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June 13- October 5, 2024

August 19-14, 2023

Network for Ocean Worlds 1st Annual Retreat

Exploring the Science and Technology of Ocean Worlds Across the Solar System

USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, Catalina Island, CA

News Archive

January 4, 2023

Marine Science Goes to Space


Space and ocean scientists take a splash course in multidisciplinary science to chart our solar system’s ocean worlds.Space and ocean scientists take a splash course in multidisciplinary science to chart our solar system’s ocean worlds.

May 23, 2022

Ocean System Science to Inform the Exploration of Ocean Worlds


Here, we describe an approach based on ocean systems science in which theoretical modeling can be used, in concert with targeted laboratory experimentation and direct observations in Earth’s ocean, to predict what processes (including those essential to support life) might be occurring on other ocean worlds

May 9, 2022

Dynamics of Ocean Worlds Likely Controlled by Their Rotation


New simulations suggest that subsurface oceans on icy moons with small natural Rossby numbers may be dominated by rotational effects.

November 1, 2022

Arctic Hydrothermal Vent Site Could Help in Search for Extraterrestrial Life

When scientists discovered a hydrothermal vent site in the Arctic Ocean’s Aurora hydrothermal system in 2014, they did not immediately realize just how exciting their discovery was.

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June 2022

StarTalk Live! Extraterrestrial Oceans with Neil deGrasse Tyson

What are the oceans like on planets beyond Earth? On this episode of Star Talk, Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the oceans of Earth and other planets in the search for alien life together with Exploring Ocean Worlds lead investigators Julie Huber (WHOI) and Kevin Hand (NASA-JPL) along with comedian guests Eugene Mirman (Bob’s Burgers), Ellie Kemper (Kimmy Schmidt), and John Mulaney (Documentary Now!)

April 14, 2021

Sit'N Listen! Space and Earth: Oceanography and Astrobiology Ext Interview

Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

In the first episode on our Earth and Space Series, we heard a little bit about how research on Earth’s oceans has had major implications for the search for life in the cosmos. Here, we’ve published an extended interview with a pioneer in this area of exploration: Dr. Christopher German.

February 7, 2021

The Search for Life, WHOI researchers featured in episode of news program Full Measure

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This week, NASA’s Perseverance Rover lands on Mars to continue the search for life on the Red Planet. At the same time, WHOI scientists and engineers are applying their experience exploring the deepest parts of planet Earth to the quest for life beyond Mars.

November 6, 2020

Wave Glider provides gateway to remote exploration

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In August 2021, WHOI geochemist Chris German will test an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) called a Wave Glider while exploring the East Pacific Rise, a submarine volcanic chain in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

August 10, 2020

Discovery transforms understanding of hydrogen depletion at the seafloor 

Proceedings of the NationalAcademy of Sciences

Scientists analyzing submarine vent-fluids at the Mid-Cayman Rise find that non-biological processes consume hydrogen previously thought to be readily available to the subseafloor biosphere.

Spring 2020

"Are We Alone?"


One of the oldest questions facing humanity is whether we are alone in the universe. Now, thanks to a richer understanding of the conditions that support life in our own ocean, we have an opportunity to answer that question, and to do so within the lifetime of the current human generation.

November 11, 2019

If alien life exists in our solar system, it may look like this

National Geographic

Pictures of deep-sea vents hidden below ice offer some of our first looks at creatures thriving in conditions akin to those on watery moons.

December 29, 2018

How Hawaii's Volcanoes Could Help Us Find Life on Saturn's Icy Moon

Kilauea’s historically huge 2018 eruption didn’t just transform the southeastern corner of Hawaii’s Big Island. Most of the lava wound up spilling into the ocean, creating an enormous new undersea delta that hardy ocean microbes are already colonizing.

September 12, 2018

To find life on other planets, scientists are exploring submerged volcanoes on Earth

Boston Globe

Julie Huber, WHOI, inside the Inner Space Center Mission Control area at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett. NASA is preparing for future space missions by exploring underwater volcanoes off Hawaii.

May 30, 2018

NASA Dives Deep into the Search for Life


Off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island and more than 3,000 feet beneath the ocean surface lie the warm, bubbling springs of a volcano—a deep-sea location that may hold lessons for the search for extraterrestrial life.

December 11, 2017

Exploring ocean worlds on Earth and beyond

Nature Geoscience 

The exploration of ocean worlds in the outer Solar System offers the opportunity to search for an independent origin of life, and also to advance our capabilities for exploring and understanding life in Earth’s oceans. (Open as pdf.)