APR 27, 2015 9:14 AM PDT

Nasa's search for aliens steps up: agency puts together crack coalition to search for extra-terrestrial life

WRITTEN BY: Robert Woodard
The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or NExSS, will bring together a range of scientific skills in an attempt to improve the search for life on other planetsNasa is bringing together scientists from a range of different fields to try and search for life on other planets.

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or NExSS, will bring together earth scientists, who will look to further understand how planets can support life. They will do so by looking at how our Earth and the planets around us search for life, and use that to understand how viable newly-discovered planets could be as homes for aliens.

"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," said Jim Green, NASA's Director of Planetary Science, in a statement. "The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, it's of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well."

The team will look to understand exo-planets - those that are around other stars, like Earth. It is a new field, beginning when scientists found the first planet that goes around a sun like ours in 1995. Since then, scientists have found more than 1,000 planets, with many more waiting to be confirmed.

The new team will research ways of confirming whether those planets are habitable, and then how to find our whether they exhibit signs of life.

NExSS will bring together earth scientists, planetary scientists, heliophysicists who study the sun and astrophysicists who will provide data on the planets themselves.

Nasa says those research communities will work together to answer "one of humanity's deepest questions: Are we alone?"

The scientists in the group will "provide a foundation for interpreting observations of exoplanets from future exoplanet missions", said Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division at NASA. Those missions include the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which will be launched in 2017, and the James Webb Space Telescope which is expected to be launched a year later.

The team will include members from 10 different universities and two research institutes, and will be led by scientists from Nasa's own research centres.

[Source: independent.co.uk]
About the Author
You May Also Like
OCT 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why the Sun's Atmosphere is Hotter than its Surface
OCT 09, 2020
Why the Sun's Atmosphere is Hotter than its Surface
Researchers have found evidence of nanojets (bright, thin lights) in the solar atmosphere, also known as the corona. The ...
NOV 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Observe the Birth of a Magnetar
NOV 13, 2020
Researchers Observe the Birth of a Magnetar
Scientists think they have witnessed the birth of a magnetar for the first time, when a massive burst of gamma rays took ...
DEC 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Health Issues from Spaceflight Caused by Mitochondria
DEC 03, 2020
Health Issues from Spaceflight Caused by Mitochondria
Spending an extended time in space is known to impact various aspects of health, from muscle and bone regeneration to th ...
JAN 04, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
JAN 04, 2021
Did Intelligent Civilizations Roam Our Galaxy 5 Billion Years Ago?
Researchers have found that there were likely many intelligent alien civilizations sprawled across our galaxy billions o ...
JAN 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Settling the Debate Over the Age of the Universe
JAN 06, 2021
Settling the Debate Over the Age of the Universe
Astronomers have used powerful telescopes high in the Atacama desert to evaluate estimates of the age of the universe. T ...
MAR 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Revealing the Origins of Jupiter's Spectacular Auroras
MAR 16, 2021
Revealing the Origins of Jupiter's Spectacular Auroras
Many years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was able to catch a glimpse of amazing auroras that occur on Jupiter. Now res ...
Loading Comments...