A study by scientists in Antarctica Russia

study Antarctica - history, showing the rampant human desire for knowledge of the world, the story about the power of the spirit and the willingness to take risks.Six continents, theoretically, to the south of Australia and the Americas for centuries excited the researchers and cartographers.But the history of Antarctic research began only in 1819 with the world tour Russian explorers Bellingshausen and Lazarev.It was then that was the start of the development of the vast space of the ice, which continues to this day.

From time immemorial

almost two thousand years to the time when there was a discovery and the first studies of Antarctica, the ancient geographers have spoken about its existence.Then the mass was common assumptions about what a distant land.The name "Antarctica" appeared in this period.For the first time it is found in Martin Tyre in the second century AD.One of the authors of the hypothesis of an unknown continent was a great Aristotle suggests that the Earth is symmetrical, which means that for Africa is another continent.

Legends arose later.On some maps, attributed to the Middle Ages, clearly visible image of the "South Land", often located separately or connected with America.In 1929 he was found by one of them.Admiral Piri Reis map, dated 1513 year, presumably contains a very detailed and accurate image of the coastline of Antarctica.From the composer took the information to your card, still remains a mystery.


Age of Discovery is not marked by the discovery of a sixth continent.Research European navigators only narrowed the range of searches.It became clear that the South American continent, "not attached" to any unknown land.And in 1773, James Cook, the first time in history crossed the Arctic Circle and found several Antarctic islands, but in the case and was limited.One of the most significant events in geography occurred after about 50 years after that.

Home path

opening and the first studies of Antarctica were led by Thaddeus Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and with the direct participation of Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev.In 1819, Kronstadt went to the South Pole expedition of two ships, "Peace" and "East".The first was securely fastened and Lazarev equipped for sailing in the toughest conditions.The second was created by British engineers and in many respects lost "Peace."At the end of the journey, he was the cause of the early return of the expedition ship arrived in a deplorable state.

ships out to sea on July 4 and November 2 to have reached Rio de Janeiro.Following the intent, they rounded the island of South Georgia and the Sandwich came to Earth.She was recognized as the archipelago and renamed the South Sandwich Islands.Among them they were discovered three new islands: Leskov, Zavadovskiy and Thorson.

study Antarctica Bellingshausen and Lazarev

opening took place on 16 (27 New Style) in January 1820.The ships approached the six continents in the area today called the Bellingshausen Ice Shelf, on the shore of Princess Martha.Prior to the onset of the Arctic winter, when weather conditions have significantly deteriorated, the expedition approached several times to the mainland.The closest to the continent ships turned 5, and 6 (17 and 18) of February.

study Antarctica Bellingshausen and Lazarev continued after the arrival of summer.As a result, navigation was on the map a few new facilities: Peter I Island with mountainous, partly ice-free land of Alexander I;Three Brothers Islands, known today as Esplanda and O'Brien;Island Rear Admiral Rozhnova (today - Gibbs), the island Mikhailova (Kornuels), the island of Admiral Mordvinova (Elifent), the island of Vice Admiral Shishkov (Clarence).

first study of Antarctica was completed July 24, 1821, when the two ships returned to Kronstadt.

contribution expedition

Seafarers under the Bellingshausen and Lazarev during his studies walked around Antarctica.They have mapped a total of 29 islands, as well as, of course, the mainland.In addition, they collected unique information for the last century.In particular, Bellinsgausen found that the salt water is frozen in the same way as fresh and, contrary to scientists of the time.The only difference - requires a lower temperature.Ethnographic and natural-science collection, which arrived with sailors in Russia, now kept at the University of Kazan.Impossible to overestimate the importance of the expedition, but the history of exploration and discovery of Antarctica it has just begun.


Each expedition to the continent was definitely a feat.The harsh conditions of the desert of ice left little chance for people ill-prepared or unorganized.The first studies of Antarctica scientists were particularly difficult because their members often could not imagine until the end that awaits them.

This was the case Egeberga Carsten Borchgrevink expedition.His team made the first documented landing on the coast of Antarctica in 1899.The main thing that the expedition reached - this winter.It became clear that to survive in the harsh conditions of the desert of ice over the polar night can be, if there is a well-equipped shelter.However, the place was chosen for the winter very badly, and the home team back at full strength.

At the beginning of the last century was reached the South Pole.For the first time it reached him a Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen in 1911.Shortly after the team reached the South Pole Robert Scott, who died on the way back.However, most large-scale development of the icy wilderness began from 1956 study of Antarctica has acquired a new character - now it was conducted on a commercial basis.

International Geophysical Year

In the middle of the last century, the study of Antarctica were designed in many countries.As a result of 1957-1958.Twelve states have thrown their forces for the development of an ice desert.It was announced during the International Geophysical Year.The history of research in Antarctica, probably does not know as productive periods.

