The Team

The NExSS project is overseen by representatives from NASA HQ, four co-leads, and a Steering Committee composed of the PIs of funded proposal teams selected to be the founding members of NExSS.

 

Meet the Team

Many Worlds

Many Worlds is a website for everyone interested in the burgeoning field of exoplanet detection and research. It presents columns, news stories and in-depth features, as well as the work of guest writers.

 

Visit Many Worlds



Download the latest NExSS Newsletter here!
https://nexss.info/newsletters/fall-2021-nexss-newsletter/

The NfoLD/NExSS Standards of Evidence for Life Detection Community Workshop

The NFoLD and NExSS research coordination networks hosted a joint virtual workshop on biosignature standards of evidence and reporting protocols from July 19-22, 2021. The workshop included 3 working days of discussion, and 1 break day during this time frame. Workshop attendees discussed the process needed to increase scientific confidence in biosignature detections, and how to best convey this continuum of confidence to a broader audience. The workshop also initiated a discussion on community biosignature detection reporting protocols.

The overall goal of the workshop was to produce community guidelines for biosignature detection. These ideas were then written up and will be submitted for publication. Currently the authors are incorporating community feedback on this white paper prior to submission. You can download and read the most updated version at this link: https://www.nfold.org/soe-endorsements

The videos from this workshop are now available on a playlist from NASA Astrobiology. You may access the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2vV9BqKn2zc04s996jIyoEYGP5o8eAMz


NASA Astrobiology Creative Science Writing Contest

NExSS members are leading the first-ever NASA Astrobiology Creative Science Writing contest, done in conjunction with the AGU Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2022 organizing committee. The contest will award prizes for original work in three categories: fiction prose, non-fiction prose, and poetry. The maximum submission length for the prose pieces are 7,500 words and the maximum length for poetry is 150 words. So long as your topic is related to astrobiology—an ambitious mission, your favorite molecule, or a newly-discovered exoplanet—you are welcome to submit to our contest!

The contest opens on December 13th, 2021 and submissions are due by February 15th, 2022. Winners will be announced in mid-April.

For more information, please see this flyer: Creative Science Writing Contest 2022 


NExSS Webinar on Habitability and Biosignatures April 28 2020

The webinar recording is now available. Please click here to access the recording.

On April 28, the NExSS webinar series continued with Adrian Lenardic (Rice University) and Hilairy Hartnett (SESE/ASU) discussing habitability and biosignatures.

Prof. Adrian Lenardic led a metacognitive discussion on what habitability is and how we might measure it using Earth and Venus as framing devices. In bulk properties such as size and distance from the host star, Earth and Venus are similar, yet one is habitable and the other decidedly not. Modelers can use these differences to categorize planets into regimes, a technique common in planetary science. But, Dr. Lenardic says, “they can misinform us about what habitability really is.”

Prof. Hilairy Hartnett presented the importance of phosphorus in biological processes, and discussed what phosphorus means in the context of searching for biosignatures on water worlds. Life on Earth heavily relies on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and it turns out phosphorus is the limiting factor in searching for potentially habitable systems. Too much water is a potential problem for detecting life on an exoplanet because this limits the introduction of phosphorus to the environment, dropping oxygen production rates to abiotic levels, so we do not recognize the planet as habitable.

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