Science: A Cold & Boiling Sea

Among the more inhospitable segments of the earth's surface, the frigid continent of Antarctica remains—for scientistsצne of the most magnetic. There is still so much to learn that more than a dozen nations maintain expeditions there. Last week, as they took over their new research ship Eltanin, assorted scientists supported by the National Science Foundation prepared to push U.S. exploration still further—into Antarctica's dangerous, storm-churned seas.

Built originally as a small, tough freighter for lugging supplies to Air Force bases in the Arctic, and named after a northern star often used in navigation, Eltanin was refitted to the Antarctic scientists' tastes. Her...

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