Canada experts to study alien-like spring

Jun 14, 2006

Canadian scientists will soon visit Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic, where unusual sulfur springs may point to how life evolves on other planets.

And the scientific expedition to the remote glacier field might also provide insights for future exploration of our solar system.

A team assembled by the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of North America plans to spend two weeks studying a sulfur-spewing spring on the surface of the ice field not far from the North Pole.

The spring was discovered by Institute Executive Director Benoit Beauchamp, who, along with adjunct professor Steve Grasby from the Geological Survey of Canada and two graduate students, will conduct the first extensive study of the spring.

Initial tests have indicated the geological oddity is home to a unique form of bacteria that has adapted to thrive in a cold and sulfur-rich environment.

The Canadian Space Agency and NASA are helping fund the expedition because it will likely provide the best example on Earth for the conditions believed to exist on the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa.

The scientists will travel to the glacier June 21.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tropical depression 21W forms, Philippines under warnings

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New global maps detail human-caused ocean acidification

Nov 10, 2014

A team of scientists has published the most comprehensive picture yet of how acidity levels vary across the world's oceans, providing a benchmark for years to come as enormous amounts of human-caused carbon ...

Image: Icy rocks around Saturn

Nov 03, 2014

(Phys.org) —Earth is the only planet in our Solar System to have a single solitary moon. While others, such as Mercury and Venus, have none, the gas giants have accumulated crowds of orbiting bodies—Saturn, ...

Recommended for you

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

Nov 25, 2014

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.