Skip to main content
Search For Life

Insight Into: Water and Life

What else is water critical for besides drinking?

Credits

 
Search for Life
 
 
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
 
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
 
·       Photo of a hot spring courtesy of the National Park Service/Jim Peaco
·       Photo of crabs at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent courtesy of Alex D. Rogers (University of Oxford)
·       Photo of a Pompeii worm courtesy of University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
·       Photo of a ship’s wake courtesy of Andrzej Otrębski
·       Photo of a clown fish courtesy of Wikimedia user Ritiks
·       Photos of a sea turtle and jellyfish courtesy of Wikimedia user Brocken Inaglory
·       Photo of a drinking swallow courtesy of Wikimedia user Sanchezn
·       Photo of elephants courtesy of Derek Keats (Johannesburg, South Africa)
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Exoplanet illustrations courtesy of ESO
·       Ariane 5 rocket launch image ©2008 ESA – CNES – Arianespace/Photo by Optique Video CSG
·       JWST animation and illustrations courtesy of G. Bacon (STScI)
·       JWST deployment animation courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrop Grumman
·       Hubble Space Telescope animations courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
·       Illustration of K2 fields based on image courtesy of ESO/S. Brunier/NASA Kepler Mission/Wendy Stenzel
·       TESS animation courtesy of Chester Beals (MIT Lincoln Laboratory) and George Ricker (MIT)
·       Animation of planetary orbits around Milky Way stars courtesy of ESO/M. Kornmesser
·       Prism animation courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada
·       Spectrum illustration courtesy of M. Lussier (STScI)
·       Artwork depicting water on the surfaces of other worlds courtesy of Dan Durda (Fellow, IAAA)
·       Spectral line illustrations courtesy of A. Feild (STScI) and the European Space Agency
 
 
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
 
 

Transcript

(SPEECH) 
 [ELECTRONIC MUSIC] 


(DESCRIPTION) 
 Scientists have discovered life in strange, extreme situations on earth. 


Photo of earth taken from space 


A hot spring steams 


In boiling hot springs 


crabs at an ocean vent


In the deepest ocean 


red and pink Pompeii worm attached to light blue substrate


surface of the ocean 


But the common factor is water. 


clown fish in front of anemone 


Water is critical for more than just drinking 


Sea turtle swims 


Water allows biological chemistry to occur. 


To the left, a bird flies; in the middle, jellyfish float; to the right, and adult and baby elephant at a watering hole 


We have a lot of experience with what water-based life looks like, and the clues it leaves to its existence. 


That's why scientists are so interested in studying liquid water on objects other than Earth. 


photograph of the Sun and Earth taken from space 


Where there is water, there may be life.