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Rose Garden tubeworms

Life Without Sunlight

In 1977, a group of scientists photographing the seafloor from R/V Knorr came across an astounding sight: hot water pouring from hydrothermal vents teeming with life. Their discovery fundamentally changed our view of the planet and of life on it: In particular, scientists learned that life could evolve to survive without the help of sunlight and photosynthesis, including bacteria that metabolize chemicals in the fluids flowing from the vents and that sustain organisms like these tubeworms. This Sunday, join Dr. Robert Ballard, who was co-chief scientist on that cruise of discovery along with Richard von Herzen and John Corliss, at “Life Without Sunlight,” a live-streamed public event to mark 40 years since our view of life on Earth changed—and what that could mean for the search for life beyond Earth. (Photo courtesy of Stefan Sievert, WHOI/NSF/HOV Alvin, ©2014 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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