Are we alone? To find answer for this humanity’s deepest question, NASA is taking the hunt for life out of the Earth to the next level.
The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), which deals with the study of exoplanets was dubbed by the ambitious endeavor.
Jim Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science said, “This interdisciplinary endeavor connects top research teams and provides a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life. The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, it’s of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well.”
NASA assembled a team from across the country some of the top minds in a different scientific fields as it prepares to go on board the unprecedented search for life on planets outside of our solar system.
The team will be composed of researchers in the fields of science of Earth, planetary, heliophysics and astrophysics.
The relatively new field of exoplanets emerged in 1995 with the discovery of the first exoplanet around a star alike to the sun. There are more than 1,000 exoplanets have been found since the launch of NASA’s Kepler space telescope six years ago and still thousands more are waiting to be confirmed as exoplanets.
The experts will investigate the various components of an exoplanet with the expectations to discover the interactions of planets and stars to support life.
To help scientist better understand how to look for life on exoplanets, they should set out how biology interacts with the atmosphere, geology, oceans and interior of a planet, including how these interfaces are affected by the host star.
Based on the post on NASA’s website announcing the initiative: NExSS will bring together these prominent research communities in an unprecedented collaboration, to share their perspectives, research results, and approaches in the pursuit of one of humanity’s deepest questions: Are we alone?”