Ocean Worlds Resources

Explore this page for a curated collection of resources, including activities that can be done at home, as well as videos, animations, printable graphics, and online interactives. This resource package is suitable for educators, students, and anyone interested in learning more about ocean worlds!

An illustration of a geyser erupting on an icy surface. The planet Jupiter looms in the background.

Highlights

Europa Clipper

NASA's Europa Clipper will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. The mission is expected to launch in October 2024.

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This illustration shows the Europa Clipper spacecraft approaching Jupiter's moon Europa.
This illustration shows the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which is being developed for launch in October 2024, approaching Jupiter's moon Europa.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Dragonfly Mission to Titan

Advancing our search for the building blocks of life, NASA's Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander will make multiple flights to sample and examine sites around Saturn's exotic moon, Titan. The mission is scheduled to launch in June of 2027 and arrive at Titan by 2034.

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A shiny spacecraft sits on a red-brown sandy surface. Sand dunes are shown rising high in the distance.
An illustration of the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon and a major target in NASA's quest to assess habitability and search for potential signs of life beyond Earth.
NASA/JHU-APL/Steve Gribben

Ocean Worlds Videos

The Text "Are there oceans on other worlds?" is shown in increasing font size.

Are There Oceans on Other Worlds? We Asked a NASA Expert

Are there oceans on other worlds? Yes! Earth is not alone. When you look deeper into our solar system, there are worlds we suspect have oceans hidden beneath their icy surfaces.

overhead shot of waves crashing

Ocean Worlds: The Search for Life

Life as we know it requires three ingredients: energy, organic molecules, and liquid water. Our search for life beyond Earth is a search for planets, dwarf planets, and moons that harbor substantial liquid water.

A blue sphere with swirling white clouds and brown and green splotches is shown in front of a black background.

What You Need to Know About Ocean Worlds

Our planet is a beautiful water-filled world, teeming with life. But did you know that Earth is not the only world in our solar system with an ocean? Here's what you need to know about ocean worlds.

Europa Animations and Videos

An image of the Europa Clipper vault plate, highlighted from the upper left corner casting shadows that emphasize engraved waveforms emanating from a central point symbolizing the word 'water' in multiple languages. The waveforms present as audio frequency waves. The vault plate is metal silver and the engravings are black, set against a black background.

NASA's Design for Message Heading to Jupiter's Moon Europa

There's a legacy of NASA spacecraft carrying inspirational messages into the cosmos, and Europa Clipper will continue this tradition when it launches to Europa.

Illustration of the surface of Europa - shown as icy blue - with Jupiter behind it, and the Europa Clipper spacecraft in front of Jupiter.

What You Need to Know About Europa

Deep beneath the crust of Jupiter's frozen moon Europa lies a massive liquid water ocean. Exploring this ocean world with our Europa Clipper spacecraft could provide new clues in our search for life beyond Earth.

Composite image of Europa superimposed on Hubble data. A grey scratched circle is surrounded by a blue pixelated background.

Water Vapor Detected In Europa's Atmosphere

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's observations of Europa have revealed the presence of persistent water vapor — but, mysteriously, only in one hemisphere.

A semi-circular view of Europa, with its light blue and brown surface marked with brown lines.

Water Vapor Plumes on Europa

Learn about the detection of water vapor on Jupiter's moon, Europa.

Note: This video is also available in Spanish.

A slice of a sphere, showing a small metallic sphere at its center, with tan rings around it.

Europa: Ocean World

Discover why scientists are so excited about Europa's potential to answer one of humanity's most profound questions – is there life beyond Earth?

The brown and grey scratched surface of Europa is shown in front of the large planet of Jupiter.

Space Shorts: Could Jupiter's Moon Europa Have an Ocean?

Find out why scientists think Jupiter's moon Europa might have twice as much water as Earth in this 60-second space short!

Titan Animations and Videos

A model quadcopter is shown flying above sandy dunes with an overcast sky in the background.

Dragonfly: The Dune Drone

In May 2022, engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory returned to Imperial Dunes, CA, to send a test model of Dragonfly through the skies.

Two humans are bending over a model spacecraft. A third human is shown watching at the left. A sandy surface is shown in the background.

Dragonfly in the Desert: Testing for Titan

Discover how the team developing the Dragonfly spacecraft at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is conducting tests by sending models over the sands of Earth's deserts.

A shiny metal spacecraft is shown sitting on a brown, sandy surface. Sand dunes are shown rising on the left and right in the background.

Dragonfly Mission to Saturn's Moon Titan

Learn about the Dragonfly mission to Titan: How we'll get there, what we'll do there, and how it could teach us about the building blocks of life.

A group of silver spacecraft flying over and landing on a sandy brown surface is shown. An inflated parachute with an oval-shaped capsule below it is shown descending at the left. Sandy dunes are shown in the background.

Dragonfly: Journey of a Lifetime

Experience Dragonfly, NASA's revolutionary upcoming mission to Titan, in this video trailer.

