NASA's Exoplanet Nexus — Part 1: A History in Climate Studies
by Aaron L. Gronstal, Astrobiology Magazine — April 2015
Every time a new exoplanet is spotted orbiting a distant star, there's one question in the back of our minds: "Could it have life?"
With each new exoplanet discovery, astronomers are getting closer and closer to finding Earth-like planets among the stars, but we still lack the technology to find a planet with life. A new inter-divisional initiative at NASA has been announced to coordinate research on exoplanets and to push forward efforts to pinpoint planets that could be habitable.
The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) includes researchers at institutions around the country, each studying different aspects of the habitable planet puzzle. For its part, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is providing expertise in the area of exoplanet atmospheres and climate. GISS has been a key player in the study of planetary climates and atmospheres for decades, and this work will be a major component of NExSS.