We are looking for Europeans of different nationalities that can speak about the refugee invasion in your country and how this REALLY is affecting you. Are you in Hungary, Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Austria or another country being heavily invaded? Please reach out: views@redicecreations.com or @rediceradio We want to speak with you!

Russian scientists, using drill for 20 years, finally reach deep Antarctic lake buried under ice for 20 million years
2012-02-10 0:00

From: nydailynews.com

The Russian achievement is likened to Americans winning the epic race to the moon in 1969

How the Russians did it: This illustration shows how Russian scientists were able to reach a body of water the size of Lake Ontario that had been hidden for 20 million years under Antarctic ice.

After more than two decades of drilling in Antarctica, Russian scientists have reached a gigantic freshwater lake hidden under miles of ice for some 20 million years - a pristine body of water that may hold life from the distant past and clues to the search for life on other planets.

Finally touching the surface of Lake Vostok, the largest of nearly 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica, is a major discovery avidly anticipated by scientists around the world.

Valery Lukin, the head of Russiaís Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) who oversaw the mission and announced its success, likened the endeavor to the epic race to the moon won by American scientists over the Soviets in 1969.

"I think itís fair to compare this project to flying to the moon," he said Wednesday.

The Russian team hit the lake Sunday at the depth of 12,366 feet about 800 miles southeast of the South Pole in the central part of the continent.

Scientists hope the lake may allow a glimpse into microbial life forms that existed before the Ice Age and are not visible to the naked eye. Scientists believe that microbial life may exist in the dark depths of the lake despite its high pressure and constant cold - conditions similar to those expected to be found under the ice crust on Mars, Jupiterís moon Europa and Saturnís moon Enceladus.

"In the simplest sense, it can transform the way we think about life," NASAís chief scientist Waleed Abdalati told The Associated Press in a email.

American and British teams are drilling to reach their own subglacial Antarctic lakes, but Columbia University glaciologist Robin Bell said those lakes are smaller and younger than Vostok, which is the big scientific prize.

Russian researchers at the Vostok station in Antarctica pose for a celebrator picture on Monday after reaching subglacial Lake Vostok. The sign reads ď05.02.12, Vostok station, boreshaft 5gr, lake at depth 3769.3 metres.Ē

"Itís like exploring another planet, except this one is ours," she said.

Lake Vostok is 160 miles long and 30 miles across at its widest point, similar in area to Lake Ontario. Itís kept from freezing into a solid block by the mammoth crust of ice across it that acts like a blanket, keeping in heat generated by geothermal energy underneath.

The technological challenges of drilling through the ice crust in the worldís coldest environment have made the project unique.

Temperatures on the Vostok Station on the surface above have registered the coldest ever recorded on Earth, reaching minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit, and conditions were made even tougher by its high elevation, more than 11,000 feet above sea level, resulting in thin oxygen.

The effort, however, has drawn strong fears that 66 tons of lubricants and antifreeze used in the drilling may contaminate the pristine lake. Bell said the Russian team was doing its best "to try really hard to do it right" and avoid contamination, but some others were nervous.

University of Colorado geological sciences professor James White was among those who urged caution about drilling into subglacial lakes.

"Lake Vostok is the crown jewel of lakes there," White said by telephone. "These are the last frontiers on the planet we are exploring, we really ought to be very careful."

Lukin said Russia had waited for several years for international approval of its drilling technology before proceeding to reach the lake. He said about 50 cubic feet of kerosene and freon poured up to the surface tanks from the boreshaft, proof that the lake water streamed up from underneath, froze and then blocked the hole, sealing off the chance that any toxic chemicals could contaminate.

Russian scientists will later remove the frozen sample for analysis in December when the next Antarctic summer season comes. They reached the lake just before they had to leave at the end of the Antarctic summer, as plunging temperatures halted air links.

Some scientists hope that studies of Lake Vostok and other subglacial lakes will advance knowledge of Earthís own climate and help predict its changes.

"It is an important milestone that has been completed and a major achievement for the Russians because theyíve been working on this for years," said Professor Martin Siegert, a leading scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, which is trying to reach another Antarctic subglacial lake, Lake Ellsworth.

"The Russian team share our mission to understand subglacial lake environments and we look forward to developing collaborations with their scientists and also those from the U.S. and other nations, as we all embark on a quest to comprehend these pristine, extreme environments," he said in an email.

Americans scientists are drilling at Lake Whillans, west of the South Pole.

In the future, Russian researchers plan to explore the lake using an underwater robot equipped with video cameras that would collect water samples and sediments from the bottom of the lake, a project still awaiting the approval of the Antarctic Treaty organization.

The prospect of lakes hidden under Antarctic ice was first put forward by Russian scientist and anarchist revolutionary, Prince Pyotr Kropotkin, at the end of the 19th century. Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa noted the likely location of the lake and named it following Soviet Antarctic missions in the 1950s and 1960s, but it wasnít until 1994 that its existence was proven by Russian and British scientists.

The drilling in the area began in 1989 and dragged on slowly due to funding shortages, equipment breakdowns, environmental concerns and severe cold.

The lakeís pristine water may make entrepreneurs sweat just thinking of its commercial potential, but Lukin shot that idea right down.

He said his team had no intention of selling any Vostok water samples but would eventually share the results of their work with scientists from other nations.

Source: nydailynews.com

Video from: youtube.com

Related Articles

Latest News from our Front Page

Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra arch'
2015-10-06 21:37
Palmyra's Arch of Triumph was built by the Romans in the second Century AD Islamic State militants in northern Syria have blown up another monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, officials and local sources say. The Arch of Triumph was "pulverised" by the militants who control the city, a Palmyra activist told AFP news agency. It is thought to have been ...
ISIS on the Run: Russian Airstrikes Totally Obliterate Terrorist Forces in Just 72 Hours
2015-10-06 4:38
Russia has just achieved, in 72 hours, what the West failed to do in an entire year. The Su-34 – World’s best machinery for annihilating terrorists. Numerous news outlets are now reporting that ISIS forces are in total disarray and even, in some cases, completely on the run following the start of Russian airstrikes last week.  Russian Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov said that ...
Oregon Gunman Left Hate-Filled Note and Long Struggled with Mental Issues, Sources Say
2015-10-05 23:21
The gunman who carried out the deadly attack on Umpqua Community College was described Friday as a “hate-filled” individual, with anti-religion and white supremacist leanings who has long struggled with mental health issues, law enforcement sources said. Officials said Friday they had recovered 13 weapons tied to the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, 26. Six were found at the college, seven were ...
Muslim Migrants Demand Sex: "Problem Here (Points to Groin) Balls Is Very Big"
2015-10-05 23:42
Tens of thousands of Muslim migrants continue to flow into Europe. More than 900,000 people could make their way to Germany in the final three months of 2015. One migrant demanded more sex. “The problem here (points to groin) balls is very big.” Source: thegatewaypundit.com
This is Dildoween
2015-10-05 23:07
Halloween is a fitting metaphor for a society rank with the stench of its own decay. Youtube sensation Uncuck the Right accordingly presents all your favorite alt-right anti-Cultural-Marxist memes in one convenient song and video for the "season of spooks." Enjoy but don't hand out any more free candy. Source: alternative-right.blogspot.com
More News »