A global view of Saturn showing its yellow-brown structure. Part of its right section is in shadow. Two large bands of black spread across its lower half. A dark yellow-brown circle hovers in front of Saturn at the middle-left.

Building Blocks for Surviving Titan

Learn how Titan is expanding our understanding of the chemical complexity of the solar system and the potential for life in the universe.

Two molecule diagrams are shown in front of two peaks in a histogram.

The Science of Dragonfly

Discover how Dragonfly's suite of science instruments will investigate the chemistry and habitability of Titan.

Activities

An illustration shows a spacecraft in silhouette above an icy moon's surface with reddish fractures. Beyond the moon's horizon, the planet Jupiter sits in the distance.

Exploring the Universe: Ice Orbs

Learn how NASA planetary scientists are probing ocean worlds in the outer solar system, searching for evidence of liquid water and possible signs of life beneath the icy surface. Put what you learn into practice by investigating a frozen sphere using various tools to learn about objects hidden inside. This activity can be adapted to include whatever materials you may already have on hand.

Note: This activity is also available in Spanish.

A person is shown using electricity, two cords, and a cup of water to turn on a mini light bulb.

Discovering Alien Oceans: Magnetism

Jupiter's moon Europa poses exciting new possibilities for NASA's search for life beyond Earth. While there's still much to uncover about Europa, scientists have long known that liquid water exists beneath its icy shell. But how?

In this classroom activity, students will explore the relationship between magnetism and electricity to model how scientists determined that Europa has a magnetic field and a conductive liquid, subsurface ocean.

Two clear plastic cups sit on a table next to one another. The left one is mainly filled with slushy water with a bit of sand at the bottom while the right cup has rocks at the bottom, clear water in the middle, and slushy water at the top.

Discovering Alien Oceans: Density

Scientists believe that Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, has a liquid-water ocean underneath its frozen surface. While we can't see that ocean directly, we can use the mass and density of known substances to predict what exists underneath the surface. In this activity, you'll use the fundamentals of density to propose a model for the interior structure of Europa.

A white egg is shown floating over a red-brown surface.

Planetary (Egg) Wobble and Newton's First Law

By observing the motions of spinning eggs, you will learn how to determine which are raw and which are hard-boiled. In this activity, the raw egg can be compared to an ocean world while the hard-boiled egg can be compared to a solid planetary body.

Note: This activity was made for NASA's InSight mission to Mars but can be adapted to discuss ocean worlds.

A spacecraft is shown above a dark icy surface. Jupiter is shown in the background with its red-orange and white bands. The text "ClipperAR Europa Clipper Augmented Reality Experience" is written across the center of the image.

ClipperAR: Europa Clipper Augmented Reality Experience

Explore Jupiter's moon Europa and the Europa Clipper spacecraft like never before in the immersive ClipperAR (augmented reality) experience. You can visit Europa, peer through its layers, and learn about Europa's ingredients for life.

A sketch of a circle with scratch marks on its surface. A small spacecraft is orbiting just above the circle's surface.

Color Europa, a Moon of Jupiter

Europa is one of Jupiter's moons, and scientists believe that it may have twice as much water as Earth, though it is so cold on Europa that water on the surface of this moon is frozen. Give color to Europa with this coloring page. Note: This activity is also available in Spanish.

Photo of activity to color over textures, including crayons, feathers, buttons, tin foil, a comb, a fork, a paintbrush, tangerines, and a leaf

Make a Colorful Crayon Europa with Textures!

In this activity, you can explore the textures of Europa, one of Jupiter's many moons. Note: This activity is also available in Spanish.

Additional Resources

This is a composite of the Jovian system and includes the edge of Jupiter with its Great Red Spot and Jupiter’s four largest moons.

NASA Solar System Treks

NASA Solar System Treks are online, browser-based portals that allow you to explore the surfaces of other worlds using real data returned from a growing fleet of spacecraft. Visit Europa, Titan, and Ganymede now!

The first page of the Ocean Worlds Lithograph, showing images of 6 different ocean worlds.

Ocean Worlds Lithograph

Learn about ocean worlds and their potential for harboring life in this handout.

Five humans explore an open cave. Light from the Sun filters in through a hole at the top.

Analog Explorer

This gallery shows field research sites on Earth side-by-side with similar environments on other worlds. Research at planetary analog locations on Earth helps scientists make sense of the solar system.

A researcher stands on a cliff edge. In the cliff face below, a dark cave opening is visible.

Planetary Analogs

Discover how scientists use Earth as a test lab to learn about other worlds in the solar system.

A black silhouetted spacecraft orbits above a light blue scratchy surface. The words "NASA Europa Clipper, Journey to an Ocean World" are written at the bottom.

Europa Clipper: Journey to an Ocean World Poster

Download your own Europa Clipper poster, desktop background, or mobile wallpaper.

An infographic showing the relative size of Europa versus Earth, distance from the Sun, and orbital period at Jupiter.

Deep Dive on Europa Infographic

Learn more about Europa with this colorful infographic.