Author Topic: Lake Vostok  (Read 421 times)

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Offline Adriano

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Here's something exciting I was reading today that I'd like to share with the group. In Antarctica that are about 400 sub glacial lakes; basically a body of water covered by a lot of ice and therefore isolated from the world.

One of which is Lake Vostok, covered approximately by 2 miles of ice, has been isolated from our atmosphere for about 20 millions years (yep you read it correctly!). Russian scientists have been drilling down toward the lake and appear to have succeeded reaching it.

They hope to find life forms (bacteria and such) that may have existed in our planet before the ice age, as well as others that may have evolved into different species. When I was reading the article, the first word that popped in my head was "Europa". The ice covered moon of Jupiter NASA scientists believe may harbor life beneath those ice sheets. Exciting!!

Here's the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/lake-vostok-microbes-unlikely-life_n_1264605.html

A-


Offline PPI Tracy

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This is amazing.  There is so much about our planet that we don't know.  20 million years?  Hard to wrap your brain around it.  It will be mind blowing to see what they find.

Offline PPI Karl

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Thanks for posting this, Adriano.  I've been a geek over Vostok for some time. :D

The challenge in reaching Lake Vostok till now, I'm glad to say, has been an ethical one:  even though they've been capable of drilling deep enough to drop a probe down there, they weren't certain the technology was clean enough not to contaminate Vostok's absolutely pristine environment.  If they have figured out the solution to that problem, they may be able safely to get under the ice of Europa as well (though, the drilling challenge is a lot more difficult).

Right now, Juno's en route to the Jupiter system, and I feel like a kid waiting for that new toy to hit the stores!  It's due to arrive in August 2016, just in time for my 56th birthday.  (I read somewhere that science probes are the traditional gift for a 56th birthday, right after paper and moonstone. ;D

If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.

Offline PPI Tim

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I just read the article. Interesting
Thanks for the link Adriano.
I will be looking for more on this subject.
Sounds interesting...Go on.