In 1986, some scientists laughed as other scientists seriously pondered the existence of water on Mars. Today we know that there is ice, and even the potential for liquid water on the surface of Mars. That news made headlines, especially with the newest rover sending back close-up images and data from direct samples.
The vast majority of relevant and more-surprising information on the topic of extraplanetary water has managed to go under the radar. Additionally, breakthroughs in extreme-environment chemistry, astronomy, physics, and more have not yet been expressly interconnected to draw new hypothetical inferences about the nature of the universe, and the abundance of life.
In STARWATER, an educational documentary outlining the relevant research about water outside earth, we examine the wide range of places to find water, and why this is likely to be true everywhere. Would you believe that we have proof of water on every planet? We discovered permanent ice near the poles of Mercury, many moons of Jupiter and Saturn are icy spheres with liquid oceans beneath the surface, the centers of Neptune and Uranus are icy materials, and Pluto is mostly made of water ice.
That’s right, earth does not have the only liquid water oceans in the solar system, and Pluto is a ball of frozen water. It gets better…
We found water vapor in sunspots, in massive quantities in pre-planetary and pre-stellar nebulae, and surrounding black holes. We have even discovered some exoplanets that appear to have watery atmospheres, based on spectral emission. Surrounding our solar system, and other stars as well, we find a pseudo-shell of rocks and ice that mark the boundary of the solar wind. This icy shell explains a good deal of the water found in our solar system, and likely found in others. The solar wind has been discovered to contain nearly every known element, a startling revelation about elemental production, but it is mostly comprised of hydrogen and hydrogen ions.