It was found that the ice "breathing" of the sixth continent, and is carried away by air currents over the far north.These data made it possible to more accurately forecast the weather on Earth.The study paid much attention bare bedrock that can tell much about the structure of our planet.It has been collected and a large amount of data on phenomena such as the aurora borealis, magnetic storms and cosmic rays.

study Antarctica Russian scientists

course in science in those years a huge role played by the Soviet Union.At the heart of the continent it was founded several stations on it regularly to the research group.Even in the run-up to the International Geophysical Year was created by Soviet Antarctic Expedition (SAE).Its objective is to study the processes taking place in the atmosphere of the continent, and their impact on the circulation of air masses, the composition of the geological characteristics of the terrain and its physical and geographical description, identifying patterns of movement Arctic waters.The first expedition landed on the ice in January 1956 And on February 13 was inaugurated the station "Peace".

As a result of Soviet polar explorers significantly reduce the number of white spots on the map of the sixth continent.It was discovered more than three hundred geographical features such as islands, bays, valleys and ridges.Conducted seismic studies.They helped to establish that Antarctica - not a group of islands in the time expected, and the mainland.The most valuable information is often detected as a result of the work of researchers at full capacity, while the most difficult expeditions inland.

During the most active research in Antarctica operated eight stations operating in the winter and summer.During the polar night on the continent had 180 people.Since the beginning of the summer the expedition number increased to 450 participants.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union had ceased exploration of Antarctica.In place of the EPS came Russian Antarctic Expedition.With the improvement of technology made possible a detailed study of the sixth continent.Research in Antarctica by scientists from Russia are carried out in several directions: the definition of climatic, geophysical and other features of the continent, the influence of atmospheric phenomena on weather conditions in other areas of the world, the collection and analysis of data on polar stations anthropogenic load on the environment.

Since 1959, when it was awarded "The Antarctic Treaty", the icy continent has become a place of international cooperation, free from military activity.Mastering the sixth continent it is carried out by several countries.Research in Antarctica in our time - an example of cooperation for the sake of scientific progress.Often Russian expeditions have an international composition.

mysterious lake

Virtually no message about current research in Antarctica is complete without a mention of a rather interesting object found under the ice.Its existence is predicted APKapitsa, and I.Zotikov after IGY, based on the obtained data period.This freshwater lake Vostok, located in the district of the same name by the station under a layer of ice thickness of 4 km.The opening of the investigation led by Russian scientists in Antarctica.It happened officially in 1996, although it was in the late 50s were working on the study of the lake according to Kapitsa and Zotikova.

discovery excited the scientific world.Such subglacial lake is completely isolated from contact with the earth's surface and over a million years.Theoretically, it is enough fresh water with high concentrations of oxygen can be a habitat for organisms still unknown to scientists.A favorable factor for the development of living is quite high and the temperature of the lake - to + 10º at the bottom.On the border separating the surface of the pond and ice cooler - all -3º.The depth of the lake is estimated to be 1200 m.

probability of detection of unknown flora and fauna has led to the decision to drill the ice in the area of ​​the East.

Recent data

ice drilling in the area of ​​the reservoir began in 1989.Ten years later it was suspended for a distance of approximately 120 m from the lake.The reason is fear of foreign researchers ecosystem pollution particles from the surface, resulting in a unique community of organisms can suffer.Russian scientists did not share this view.Soon, it was developed and tested a new, more environmentally friendly equipment, and in 2006 resumed the drilling process.

surface of the lake was achieved February 5, 2012.Water samples were sent for analysis.Results of the study several samples published in July 2013 in the samples found more than three and a half thousand of unique DNA sequences, 1623 of which have been correlated with a specific genus or species: 94% - bacteria, 6% - eukaryotes (mostly mushrooms) andtwo sequences belong to the Archean.There are some indications to suggest that the lake is and larger organisms.Some bacteria are found fish parasites, therefore, possibly in the process of further research and find them.

Some scientists relates to the results rather skeptical, explaining such a variety of sequences mud listed borer.In addition, it is likely that most of the organisms, which may belong to the DNA found, has long been lost.Anyway, the study of Antarctica scientists from Russia and several other countries in the region are continuing.

Greetings from the past and look to the future

Interest in Lake Vostok is caused by including the possibility to study the ecosystem, similar to those that could exist in the world many years ago, during the Late Proterozoic.Then on our planet we have changed each other several global glaciations, each of which lasted for up to ten million years.

addition, the study Antarctica in the vicinity of the lake, the process of drilling wells, collection, analysis and interpretation of the results may be useful in the future development of the gas giant Jupiter's moons, Europa and Callisto.Presumably, under the surface of the lake, there are similarities with his canned ecosystem.If the hypothesis is confirmed, "the people" subglacial lakes in Europe and Callisto may be the first organisms found outside our planet.

history of exploration and discovery of Antarctica is well illustrated by the constant human desire to expand their own knowledge.The study of the sixth continent, as well as the International Space Station - an example of peaceful co-operation with a number of states for scientific purposes.Ice mainland, however, is in no hurry to reveal their secrets.Harsh conditions require continuous perfection of the art, scientific equipment and parts of the human mind and body to the limit.The inaccessibility of the sixth continent for most of the existence of an impressive number of gaps in knowledge about it breeds in a variety of legends about Antarctica.The curious can easily find information about the recesses of the Nazis, UFOs and the prey of luminous balls that kill people.As a matter of fact, everything is know only explorers.Proponents of scientific versions can safely hope that soon we will know a little more about Antarctica, and thus decrease the number of bit of mysticism, enveloping the continent.