Amazing Navigable Aqueducts

Navigable aqueducts (sometimes called water bridges) are bridge structures that carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or roads. They are primarily distinguished by their size, carrying a larger cross-section of water than most water-supply aqueducts. Although Roman aqueducts were sometimes used for transport, aqueducts were not generally used until the 17th century when the problems of summit level canals had been solved and modern canal systems started to appear.

1. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, UK

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north east Wales. Completed in 1805, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, a Grade I Listed Building and a World Heritage Site. Built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, it is 307 m. (1,007 ft.) long, 3.4 m. (11 ft.) wide and 1.6 m. (5.25 ft.) deep.

The towpath is mounted above the water, with the inner edge carried on cast-iron pillars in the trough. This arrangement allows the water displaced by the passage of a narrow boat to flow easily around it, enabling relatively free passage. Every five years the ends of the aqueduct are closed and a plug in one of the highest spans is opened to drain the canal water into the River Dee below, for inspection and maintenance of the trough.

2. Håverud Aqueduct, Sweden

Håverud Aqueduct is regarded as one of the greatest engineering achievements of its day. In the mid eighteen sixties it became clear that this section of the Dalsland Canal could not be completed using a traditional lock owing to local soil conditions. As a consequence a thirty metre long metal chute was constructed that traversed the Dalsland Waterfall.

Today the aqueduct is a tourist attraction and is a unique meeting point of waterway, road and railway. There is a popular visitor centre here. This is the starting point for many boat trips on the Dalsland Canal.

3. Magdeburg Water Bridge, Germany

The Germans took over 80 years to build this 918m (3,000 ft) bridge over the Elbe river near the town of Magdeburg. Canal engineers had first conceived of joining the two waterways as far back as 1919, and by 1938 the Rothensee boat lift and bridge anchors were in place, but construction was postponed during World War II. After the Cold War split Germany, the project was put on hold indefinitely by the East German government.

With the reunification of Germany and major establishment of water transport routes made the Water Bridge a priority again. Work started in 1997, with construction taking six years and costing €500 million. The water bridge now connects Berlin’s inland harbour network with the ports along the Rhine river. The aqueduct's trough structure incorporates 24,000 tonnes of steel and 68,000 cubic meters of concrete. The Magdeburg water bridge was opened in 2003.

4. Aqueduct Ringvaart Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands

Near Roelofarendsveen (a town in western Netherlands), the Ringvaart Channel crosses the A4 Highway by means of an aqueduct. It was built in 1961, making it the oldest aqueduct in the Netherlands. In 2006, construction was completed of two new portions: on the east side for crossing new north-bound lanes for the expanded highway; and on the west side for the new HSL-Zuid high-speed railway. The new aqueduct is 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) long.

5. Pont du Sart Aqueduct, Belgium

Pont Du Sart during construction

The Pont du Sart Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Centrumkanaal (channel in western Belgium) over the crossroads between N55 and N535 road near the town of Houdeng-Goegnies.

This concrete building is 498 meters (1,600 ft) long and 46 meters (150 ft) wide. Pont du Sart Aqueduct weighs 65,000 tons and is supported by 28 concrete columns, three meters (10 ft) in diameter.

6. Aqueduct Veluwemeer, Netherlands

Veluwemeer is aqueduct on the N302 road near the small town of Harderwijk in the Eastern Netherlands. It is located under a small part of the lake Veluwemeer and at the same time connects the mainland Netherlands to Flevoland (largest artificial island in the world).

Veluwemeer is 25 meters (80 ft) long and under it daily passes about 28 000 vehicles. The aqueduct was opened to traffic in 2002.

7. Briare Aqueduct, France

The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal latéral à la Loire over the River Loire on its journey to the River Seine in France. It replaced a river-level crossing from the canal to meet the Briare Canal that was hazardous in times of flood. Between 1896 and 2003 it was the longest navigable aqueduct in the World until the opening of the Magdeburg Water Bridge.

The aqueduct is built on fourteen piers. These piers support a single steel beam in turn supporting a steel channel which contains more than 13,000 tonnes of water, 2.2 meters (7 ft) deep and 6 metres (20 ft) wide allowing boats with a 1.8m draught to cross. The width of the aqueduct, towpaths included, is 11.5 meters (38 ft) and its length is 662.7 meters (2.175 ft).

8. Naviduct Krabbersgat, Netherlands

The Krabbersgat-locks in the Netherlands is the first “Naviduct” in the world. This unique mega project, consisting of a ship-lock with an underpass for road traffic, was conceived to ease bottlenecks for both vehicle and sea faring traffic.

The massive structure is 125 meters (410 ft) in length and 25 meters (82 ft) wide. 1,450 m3 of earth was removed to accommodate 20,000 m3 of concrete. This naviduct in Enkhuizen was opened in 2003.

