Antarctica Lake Vostok Will Help Explore Europe

After more than a decade of drilling, Russian scientists broke through the ice on February 5, reaching a hidden cache of water known as Lake Vostok that has been cut off from the surface since an ice sheet covered it between 14 million and 34 million years ago. The isolated lake bears similarities to features on Europa, whose icy surface is thought to hide a liquid ocean layer. Roughly the size of Lake Ontario, the liquid Lake Vostok lies beneath 2 miles (3.7 kilometers) of ice. Its chilly depths could mirror the oceans of Europa, whose icy surface is up to 10 miles (15 km) thick.

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Earth Makes Closest Approach to Sun

The orbital milestone is known as perihelion, and it marks the time when the distance between the Earth and the sun is at its smallest. The event occurs every year in early January, and in 2012 it took place on January 4 at 8 p.m. EST. On average, the Earth orbits the sun at a distance of about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).

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Icy Moon Enceladus Floods Saturn

New study show that an icy moon around Saturn is showering rain water onto its home planet, creating a vast halo of water vapor around the ringed world. Enceladus is the only known moon in the solar system which influence the chemical composition of its parent planet.Enceladus has a frigid, icy surface but an active interior, particularly at its south pole.

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