Top 10 Science MEGAPROJECTS


From land to sea to space, the world’s scientists
are using incredible tools to uncover our planet’s history and tell us where we are
headed. These are the top 10 largest mega-tools of science. Wall-e is Canada’s remote controlled seafloor
crawler that gathers data on tectonic plate movements, ocean temperatures, salinity, methane
content, and sediment characteristics for the NEPTUNE Ocean Observatory Project. It
livestreams HD footage from the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Vancouver, which
you can watch back on the project’s website. The Very Large Array is a combination of 27
individual radio telescopes listening to the wavelengths of the cosmos. The individual
telescopes are positioned to gather data cooperatively as if they were one large telescope 22 miles
wide. Each antenna is attached to rail lines, allowing astronomers to configure their positions
to optimize wavelength focal points. The VLR has made key observations of black holes and
stars, discovered magnetic filaments and traced complex gas motions at the Milky Way’s center…and
even listened to the edges of the universe. Juno is one of the fastest objects man has
ever built, traveling 134,000 miles per hour toward Jupiter where it will enter the planet’s
orbit around the 4th of July, 2016. Once in orbit, Juno will study Jupiter’s composition,
gravity and magnetic fields, and polar magnetosphere before burning up in Jupiter’s outer atmosphere. The Mars Curiosity Rover has been roaming
around the surface of the red planet since Aug. 2012 and has assessed that ancient Mars
could have been hospitable to microbial life. The generator behind the 2,000 lb car-sized
rover produces electricity from the decay of radioactive isotopes. Curiosity’​s design
will serve as the basis for a follow-up Mars rover mission set to launch in the summer
of 2020. The Earthscope is like a heart monitor for
the North American continent. Boreholes dug from the earth’s surface, some a mile-and-a-half
into the ground, are spread throughout the 48 contiguous states to monitor 3.8 million
square miles of seismic activity and lava flow. Since its inception in 2003, over 67
terabytes of data have been collected, with another terabyte being added every six weeks.
And all of this information is available to the public on the Earthscope website. The Spallation Neutron Source facility contains
the most intense neutron beam accelerator in the world. Every year about 700 researchers
from universities, national laboratories, and the private sector gather to fire ions
at 90% the speed of light through a maze of instruments to monitor how these neutrons
scatter. This information that has applications in many fields, including structural biology,
biotechnology, magnetism, superconductivity, chemical and engineering materials, and nanotechnology. The International Space Station is the largest
man made object orbiting the Earth, and is so large, you can see it with the naked eye
from your back porch. Six astronauts at a time get to call the ISS home while conducting
experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and space technology. Recently,
those on board grew and ate their own red romaine lettuce, the first time produce has
been produced entirely in space. Man’s looking glass into the cosmos is the
Hubble Telescope, equipped with an eight foot mirror capable of taking extremely high-resolution
pictures of galaxies millions of light years away, like this famous image, the “Pillars
of Creation.” It’s observations have led to major breakthroughs in astrophysics, including
determining the rate of expansion of the universe. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space
Telescope, is scheduled for launch in 2018. The National Ignition Facility uses the world’s
largest and most powerful laser – capable of reaching 100 million degrees and 100 billion
times the pressure of the earth’s atmosphere – to try and harness nuclear fusion energy.
A small, but crucial step toward this goal was made last year, when — for the first
time — scientists generated more energy than they put into the nuclear fuel. And the world’s largest scientific instrument
is the Large Hadron Collider that spans 17 miles, and is buried 574 feet underground
along the Switzerland-France border. Here, researchers have replicated the first millionth
of a second of the Big Bang by smashing subatomic particles called neutrinos into each other
at the speed of light. Thanks for watching, make sure you like this
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