“Interstellar Water,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human?” podcast series, examines the origin of our planet’s water. The podcast’s fourth season – “What Does Water Mean to Us Humans?” – showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and water.
“Carbon and water are each essential to all life on this planet. But how did carbon make its way from interstellar space onto the early Earth? And where did water come from?” Jonathan Lunine asks in his podcast.
Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences in the Department of Astronomy and director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. His research focuses on how planets form and evolve, what processes maintain and establish habitability, and what kinds of exotic environments might host a kind of chemistry sophisticated enough to be called “life.”
Lunine is co-investigator on the Juno mission to Jupiter, on the science team for the James Webb Space Telescope, and on the Europa Clipper mission, among other research activities.
The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring semester, airing on WHCU and WVBR. The episodes are also available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.
– Linda B. Glaser