China has recently completed construction of the world’s biggest solar farm. Called Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, the operation generates 850 Megawatts of electricity, which for the uninitiated, is enormous. Containing over four million solar panels, the plant can generate enough power from the sun to run nearly a quarter of a million homes. The Guardian has a good look at the new solar park, part of China’s giant effort to clean up their electrical generation. As solar prices get cheaper, look for more of these giant installations to help take our planet out of the age of coal, oil and gas.
Astronomy Picture of the Day has a remarkable shot of a crater lake reflecting the gorgeous aurora above it. Learn much more about the photo and the stars contained in it on their website.
Yukai Du has a super fun collection of motion graphics that help tell the story of the scale of the universe. Animated for a Ted-Ed video about Hubble’s Deep Field images, Du has a beautiful style that combines a great color scheme with fun, inviting motion.
A wonderful image composed of three photos, this capture shows the beautiful Milky Way over a mountain landscape. But it continues down, past the surface of a river, to the deep and dramatic depths below. Created by Johannes Holzer, this image speaks more than 1000 words. Via Colossal:
Watching the Aurora Borealis is a special occasion, regardless of how strong or visible it is. This capture of the Aurora in Denmark is remarkable for the intensity, and the reflection of the capture in the water. Via Sploid:
These beautiful rocky landscapes of Mars come to life when you see the human forms resting within them. Wonderfully realized by Jean-Michel Bihorel, he describes his work:
When all you need is go and take a nap on mars, far from the chaos. You build your own bubble of warmth and tranquility.
Mike Winkelmann’s art is impressive for both its detail and its dystopian, strangely creepy design. His work has a throwback quality, with some of the subjects looking like they came straight out of Blade Runner. Others showcase a stranger, eery organic nature, but told with a high-tech paintbrush. Regardless of how his art makes you feel, the scope and skill of his portfolio is impressive.
Elon Musk, the modern day Einstein/Tony Stark, announced SpaceX’s plans for Mars today, with hope to not only make life multi-planetary, but to colonize the Red Planet, and eventually make its atmosphere livable and breathable. Though we’re still at least a decade out from people en route to Mars, the prospects for the plans are thrilling. Prices for a trip to Mars? Surprisingly cheap, considering the immense engineering and planning that will go into the missions; estimated at $200,000 per person. As a space enthusiast, I find this news extremely exciting, and I applaud the big vision and courage of the engineers and designers working on this enormous project. And the prospects of a President Trump make Mars seem pretty appealing these days… Via SpaceX:
Using the biggest, most powerful rocket ever made, SpaceX will launch the spaceship with over 100 people onboard, a magnitude larger than anything that has come before it.
We are becoming more and more familiar with the Red Planet, exploring Mars with robots and flyovers, combing the atmosphere and doing all manner of measurements. But we are still amazed at how terrestrial and familiar it can look, like in these new photos from NASA’s Curiosity rover. These amazing images were snapped by Curiosity’s Mastcam, and they show an area called the Murray Buttes, full of eroded sandstone cliffs. Via NASA:
Believe it or not, there is actually a Flat Earth Society today, who don’t exist entirely to be ironic. Despite this shocking ignorance, it’s fun to picture a world with sharp angles, and impossible physics. Hawaiian artist Petey Ulatan has a visually impressive series that explores this vibrant and angled world. Via DesignBoom: