Friday, January 7, 2011

Warm Up Pitch…


There's a lake in Antarctica, called Vostok. It's buried under about three miles of ice, and nothing above the surface has touched it for around fourteen million years. A Russian team is about to drill thru all that ice to taste the water in the hidden lake, and do so without mucking up the data with contamination.

This is interesting, as there is another body of water under ice, far away on the Jovian moon, Europa. It looks like a place where life might thrive, or at least survive. Earthers plan to send a robot there in 2020… just to see what might be up. What the Russians are doing is the first demonstration of the tech required for a competent exploration of that moon.

By the way, if you've got even a small telescope or a nice set of binoculars and a view of Jupiter, take a gander that'away. You'll see four small stars by the big planet, ones not visible to the naked eye. Go back in, get warm, and when you go back out in a quarter hour, you will see that those stars moved about their father planet. Those are the principle Jovian moons, and you will have witnessed exactly what so stunned Galileo and all of civilization in 1610. Now, very soon, we may touch one of those stars and see what is beneath a mantle of ice. It might be something that will talk back to us.

Getting Ready for Europa to get more info on the Russian mission.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, and more on Europa…