Minister launches National Geographic documentary showcasing UCC research
Tue, 17 Jul 2012
Minister Simon Coveney has opened the world premier of the National Geographic Documentary Alien Deep at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) at the Convention Centre, Dublin showcasing UCCs mid-Atlantic black smoker discovery.
Alien Deep will be broadcast in Ireland in late September and follows Bob Ballard (of Titanic discovery fame) as he explores the deep ocean. Episode 3 focuses of the origin of life in deep volcanic centres on the ocean floor. The marine expedition of discovery undertaken by Dr. Andy Wheeler, Head of Geology in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences and his Irish/UK team, features heavily. This expedition made a new discovery of a hydrothermal vent system (so-called black smokers), the only between Iceland and the Azores, at 3000m water depth supporting bizarre lifeforms and towering chimneys of ore-grade metal sulphides.
Minister Coveney commented on the world-class achievement made by Irish scientists using the national research vessel and remote controlled vehicle and remembered how he shared the palpable excitement with team when they returned to Ireland last summer.
Also present at the premier were Gary Johnstone (Alien Deep Producer), Dr. Peter Heffernan (CEO Marine Institute), Dr. Bram Murton (NOC) as well as other member of the exploration team.