Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Monday, February 20, 2012

Living Water From Lake Vostok

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rose from the chair and cradling amber glass containers filled with water just handed the Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev. Paper label stuck to the glass to explain liquid: Lake Vostok, over millions of years of age, depth of 3,769.3 meters, 5.12.11, Antarktik.
Satellite composite showing location of Vostok within the Antarctic continent. (Picture from: http://www.physorg.com/)

Vostok Research Station. (Picture from: http://en.rian.ru/)
"It's exciting, you know dinosaurs drank it," Putin said as he developed the smiling, this happened on Friday (10-02-2012). Russia's number one commented this may be one of the water comes from the period 20 million years ago, when dinosaurs became extinct. But he shared the same sense of awe with researchers who dig the water from a depth of nearly 4 kilometers.
Vostok Drilling Station.(Picture from: http://www.techeblog.com/)
Excavation site at Vostok Station ("vostok" meaning "east" in Russian), Antarctica. Station is only 1.300 kilometers from the southern tip of the Earth. Just below the station is in operation since the Cold War, there is Lake Vostok area of ​​15.500 square kilometers.

Since the mid-20th century, scientists have predicted the existence of the lake is trapped between layers of soil and ice. New confirmation of this prediction accomplished in 1996 when scientists look at Lake Vostok invisibility of air through the translucent surface radar.
Diagram of the vertical/horizontal structure of the lake and its surroundings. (Picture from: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/)
Lake Vostok itself listed as a sub-glacial lakes in the world's largest as well be the world's seventh largest lake. Analysis of sediment to the conclusion that this lake has been buried since the ice sheet 20 million years ago.

Thus, Lake Vostok is like a giant ice chests that preserve the organisms that lived millions of years ago. It is quite possible these organisms continue to survive until now collect the energy released by the Earth. Researchers are now turning attention to the search possibilities of extreme life down there.

Russia has tried to do the drilling on Lake Vostok since 1970 on a five-point era. Last wells, wells called 5G, is the most occupied.

In 1998, the excavation of this frozen continent of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS) terminated. At that time, the drill bit has to be at a depth of 3.623 meters. "We had to stop because there is fear of contamination," said team member drilling, Alexey Ekaikin, told the BBC.

Was stopped for six years, drilling resumed in 2004 after investigators received the green light from the ATS. In 2007, the drill bit is lost at a depth of 3.668 meters. Drilling is then resumed again in 2009.

Sunday, February 5, 2012, the drilling ends. The summer sun that shines for 24 hours just to burn air Vostok Station to -40 degrees Celsius. However, at a depth of 3,769.3 at the bottom, the drill bit is located in Lake Vostok.

"The success of the project is feasible compared to landing on the moon," said Head of Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AAR) of Russia, Valery Lukin.

Pressure caused by the ice of Lake Vostok water fill up to the top. This became the first water sample is lifted from the lake. Researchers say they need time to analyze the content contained in that water. They hope there are organisms in the water.

"The discovery of microorganisms in Lake Vostok may mean that, perhaps, the first meeting with extraterrestrial life could happen on Europa," said Dr. Vladimir Kotlyakov, Director of the Geography Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Chief scientist of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Waleed Abdalati, were delighted with the achievements of Russian colleagues. According to him, the presence of organisms in the water of Lake Vostok will change the way people thought about life. 

NASA hopes simple organisms such as microbes can live in the lake water is dark, cold, and high pressure. Conditions such as these lakes are also expected under the ice planet Mars; satellites of Jupiter, Europa; and satellites of Saturn, Enceladus.

Two other countries, the United States and Britain, is expected to soon overtake Russia's success through the sub glacial lakes. Expedition by the U.S. team is expected to reach Lake Whillans, who also was in Antarctica in late 2012.

Meanwhile, the expedition by the British Antarctic Survey plans to resume excavation of Lake Ellsworth, which was a million years, in November 2012. The lake is located at a depth of 3.4 kilometers under the Antarctic ice sheet.

In addition to looking for life in the sub-glacial lake, the expedition was to study the mineral content is preserved in the lake that can be used to recognize the historical development of the earth. *** [PHYSORG | ANTON WILLIAM | KORAN TEMPO 3794] 
Note: This blog can be accessed via your smart phone.Enhanced by Zemanta
Kindly Bookmark and Share it: