In 1922, the engineer Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov built a 160 metre high communications tower in Moscow without use of scaffolding or cranes by creating each level and winching it above the previous one, like the structure of a telescope. The tower became redundant in 2002 and, following international pressure and a smartphone vote, the site is now being preserved and funding being sought for its restoration.
The photograph of the “Muscovite Eiffel Tower” by Pavel Golovkin is one of twelve of the best photographs selected from “Aperture” in New Scientist which has, for five years, published challenging, news-worthy and beautiful photographs of nature, space and technology here on Earth.
The ambition to explore and control space and to develop nuclear technology is reflected in Edgar Martin’s photograph of the dressing room at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre with empty gloves and space suits awaiting their occupants and Danila Tkachenko’s photographs which reflect back to the Cold War, including the Bartini Beriev VVA-14 aircraft designed to take off from water and destroy US submarines, of which only two were ever built in the 1970’s, while Enrico Sacchetti has recorded the two mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope on the top of Mount Graham in Arizona as two eyes looking out into space – two 8.4 metre wide mirrors which collect and combine light as if a single 11.8 metre mirror, making it the largest optical telescope in the world, used to examine dust particles around far-distant stars and planets to understand their atmosphere.
Going up into space and looking back at Earth, the European Space Agency’s Sentinels have taken stunning photographs of different landscapes arising from farming and other activities and of climate change, often unconsciously creating unique artistic images.
In the USA, grids are created by land divisions of modern farming while, in an entirely different environment and climate, agriculture clusters surround the Liwa Oasis in United Arab Emirates with use of drip irrigation and greenhouses and, in Saudi Arabia, a landscape of circles is created by the central-pivot irrigation system around wells, while the sand seas of the Namid Desert, a popular tourist area, create a sculptural landscape around the dry riverbed of the Tsauchab.
In colder environments, there is a different agricultural landscape in the snowy environment of Kazakhstan ploughed in the 1960’s while Antarctic Peninsula has become one of the key research areas on climate change as the ice shelves shrink and break up into icebergs.
Meanwhile, up in space, ESA astronaut Tim Peake gives a quick wave to NASA astronaut Steve Kelly carrying out electric maintenance and DIWATA 1 – the first Filipino micro-satellite launched from the International Space Station in April 2016, one of its roles being to monitor climate change.