More Lost City Images

Researchers have been busy exploring the Lost City Hydrothermal Field today. New image stills captured from the mission’s live Internet video feed reveal tall chimneys of calcium carbonate looming in the deep and dark waters and several life forms passing by. A jelly fish appeared to inspect the IFE ROV Hercules as it inspected the jelly fish.

The video feed switches to other views during transit and maintenance when the ROVs are not deployed. These views include locations onboard the Ronald H. Brown such as the ROVs deck locations and the researchers’ van full of displays and computer equipment. After ROVs are deployed, a grid of video sources called the “template” is often displayed. Land-based researchers viewing the video feeds via a stream over Internet 2 can choose from the different sources.

The ROVs do more than just capture high definition video and images. Hercules is equipped with arms operated by a human safely aboard the Ronald H. Brown. The operators use Hercules to collect rock samples and organisms, capture liquid and gas samples with specially designed samplers, and make small scratches and holes in the formations to inspect their interiors. When the mission is completed early next week, the research will be far from over. Lost City is the first such hot springs formation discovered in the oceans and there remain many mysteries yet to be solved by scientists.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.