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Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Wednesday - February 08, 2012

Rapidly Up The Borehole

дрель, детка, бури!

(drill, baby, drill!)

Russians Open Hole To Lake Vostok

image

graphic from US National Science Foundation




Two and a half miles beneath Antarctica‘s ice lies Lake Vostok, a mysterious body of water, 160 miles long and 30 miles wide, that is believed to have been sealed off from the rest of the world for 20 million years.

Now, the Russians, who run the Vostok research station at the surface, say they may have reached the lake with a drill bit, though they are still checking their data. The plan was for the drill to break through the ice into the hidden lake, and automatically withdraw so as not to contaminate the water below.

How did you spend your summer holidays? It’s the middle of summer there, in the Cold Zone, the coldest spot on earth. Summer temperatures are a mere -40. In winter it can get down to -129°F!!!

Lake Vostok, seen so far only on radar, is believed to be warmed by geothermal energy. But why drill to it, beyond feeling the tug of mystery?

“According to our research, the quantity of oxygen there exceeds that on other parts of our planet by 10 to 20 times. Any life forms that we find are likely to be unique on Earth,” said Sergey Bulat, the chief scientist of Russia’s Antarctic Expedition, as quoted by Russian Reporter magazine.

There are other scientists who are doubtful. Too much oxygen, they argue, could actually be toxic to life. So Lake Vostok could turn out to be unique — the first place found on Earth where there is water in liquid form but nothing living.

These are the same bunch of guys who were out of radio contact for the past 5 days. Guess they were just too busy to chat.


image

Heroic People’s Drill Team Performs Biggest Snow Job Ever



Earlier, worry mounted as days passed without word from the scientists on whether or not they had managed to drill deep enough to reach the surface of the lake. The drilling expedition, which has been ongoing for 14 years, took place under brutal, life-threatening weather conditions, including temperatures well below zero.

“Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake,” the [official Russian science news] source said.

A further statement in Russian, translated by Google:

Today, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute has received the following official statement from the chief station of the East 57th RAE AM Yelagin and Chief glaciological-drilling detachment of the 57th NI RAE Vasiliev.

February 5 at 20.25 Moscow time on the Russian Antarctic station Vostok inland event occurred, which is kept waiting in suspense the last few months, the international scientific community and many local and foreign mass media: experts glaciological-drilling detachment of the 57th Russian Antarctic Expedition was committed penetration in a relict subglacial Lake Vostok water through deep ice borehole 5G. On the eve of February 4, at around 3766 m depth of the well there was a contact drill with a water lens. Evidence of this was the lower portion of the ice core recovered from this depth - the surface of the lower 70 cm of core was otglazirovana as if in front of the lift, he was immersed in water. However, no channels or capillaries in the body core is not visually observed. It is this contact with the lens in the well water was mistakenly perceived by some media for real insight into the aqueous layer of the lake.


Concerns about polluting the lake with the freon/kerosene drilling fluid were unfounded, the Russians say:

Less dense than lake water, drilling fluid, consisting of a mixture of kerosene and Freon, was rapidly up the borehole. As a result, about one and a half cubic meters of liquid poured through the top surface of the wells in special trays installed in the drilling complex, and then it rolled back into the barrel. Thus, the theoretically predicted 11 years ago, the results have been fully proven in practice.

So it seems a job well done! The hole was capped off for now, and the scientists will be back next year to get some water samples and see what is to be seen.

This achievement of Russian polar researchers and engineers has been a wonderful gift for the Day of Russian science, which our country celebrates on 8 February.

Head of the Russian Antarctic Expedition

Vladimir Lukin

Is banner day for Russian Sciences!! Da darlink, but what about moose and squirrel??

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/08/2012 at 03:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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