Friday, March 1, 2013

First images from the bottom of a frozen Antarctic lake

Here are some images from an Antarctic lake cut off from the rest of the world since forever. Using a custom mini submersible NASA researchers explored Lake Whillans located under the Ross Ice Shelf and took these images along with some samples.

From NASA:

"The sub was deployed by the U.S. team of the international Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. The project's objective was to access subglacial Lake Whillans, located more than 2,000 feet (610 meters) below sea level, deep within West Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, nearly 700 miles (about 1,125 kilometers) from the U.S. McMurdo Station. The 20-square-mile (50-square-kilometer) lake is totally devoid of sunlight and has a temperature of 31 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 0.5 degrees Celsius). It is part of a vast Antarctic subglacial aquatic system that covers an area about the size of the continental United States."

maybe things learned here would apply to a Europa mission some day?

more here

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