Ocean scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory and other places met with space explorers in Woods Hole “with the ambitious goal of guiding the search for life beneath alien seas.”
“It feels like that golden age is coming around again. The intellectual stars are aligning in a way they haven’t for decades,” says Chris German of WHOI.
By Sarah Kaplan
WOODS HOLE, Mass. — The blue water of Buzzards Bay glittered as boats bobbed on the gently undulating surface and gulls swooped among their sails. The seaside air at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was thick with the sweet smell of grass and the tang of saltwater. This was late summer on Cape Cod — our ocean world at its most inviting.
But inside a bay-view conference center, 80 scientists were conjuring up very different ocean worlds: the ice-covered moon Europa, whose watery interior is kept liquid by the gravitational pull of Jupiter. Enceladus, whose south pole emits geyser-like sprays of water vapor, gas and ice; as it orbits Saturn, the tiny moon leaves a glowing trail of particles in its wake. Read more …