August 22, 2016 8:00 pm

Tuesday, StarTalk All-Stars Host Natalie Starkey Takes Us Searching for Space Water

Photo from the recording session for StarTalk All-Stars, with host Natalie Starkey, guest Lindy Elkins-Tanton, and co-host Chuck Nice.

Cosmochemist Natalie Starkey is back on StarTalk this Tuesday, only she’s not here as the science guest at StarTalk Live!

No, this time she’s our host.

Tuesday, Natalie goes searching the universe for water, with her guest, Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and her co-host, Chuck Nice.

Now, as you’ll learn in Searching for Spacewater, it’s not exactly hard to find H2O in space. It’s everywhere. On comets. On asteroids. In ancient, subsurface oceans on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Even in the very rocky matter that built up our planet, now trapped in crystals like mica.

And we’ll explore it all: from the missions to the moons, from the formation of our planet to the way we’re treating our water here on Earth right now.

Natalie and Lindy also answer Cosmic Queries on the show, including one of my favorites: “Is comet water salty or fresh, and can we find out?” It turns out , yes we can find out, and it’s likely fresh, but dirty with minerals, and smelly, and gloopy from the organic complex hydrocarbons.

And if we ever capture a comet, we could drink water melted out of “primordial ice” that’s ridden around on that comet since the beginning of the solar system.

Which sounds like a great starting point for a science fiction story – or an episode of Doctor Who. (“The Waters of Mars,” anyone?)

Please join us for Natalie Starkey’s debut as a StarTalk All-Star, Tuesday, August 23 at 7pm EDT, on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and right here on our website. (For now, all StarTalk All-Stars episodes will come through the same feeds you’re used to, so there’s no need to subscribe to anything new.)

And be sure to come back on September 13th, when Natalie returns to take us all comet-hunting.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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