Alien hydrothermal vents

Alien hydrothermal vents

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Credit: LYNETTE COOK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: NOT FOR USE IN ANY MATERIALS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH PRESCHOOL THROUGH GRADE 12

Caption: Alien hydrothermal vents. Artwork of hydrothermal 'black smoker' vents at the bottom of an alien ocean. Alien life forms an ecosystem around the vents, relying on the minerals and heat to survive. This hypothetical system is modelled on the ecosystem that exists at the bottom of oceans on Earth. On an extrasolar planet, factors such as proximity to the parent star or a thick icy covering may prevent enough light reaching the planet. But if there is geothermal activity and a liquid water ocean, as is suspected on Jupiter's moon Europa, then it is possible that life could evolve despite the lack of light and intense pressure.

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Keywords: alien, alien planet, alien planetary system, alien world, animal, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, biological, biology, black smokers, chimneys, cosmology, exoplanet, extrasolar planet, extraterrestrial, fauna, hydrothermal vents, illustration, marine life, motion, move, movement, moving, nature, ocean, oceanography, planet, science, sea creatures, seafloor, smokers, space art, space exploration, thermal vents, vent, vents, wildlife

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