The construction of the largest optical telescope ever built has moved
one step closer today, with US$500 million in funding now committed from
international partners. Set to be the world's biggest and most
powerful, the Giant Magellan Telescope
is constructed from seven huge
mirrors that will span a total of 25.4 meters,
bringing in six times more light than any other large telescope. It is
also claimed that the instrument will be able to resolve images up to
ten times more clearly than the space-based Hubble telescope.
Host to millions of Muslim pilgrims each year, the holy city of Mecca is a lucrative location for hoteliers. Architecture conglomerate Dar Al-Handasah aims to capitalize on this by building the world's largest hotel in the city. Dubbed Abraj Kudai, it's reportedly due to open its doors in 2017.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, over half of the world's population has no access to the internet. A new plan, however, could provide access to billions of those people. OneWeb says it will launch a network of satellites that will provide global high-speed internet access.
Given the ubiquity of air travel nowadays, it can be easy to take it for granted. At its more extreme, however, it can be a remarkable feat of human endeavor. Qantas has today provided one such reminder with the launch of a non-stop A380 service between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth.
Work was recently completed on a big, bold, and presumably very expensive architectural project – and for a change, it's not located in Dubai or China. The Singapore Sports Hub is a mammoth new sports complex containing the East Asian city state's new National Stadium: a 55,000 capacity venue that boasts the notable achievement of being the world's largest dome structure.
Generating renewable electricity at home or commercial buildings is becoming increasingly viable. WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world's largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually.
Already home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa
, Dubai may soon boast bragging rights for the world's largest mall, too. Described as a climate-controlled city by developers Dubai Holding, the Mall of the World project was officially launched a few days ago by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
The old Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine in Northern Wales is soon to become the home of the world's largest underground trampoline. Set to open on Friday, Bounce Below is the newest attraction to the Zip World theme park, which currently boasts the world’s longest and fastest zip wire and the world’s biggest zip zone.
Work has finished on what is now the largest solar bridge in the world. Blackfriars Bridge, part of Blackfriars Station in London, has been fitted with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, which are expected to reduce the station's CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes (563 tons) per year. Work began in spring 2009
and the station was operationally complete in time for the 2012 Olympics, with the solar array installation complete in March 2013. The full refurbishment of the station is now also complete.
PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland's historic theater district is erecting what is claimed as the world's largest outdoor crystal chandelier. With a height of 20 ft (6 m) and comprising some 4,200 crystal pieces, the biggest surprise is that General Electric, which is designing the chandelier, believes it will stand up to Cleveland's extreme weather.