Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Astronomy?"

The APOD folks have an odd choice for their Astronomy Photo of the Day today, a ThyssenKrupp bucket wheel excavator. If you read through the description, you can see the connection- mines visible from space, a machine larger than the NASA crawler that transports the shuttle, and so on.  But let's face it, astro folks: you just have a bad case of rock envy.

5 comments:

Professor Chaos said...

Holy @#$%&!! That looks like something from a sci-fi movie!

Lost Geologist said...

Those things are cool. I used to work on one part of an internship in one of those lignite mines. The one on the foto should be the 255, the largest of them all. It's a huge machine that I had the pleasure to work one for 1 day.

Lockwood said...

@Professor Chaos- I've seen one of these from the freeway in east-central Ohio, and read a story about crossing from one side to the other- apparently, quite an operation.

@Lost Geologist- if this is the one you're thinking, do you know where it's located? A couple of people have asked me, and the APOD blurb doesn't say. Though to be honest, I haven't checked all the links there.

Lost Geologist said...

If I am not mistaken the 255 excavator and another, smaller one were transported to the Garzweiler open pit a short time before my internship there. So maybe in the year 2000? Anyways, afaik they are still there and operational. The Garzweiler open pit, one of the largest man-made holes in terms of surface area, is located about 35 km WNW of Cologne, Germany. You can easily spot the 3 open pits in that region on Google Earth.

Lost Geologist said...

A small correction. I confused the numbers. The one in the foto is the 288, the biggest one with a daily production of 240.000 cubic meters every day.