Watch Alien Oceans on Earth and Beyond

Written by: The Exchange

 Alien Oceans on Earth and Beyond

Beneath the frozen crusts of several of the small, ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn lurk vast oceans that may have been in existence for as long as Earth. Could there be alien life in their depths? Recent scientific missions have revealed that some of the most habitable real estate in our solar system may lie in the farthest reaches of our solar system on the distant water-rich moons that hold liquid water. Kevin Peter Hand’s pioneering research has taken him on expeditions around the world. Join us as he explains how his exploration of Earth’s oceans is informing our understanding of the potential habitability of these icy moons.

Kevin Peter Hand is a planetary scientist and astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he directs the Ocean Worlds Lab. His research focuses on the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the solar system with an emphasis on moons of the outer solar system that likely harbor liquid water oceans. He is the pre-Project Scientist for NASA’s Europa Lander mission concept and was co-chair of the 2016 Europa Lander Science Definition Team. His fieldwork has brought him to Antarctica, the Arctic, the depths of Earth’s ocean, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, and the desert of Namibia.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.