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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.

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This website is being run by Knowinnovation Inc. and is supported by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). LPI is operated by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) under a cooperative agreement with NASA. The purpose of this site is to facilitate communication from and between scientists that are part of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science (NExSS). Although NExSS is led by researchers whose funding comes from NASA, NExSS is a community endeavor. As such, any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.