Dale Andersen's Astrobiology Field Report 28 November 2015

Status Report From: Dale Andersen's Astrobiology Field Reports
Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2015


November 28, 2015 5:59:32 PM EST: All is O.K. here in the mountains of Queen Maud Land. Oour camp is fully operational now and we are working long days to get things done since our time is short. During the last two days we melted a couple of small holes through the ice-cover of Lake Untersee to retrieve sensor sets that we placed into the lake last year. The last set will be retrieved tonight once the hole is large enough, then we will begin melting a dive hole sometime tomorrow morning - hopefully dive ops will take place early in the week and it will be nice to get back underwater beneath the thick ice to view the microbial vista that exists in quiet abandon so far from the rest of the world.

We also have quite a few interesting scientific instruments with us this year including XRD/XRF, Raman, IR Spectrometers and a laser induced fluorescence spectrometer and a portable water isotope analyzer - all of which are getting heavy use as we explore the area and attempt to characterize the environment surrounding Lake Untersee. Once we have samples from the lake bottom these instruments will provide additional insight about the samples we collect and eventually return to our home-based laboratories for further analysis.

Our weather continues to be relatively nice although it shifted a bit this afternoon, the sunshine giving away to overcast skies. Tonight we have low clouds obscuring the local peaks, and light snow is falling above in the mountains. We may see some of that snow tomorrow, but if so it should not be too much and we are not expecting any significant winds which is helpful. All in all its been a productive few days so no complaints - we have a lot to get done in the next two weeks!

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