9. Edstone Aqueduct, UK

Edstone Aqueduct is one of three aqueducts on a 4 miles (6 km) length of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal in Warwickshire. All are unusual in that the towpaths are at the level of the canal bottom. At 475 feet (145 m), Edstone is the longest aqueduct in England. It crosses a minor road, the Birmingham and North Warwickshire railway and also the trackbed of the former Alcester Railway.

10. Aqueduct Langdeel, Netherlands

Aqueduct Langdeel is located on the N31 highway, near the city of Leeuwarden in the northern Netherlands. The aqueduct carries the canal of the same name.

Construction began in 2004, and in 2007 the aqueduct was completed and opened to traffic. The aqueduct was 2.78 meters (9 ft) deep, 25 meters (82 ft) wide and 110 meters (360 ft) long. Concrete box aqueduct lies on the three rows of concrete pillars.

11. Ee Aqueduct, Netherlands

Ee Aqueduct is located in the Dutch province of Friesland, on the provincial road N928. This aqueduct was opened for traffic in 2007.



Breathtaking New Images of a Solar Flare

Nasa today released stunning video showing a 500,000 mile long 'solar whip' on the surface of the sun - and the beautiful aurora it created on earth.

Captured by from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the images show in unprecedented detail a very long, whip-like solar filament extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun’s surface.

The August 31 2012 coronal mass ejection shown in four different extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. It caused no disruption on earth, but did cause aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3.

The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second.

The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth's magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, with a glancing blow, causing aurora to appear on monday evening.

The 'whip' was a filament, cooler clouds of solar material that are tethered above the sun’s surface by unstable magnetic forces.

The images and video (below), which covers August 6 to 8, 2012 show the filament as a darker strand that has been in view for several days.

It the snaps, sending radiation hurtling towards earth.

At the time, Nasa revealed a video of the activity.

'Towards the end of the video part of the filament seems to break away, but its basic length and shape seem to have remained mostly intact,' says Nasa.

The video, which condenses three hours of activity, also reveals the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultraviolet light.

The NOAA spaceweather prediction center warned that a cloud of radiation from the eruption would reach Earth today.

The radiation cloud will create a minor to moderate geomagnetic storm, bringing the northern lights to parts of North America, it said.

To prove the point, Nasa today revealed the image below, showing the aurora in breathtaking beauty.

Swirls of green and red appear in an aurora over Whitehorse, Yukon on the night of September 3, 2012 following a massive eruption on the solar surface

Nasa says the image is a classic example of a solar prominence (also known as a filament when viewed against the solar disk).

This is a large, bright feature extending outward from the Sun's surface.

Prominences are anchored to the Sun's surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the Sun's hot outer atmosphere, called the corona.

A prominence forms over timescales of about a day, and stable prominences may persist in the corona for several months, looping hundreds of thousands of miles into space.

However, scientists are still researching how and why prominences are formed.

The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas comprised of electrically charged hydrogen and helium.

The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo.

An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma

The huge coronal mass ejection erupting on the Sun (This picture: an overlay blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths)

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second.

An image created by blending two different wavelengths of the magnificent coronal mass ejection on the Sun on 31 Aug 2012

This incredible image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows a very long, whip-like solar filament in the centre of the image, extending over half a million miles in a long arc above the sun's surface

The video also reveals what the filament looks like closer to the surface of the sun

This image of a previous solar filament of the sun's surface shows the scale of eruptions.



Killer Diseases As You've Never Seen Them Before

They look like works of modern art but these incredible images actually show some of the world’s deadliest diseases - including the Black Death and anthrax.

Many of the specimens can have devastating affects on the human body and have caused major epidemics.

But the bacteria, invisible to the naked eye, are shown in an extraordinary new light in these stunning images.

It looks like something hanging on the wall of an art gallery, but in fact this is the Ebola virus as seen through a coloured transmission electron micrograph at x12,500

With the help of incredibly powerful microscopes, each can be magnified tens of thousands of times.

And with colour added in by digital artists, the results are fascinating.

Each image shows even the most miniscule spore in incredible detail.

These images were taken by German-based scientific photographers Eye of Science using the latest high-tech equipment.

They are part of a huge database of images, the Science Photo Library in London, which are used for research, educational material and even as works of art.

The smallpox virus, looking like an oil painting. The protein coat of each virus is coloured yellow; DNA genetic material is red. Magnification: x28,500

Looking uncannily like a collection of sushi, in fact this is a closeup of Smallpox viruses. The virus consists of genetic material (red), DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), enclosed by a protein capsid (coat, yellow)

One image shows lethal anthrax, which sparked widespread panic in America after spores were sent in the post following the attacks of September 11.

The bacteria is magnified more than 18,000 times, to reveal each individual strand with stunning clarity.

Plague bacteria, which caused the Black Death and the Great Plague of London from 1664-1665, have also been included in the collection.

