Scientists hunt for ‘interstellar dust’ in one million-year-old frozen lake
One of the most mysterious frozen lakes in the world has been cracked open, with scientists hoping to find “intergalactic dust”.
Lake Vostok in Antarctica is one of 400 known subglacial lakes on the planet – but it is the deepest of them all.
Housed on top of it is Russia's Vostok Station, where experts have been studying it for years.
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The surface of the lake is around 4,000 metres below the surface ice, making it around 500 metres below sea level.
Its core dates back around one million years.
And it is now been mined and cracked open by President Vladimir Putin's scientists.
Speaking to pro-Kremlin Russian news outlet Moskovskij Komsomolets, lead researcher for the Russian Antarctic Expedition, Aleksey Ekaikin said that it's possible the new operation could find “interstellar dust”.
He said, when asked if it's possible to find living animals in the core of the frozen lake: “There is nothing in the atmospheric core.
“We extract it in the central part of Antarctica, and therefore even terrestrial dust cannot reach there. Bacteria and viruses, even if they enter, soon die.
“Purely theoretically, interstellar dust can be found in the Antarctic core, but it is, perhaps, even less than the terrestrial one.
“At that time, the climate on Earth was being restructured – its warm and cold periods began to alternate not after 40,000 , as before, but after 100 thousand years.
“Therefore, there could be more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
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Putin has been punting more money in the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in recent years.
Russia's Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring created a new expedition vessel – the Ivan Frolov vessel – with the hopes of somehow finding ice dating back more than two million years.
So far, the oldest ice ever found dates back around 2.7 million years in the Antarctic.
It was found in 2017 by a team from the University of California, United States.
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