Surface habitability of rocky planets depend heavily on the compositions of their atmosphere. However, such atmospheric composition can vary widely depending on a range of factors from the composition of the building blocks of planets, planet formation mechanism and location, to early evolution of planets. Many of the critical processes involve feedback between the solid reservoirs of planets or the interiors and the planetary surfaces or the exteriors and the nature of such feedback and their relative importance also vary with time spanning millions to billions of years.

In this science working group, we plan on constraining the origin and evolution of atmosphere of rocky planets in our Solar System and exoplanetary systems. In particular, we aim to explore all mechanisms of loss and gain of atmosphere and its constituents for different rocky exoplanetary systems from Earth-like planets to Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes. Our goal is to tackle fundamental questions and specifically improve communication between them such that better holistic models of atmospheric compositions of rocky planets can be developed.

The regular communications between the members of the working group will be carried out via email and/or a Slack channel. We will have bi-monthly Zoom meetings to discuss plans and report progress, and will post reports of our monthly telecons on the NExSS Slack channel. We will also plan for semi-annual virtual workshops where the members will present results of their (collaborative) projects. These will be open to all NExSS members.

Contact: Rajdeep Dasgupta (, Rice University, Houston, TX; David Brain (, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.