The disease, which was spread to humans by fleas and can be fatal within a day, seems deceptively harmless in the extraordinary image.

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, which causes meningococcal meningitis, magnified x33000

Mark Abbott, from the Science Photo Library, said: “In the past these images would have been used solely for research.

'But it became of interest to the general public when subjects like CDs, insects and viruses were put under the microscope.

'Specimens come in from all over the world.

'Samples, which are invisible to the naked eye, are covered in gold leaf and then placed under the microscope.

Streptococcus pneumoniae are carried by many without causing infection. However, in immune compromised individuals they can infect the upper respiratory tract, causing pneumonia

'The result is a black and white image, which is then coloured by digital artists.

'Some of the images have been compared to works of art and even reproduced in art books.

'We’ve had an amazing response to the images. It really helps to communicate science with the general public - especially children.'

Another image shows, SARS, a fatal lung disease which first appeared in China in 2002, is magnified 56,000 times with incredible results.

The Plague bacteria (Yersinia pestis) which causes bubonic plague, thought to be the Black Death of Europe in the mid-14th century, and also the Great Plague of London in 1664-1665

The 2D image is created using high-tech transmission electron microscopes, which pass electrons through the specimen to record a picture of it.

Polio, smallpox, and ebola, which has a survival rate of less than 10 per cent in Africa, are strangely fascinating after being magnified tens of thousands of times.

The viruses are given a psychedelic transformation with a variety of bright colours.

Meningitis bacteria, streptococcus, is also revealed in extraordinary detail at magnification of 11500 as well as a spikey looking Influenza virus.

E. coli bacteria, which under certain conditions can cause gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections. Some.strains also cause food poisoning. Magnification: x17,000

E.coli, which is known to cause gastroenteritis and food poisoning, appears more like two tiny alien creatures lit up in fluorescent green and yellow.

Rabies, which is transmitted from infected dog bites, looks bullet-like at a magnification of 150,000.

Even the papilloma virus, responsible for warts on the hands and feet, can be seen at a magnification of 60,000.

Tuberculosis, lyme disease and sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea also appear in the collection as 3D images.

The affect is created using specialist scanning electron microscopes, which bounce electrons of the specimen.

The rod shaped Anthrax bacteria: Bacillus anthracis bacteria, the cause of anthrax. Magnification: x18,300

The Tuberculosis bacteria. If it reaches the lungs from a cough or sneeze it can be fatal. Magnification: x10,000

Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the spirochaete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of lyme disease in humans. The spiral-shaped bacteria are passed on to humans via tick bites. Magnification: x3650

False-colour image of Papilloma viruses. The coat of each virus contains 72 capsomers (protein units that appear as dots). Papilloma virus (human papillomavirus or HPV) is the cause of warts: Magnification: x60,000

SARS virus particles (red) in a host cell. The coronaviruses take their name from their crown (corona) of surface proteins, which are used to attach to and penetrate their host cells. Magnification: x56,000

Influenza virus particle.The virus consists of ribonucleic acid (RNA), surrounded by a nucleocapsid (red) and a lipid envelope (green). Magnification: x230,000

Polio viruses: RNA genetic material occurs in the core of each virus, surrounded by a protein coat (blue). There are three types of polio viruses, type 1 being the cause of most polio epidemics. Magnification: x90,000


Unintentional Photobombs

They are the moments inadvertently caught on camera that turn an ordinary photo into comedy gold.

The art of 'photobombing' has soared among the young in recent years thanks to ever-present cameras and the ease of posting pictures online.

But such moments can also take place completely by chance and are, arguably, all the better for it.

Ouch! As a tourist poses for a holiday snap in Berlin, a cyclist slams into a lamppost

Girls just wanna have fun! But as these five friends pose for a light-hearted picture, their pet dogs engage in some rather more frisky behaviour

Not impressed: A snarling man glares at the camera as four girls on a night out pose together

Creepy: As these schoolgirls make 'V For Victory' signs, a man stands in the background with his trousers around his ankles

So while some feature strangers pulling unexpected faces in the background, in one case a cyclist is caught mid-accident.

The exact moment the unfortunate rider falls off his bicycle is caught on camera as a tourist poses in front of a Berlin landmark.

Or take the five friends posing by a swimming pool in the top photo.

What was originally intended as a fun picture at the height of summer is turned into something rather more frisky by their pets.

Here's looking at you: Even something as seemingly innocuous as a television can cause much mirth

No privacy: A dog answers the call of nature while his owner strikers a voluptuous pose for the camera

Original photobomber? A cheeky boy at the window offsets the sober nature of his picture

Ladies' man: While actor Wilmer Valderrama cuddles up to two attractive females, a man in the background ruins their photo

Boobed: A topless woman strolls by right at the moment a bride and groom exchange their vows

Say cheese! A proud mother takes a photo of herself and her not-so-well-behaved son