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World's largest all-solar-powered boat shines in NYC
The world’s largest solar boat, Switzerland’s MS Turanor PlanetSolar, sails past the Statue of Liberty as she arrives in New York harbor on June 17, 2013. The DeepWater Expedition, with scientists on board from the University of Geneva, is collecting climate change related data along the Gulf Stream. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert.
NEW YORK (AFP).- The world's largest fully solar-powered boat, "Turanor PlanetSolar," docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current.

Sponsored in part by the Swiss government, the 35-meter (115-foot) catamaran is crowned with solar panels that retract in port but open like a bird's wings to take best advantage of the sun's rays when at sea.

In May 2012, the vessel became the first solar-powered vehicle to travel all the way around the globe.

It was an epic adventure that took 584 days and spanned more than 60,000 kilometers (37,282 miles). Weighing in at 90 tonnes, it travels at an average five knots.

"Instead of being a museum somewhere in some harbor, the boat is now engaged in this second life," said Gerard d'Aboville, the boat's French captain, referring to the boat's latest mission.

The ship set sail from La Ciotat in France just over two months ago. And since it has made stops including the southeastern US city of Miami on its information gathering mission on climate change and the Gulf current.

"Our main goal is to study the Gulf Stream," he said.

"I myself live in Brittany, west of France, and we are very worried. We all know that if the Gulf Stream changes, even a little bit, our climate will deteriorate quiet a lot."

The Gulf Stream sends a huge mass of warmer water from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Atlantic, giving Atlantic Europe a relatively temperate climate for its latitude.

I also keeps areas it crosses in the Americas, such the West Indies, from being excessively arid.

PlanetSolar will be cruising through August with stops planned in Boston, Newfoundland, Iceland and Norway.

"Our goal is to understand the complex interactions between physics, biology and climate ... to refine climate simulation," said Martin Beniston of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva.

"Since the ship is powered by solar energy it does not emit any polluting substances that could distort the data collected on its 8,000-kilometer journey between Miami and Bergen, Norway," he added.



© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

June 20, 2013

Team of international archaeologists finds Mayan city believed to be 1,400 years old

The Cyrus Cylinder-2,600-year-old symbol of tolerance-on view at Metropolitan Museum

Exhibition of works by Minimalist artist Donald Judd opens at David Zwirner in London

Global participation from more than 30 countries drives Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

Fourteen unseen Salvador Dali paintings are sold at Bonhams for more than $1 million

Exhibition of new work by the American artist Robert Irwin opens at Pace London

Professor Christopher Brown to retire as Director of the Ashmolean in September 2014

Picasso ceramics sale at Christie's London makes more than double pre-sale estimate

Art Gallery of Ontario unveils monumental bronze sculpture series by artist Ai Weiwei in Toronto

Loris Greaud creates a monumental, performance related sculpture for the Centre Pompidou

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen opens gigantic installation work by Tomás Saraceno

Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) opens at the Institute of Contemporary Arts

Baltimore Museum of Art to revitalize visitor experience with series of reopenings

± I96I at the Reina Sofia Museum explores the founding the expanded arts

World's largest all-solar-powered boat shines in NYC

'Lost music' of Holocaust comes alive once again

Silver tureen owned by Marie Antoinette's sister dominates Bonhams £1.4m Silver Sale

Death mask of Napoleon makes £170,000 at Bonhams

Morrison Gallery launches Steve Tobin's "Roots on 7" as first in annual public art series

Florida International University announces gift from Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. to The Wolfsonian-FIU

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