Scientists dig toward center of the earth

Jan 16, 2006

A Japanese ship is setting sail on a mission to reveal the origin of life on earth.

The Chikyu intends to drill 4.3 miles below the sea bed and raise to the surface a cylinder that could contain science's first glimpse of a "living" sample of the Earth's mantle, the Times of London reported.

Plans also call for the ship to sink sensors beneath the Earth's crust to provide Japan and East Asia with the first effective earthquake prediction system.

Some scientists theorize life may have originated beneath the Earth's crust at temperatures and pressures unknown on land or sea, the newspaper said. The energy that provoked the first semblance of life may also have been geothermal rather than solar.

By drilling to record-breaking depths below areas where tectonic plates overlap, the ship may have its sensors in place as an earthquake begins and significantly advance the science of seismology, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sentinel-1 poised to monitor motion

Aug 27, 2014

Although it was only launched a few months ago and is still being commissioned, the new Sentinel-1A radar satellite has already shown that it can be used to generate 3D models of Earth's surface and will ...

Why NASA studies the ultraviolet sun

Aug 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —You cannot look at the sun without special filters, and the naked eye cannot perceive certain wavelengths of sunlight. Solar physicists must consequently rely on spacecraft that can observe ...

Recommended for you

US-India to collaborate on Mars exploration

1 hour ago

The United States and India, fresh from sending their own respective spacecraft into Mars' orbit earlier this month, on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on future exploration of the Red Planet.

Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star

1 hour ago

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series ...

Sandblasting winds shift Mars' landscape

6 hours ago

High winds are a near-daily force on the surface of Mars, carving out a landscape of shifting dunes and posing a challenge to exploration, scientists said Tuesday.

PanSTARRS K1, the comet that keeps going

8 hours ago

Thank you K1 PanSTARRS for hanging in there! Some comets crumble and fade away. Others linger a few months and move on. But after looping across the night sky for more than a year, this one is nowhere near ...

User comments : 0