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A picture of Nereus, the robot that has reached the deepest depth ever!
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Courtesy of WHOI

The Abyss: Deepest Part of the Oceans No Longer Hidden
News story originally written on June 2, 2009

A new robot called Nereus has dived deeper than any submarine before to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean and where two of the Earth's tectonic plates intersect. The depth Nereus reached is the same distance as the height at which an airplane flies.

Nereus is connected to a ship that floats above by a very small cord, about the thickness of a human hair. Through that cord, the cameras on Nereus can send videos of the ocean floor to the scientists on the ship. The robot is controlled by people on the ship.

Before Nereus, submarines could only dive half the distance. Now, with Nereus, scientists are able to collect samples from places they could not before. The robot also put a sign in the ocean that was signed by all the people on the ship.

Last modified August 25, 2009 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA