was active. Recently a small restaurant has opened in Borgata Soprana which, in addition to the bar service, serves as a resale of typical products managed directly by a resident family. Just outside the town there are the remains of the castle, today only the tower remains visible. In the village there is also a Pro Loco which during the summer is managed by young people who go on holiday, who organize dinners followed by evenings of dancing in the square.

History

An ancient inscription found at the sanctuary of San Colombano attributes Roman origins to the small town of Monasterolo Casotto, whose name is still attributed to a monastery of Benedictines who settled here later around 1000 [4], but which it already saw in the epoch Lombard the presence of an ancient monastery of Benedictine nuns connected with the convent of Pogliola di Morozzo.
The addition of “Casotto”, from the name of the stream that runs through the valley, dates back to 1862, when a Royal decree granted the Municipalities of the Province of Cuneo the right to adopt a new name.
On that occasion a new coat of arms was also adopted which depicts a church leaning against a monastery on which a white tower stands, surrounded by two branches of holly.
The history of Monasterolo Casotto sees its ownership pass from the Count of Bredolo to that of Alba and to the Marquis of Ceva (on the orders of the Marquis Bonifacio of Savona who had divided the states in 1142). The Lords of Monasterolo lived in the castle, now destroyed, near the Feia stream, a castle that was the seat of duty and justice during the bloody “War of Salt”.
The territories were disputed between the Marquis of Ceva and the Savoy court, after which the inhabitants of Monasterolo also participated in the various wars of liberation that affected Piedmont first and Italy later with the world conflicts.
During the Fascist regime the Municipality was annexed to that of San Michele Mondovì until 1947, when autonomy was again recognized.
Currently the town is divided into two hamlets, the Sottana at 735 m and the Soprana at 824 m. Halfway there is the parish church built at the beginning of the twentieth century to unify the two previous parishes: that of San Bernardo in the Soprana hamlet and that of S. Antonio in the Sottana hamlet. It is dedicated to Saints James and John and keeps the bell that once belonged to the church of San Bernardo.
On a hill beyond the Soprana hamlet is the Sanctuary of S. Colombano, built around 1000 by the Benedictine monks who dedicated it to this saint of Irish origin, founder of monastic life in the kingdom of France in the seventh century. In the Monregalesi Valleys, San Colombano was depicted as a Roman soldier, perhaps to symbolize the strong link between religious and political action in the monasteries.
The current church is made up of two bodies from different periods: an older longitudinal one but of uncertain date, with incorporated bell tower and one with a square baroque plan (1645). Over the years some changes have been made to the structure, lastly, in 1884, the portico with exposed roof of the current facade was rebuilt. Inside there are still visible votive paintings as evidence of devotion to the Saint, while on the outside there is the ancient “Conca” or “Arbi”, a hollowed-out stone where oily liquid was collected which seems to have miraculous properties.
On that occasion a new coat of arms was also adopted which depicts a church leaning against a monastery on which a white tower stands, surrounded by two branches of holly.
On the fai site, in the places of the heart section there is the tower of the monasterolo castle and it is possible to vote for it.
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Hudson Terminal Towers


Hudson Terminal included two 22-story Romanesque skyscrapers above the H&M station.[14]:326[67] The buildings were designed by Clinton and Russell architect James Hollis Wells and constructed by contractor George A. Fuller.[14]:326[19][56]:123 Purdy and Henderson was responsible for structural planning.[14]:437[56]:123 Located on what would become the site of the World Trade Center, Hudson Terminal’s skyscrapers preceded the future complex in size and function.[22] When the buildings were first opened, the height and appearance of the city’s skyscrapers were still hotly debated, being criticized for their volume and density. So many of the early 20th century skyscrapers were designed with towers, steeples, or domes above a dense base, while others were divided into two structures, such as the Hudson Terminal.
The complex occupied most of the lot bordered by Cortlandt Street to the south, Church Street to the east, and Fulton Street to the west, with the northernmost building addressed as 50 Church Street and the southernmost as 30 Church Street. Hudson Terminal was also close to several low-rise buildings to the west on Greenwich Street.[22] They were called the Fulton and Cortlandt buildings respectively, and were collectively called the Church Street terminal.[19][68] These buildings were separated by Dey Street, as the city government would not allow the street to be closed.

Format

The Hudson Terminal buildings, along with 49 Chambers, were the first skyscrapers in the city to have an “H” shape, with courtyards inside providing light for the offices.[14]:392 The complex’s lot originally occupied it. a total area of ​​6,500 m2.[14]:326 According to the Engineering Record, the Fulton building occupied a plot of 48 by 47 m, while the Cortlandt building plot measured 65 by 52 m.[56]:121 However, the New-York Tribune published different measurements, 48 ​​by 55 m for the Fulton Building and 65 by 57 m for the Cortlandt Building.[19] By the mid-20th century, annexes had been added to both buildings, resulting in a combined total area of ​​7,971.3 m2.[27]
The design of the two buildings was similar. The first to third floors were parallelograms in the plan, with the buildings above the third floor assuming an “H” shape. The courtyards of both skyscrapers faced north and south, while the corridors on each floor of each building extended eastward along Church Street.[14]:326–327[70] The courtyard of the Cortlandt building spanned across the street. 9.8 by 23.2 m, while that of the Fulton building measured 14.6 by 9.8 m. The wings on each side of the courtyards were asymmetrically wide.[56]:121 The roofs of the buildings rose to a height of 84.05 m.[19][56]:121 Small “towers” with pitched roofs on both sides. buildings brought the total height to 93 m.

Facade

The facade of the skyscrapers was encased in Indiana limestone below the 50th-floor cornice, and with brick and terracotta from there.[19][60][67][56]:121 The original design included Doric columns beneath the roof cornice.[19] When built, the first four floors were made of polished granite and limestone; with each ground floor section made of glass. The top six floors of each building were covered in light-toned terracotta as per the original plan.[14]:328[60] The ends of each building also had strips of terracotta in the same shade. Arches connected three of the six upper floors.[14]:328 Due to the asymmetrical dimensions of the skyscrapers, the Fulton Building had eighteen spans facing Church Street and nineteen spans facing Dey Street, while the Cortlandt Building had twenty-eight spans. two stretches facing Church Street and twenty opposite Cortlandt Street.
The two buildings were connected by a pedestrian bridge above the street on the third floor of each building.[63] Another bridge connecting the 17th floor of both skyscrapers was approved and built in 1913, shortly after the complex opened.

materials

Altogether, the buildings contained 16.3 million bricks, 13,000 lamps, 15,200 doors, 5,000 windows, and 4,100 tonnes of terracotta, as well as 120,000 m2 of partitions and 31,000 m3 of concrete arches. The buildings also had several kilometers of pipes, water and gas piping, wooden planks, moldings and electrical wiring.
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