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Oceans of Water

In the other parts of Sea & Space, we look upon the oceans from various perspectives, mostly related to ecology and navigation. Oceans of Water deals with the at the investigation of some of the basic properties of the predominant element of the oceans - water. Water is not only present in oceans and rivers, it is also found in the atmosphere, in trees and animals (as part of the biomass), in rocks - and in ourselves. Each second, our planet transforms huge quantities of water in different cycles, from liquid to gas, from liquid to solid, from solid to liquid, from gas to solid, from solid to gas.

The Pacific Thunderstorm on this image involves several of these transitions. (NASA image, obtained from the Columbia Space Shuttle).

But there is also plenty of water outside the Earth, in space.

Recent research has shown that water is present in much larger quantities than thought before, both on the Moon, in the outer solar system, in the atmospheres of giant stars and in the interstellar clouds of dust and gas.

This part of the "Sea & Space" programme aims at explaining the universal presence of this molecule that is so crucial for life on Earth. It introduces various interdisciplinary aspects (physics, chemistry, mathematics, geography, biology, astronomy) in order to find out where there is water and how this precious resource influences the habitability of our planet, as compared to its sister planets, Mars and Venus.

Most of this information is web based, and there are many related links, some selected exercises, etc. This may be useful for those participants who intend to participate in the Newspaper "contest" and may serve as basis for an "article". Water is indeed an important aspect of the overall theme "Sea & Space"!

The principal research areas proposed to the participants are:

  1. Comparison of different geographic areas
  2. Evaluation of satellite images
  3. Detection in space of extraterrestrial water liquid and molecules
  4. Investigation of the water in living organisms, as used by the industry, on Earth or in Space

In what follows, we will take a look at different approaches to the subject of water:

  1. Water and Humanity

    1. A historical approach
    2. Water on Earth

  2. The detection of water

    1. The water molecule
    2. Water in all its states : Triple point
    3. Water in the Universe
    4. Atmospheres

  3. Quantities of Water

    1. Surfaces
    2. Volumes
    3. Consumption

  4. Play with Water

Other Sites about water


This presentation about water on the Earth and in the Universe is part of the Sea & Space programme. Please send suggestions and ideas for experiments to the address below!

This section of Sea & Space is written by:

Dr. Bernard PELLEQUER
GEOSPACE OBSERVATOIRE D'ANIANE
929 rue d'ALCO
F-34080 MONTPELLIER
France
Tel : +33 4 67 03 49 49
Fax : +33 4 67 75 28 64
Email : geospace@cnusc.fr