The creation of supermassive black holes remains an open topic of research. However, many scientists have long believed the growth rate of black holes was limited. That is until they discovered a black hole so big that it challenges the theory about how they grow. Today’s graphic diagrams how black holes form.
graphic of the day
India’s cotton production and exports have jumped since the country adopted genetically modified cotton in 2002. Bt cotton, which produces its own pesticide, is the country’s only GM crop and covers 95% of India’s cotton cultivation of 11.6 million hectares (28.7 million acres). Today’s graphic tracks India’s cotton production, exports and price.
Record-breaking winter weather has put much of the U.S. Northeast in a deep freeze this month. Boston broke its own record last week for the snowiest February in the city’s history. Today’s graphic tracks the recent snowfall across the United States.
As the Nasdaq closes in on the all-time high it reached in March of 2000, investors are facing a market that barely resembles the one seen 15 years ago. Today’s graphic compares the present day Nasdaq’s top 10 companies by market cap to that of 15 years ago.
Over 150 people across the United States have been diagnosed with measles. Many of the cases are believed to be linked to the wave of illness that began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. Today’s graphic shows how the virus spreads through the body’s cells.
The big three miners (Vale, Rio Tinto & BJP Billiton), together with Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group may be entering the final round of their fight to win more market share in China at the expense of high-cost rivals. The four companies added 234 million tonnes of iron ore to global sea-borne supply in the past two years, and will add another 196 million tonnes by 2020, according to Vale. Today’s graphic charts the Big Four miners’ iron ore production and operating margins since 2010, as well as the declining price of iron ore.
Japanese wineries are aiming for global recognition amid growing consumption, but not enough grapes are available domestically. Farmers are inclined to grow table grapes as they command higher prices than the wine-making varieties. This makes Japanese wines heavily dependent on imported grapes, with only about 2% of wine made from locally grown ones. Although wine consumption is growing, Japan has a long way to go, as is seen in today’s graphic. The country exported only about 208,000 litres of wine in 2014, compared with about 21.1 million litres of sake and 3.8 million litres of whisky.
Qualcomm has agreed to pay the largest fine in China’s corporate history ($975 million), ending a 14-month government investigation into anti-competitive practices Today’s graphic shows the millions of dollars in fines that have been imposed since 2010 on dozens of companies in various industries under China’s anti-monopoly law that launched in 2008.
Middle East crude exports to China increased in January, with the market share improving to 53.9%, as the Asian country took advantage of low prices to stockpile. Today’s graphic shows China’s crude imports by region since 2012.