U.S. team breaks through subglacial lake

Testing should continue for a day or more, probing for life in the Antarctic depths

By Janet Raloff, 09:06 AM January 28, 2013

At 5 a.m. local time today (January 28), U.S. researchers successfully completed boring a 30-centimeter-diameter hole through 800 meters of Antarctic ice, piercing into Lake Whillans. It’s one of a series of interconnected subglacial lakes that periodically fill and drain. Scientists estimate that the lake’s water, which flows beneath the Whillans Ice Stream, has not had contact with the atmosphere for untold millennia.

Research teams from Russia, the United Kingdom and United States have eac...

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