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Images: ALISS in Wonderland

The 3,000-pound active sulfide chimney "Roane" is retrieved from the seafloor during an expedition in July 1998 led by John Delaney of the University of Washington. Studies of geochemical conditions and microbial communities within the hot, sulfide-rich interiors of the chimneys may shed light on the origin of life on Earth and the possibility of life on other planetary bodies.

The vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata swarm near a hydrothermal vent site on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Sheri White checks the alignment of the ALISS filter array during a fall 1997 cruise.

The first image of vent glow taken on the Juan de Fuca Ridge in 1988.

Light emission from a "black body" (an ideal body that absorbs and emits all radiation falling on it) peaks at 4,600 nanometers with the tail extending downward in the region of the light spectrum visible to the human eye (400 to 750 nanometers)

Plot of actual data (blue dots) collected at "P" vent on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the data expected from a throretical black body at 300°C (red curve).

ALISS recorded nine images of "P" vent in nine different wavelengths of light. The image in the shortest wavelength (about 450 nano-meters) is in the upper righthand corner. The image in the longest wavelength (some 950 nanometers) is in the lower lefthand corner.

The ALISS camera, mounted on Alvin's science basket, looks at "P" vent at 9°N on the East Pacific Rise.

"These two photos show "P" vent illuminated by Alvin's lights (left) and imaged with ambient light in the 870 nanometer band (right).