Asking a NASA Scientist: Are There Oceans on Other Planets?

Asking a NASA Scientist: Are There Oceans on Other Planets?

You may have noticed by now that there’s a lot of water on Earth. There are four named oceans on our beautiful planet: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Many countries, including the USA, recognize the Southern or Antarctic ocean as well.

The NASA planetary scientist Lucas Paganini has now responded to the question that many of us have: are there oceans on other worlds as well? Long story short: YES, Earth is not the only planet from the Cosmos containing oceans. In fact, planets hosting oceans should be pretty common in our Milky Way galaxy.

Water: a cosmic creation

Lucas Paganini speaks about how water was formed. The substance that’s crucial for all life forms on Earth has formed after the combining of hydrogen and oxygen. The former element was formed as a result of the Big Bang, and the latter is a product of nuclear reactions occurring in stars.

Feel free to check out Paganini’s full speech below:

Even if scientists land a rover or some other spacecraft on another planet and they don’t find water there at first sight, they shouldn’t lose hope too fast. Oceans from other planets don’t necessarily have to be largely exposed at the surface as it happens on Earth. Such structures could hide beneath icy surfaces. Potential candidates for such scenarios are even moons located in our own Solar System, as the planetary scientist reveals. Space objects such as Jupiter’s moon Europa, Enceladus, or some dwarf planets may have liquid oceans in their structures.

Lucas Paganini also reckons that finding water elsewhere is an important step in the context of discovering if we’re alone in the Universe or not. As mentioned before, water is an important element for life. This obviously means that where liquid water is found, there’s also some potential for life to exist.

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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