ASU Nexus for Exoplanet System Science

Exoplanet Research Needs A More Systematic Approach, Astronomers Say

Artists’ representations of various Kepler exoplanets alongside Earth. Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech

Columbia’s Caleb Scharf, University of Washington’s Victoria Meadows, and Yale’s Debra Fischer came together in this January article from Nature to argue for a more coherent, interdisciplinary approach to exoplanet science and finding habitable worlds. They argue that because the next generation of rovers, probes, and telescopes will provide more data on the potential for life both inside and outside our solar system than ever before, the different fields of biology, geology, and astronomy must come together to properly interpret the data and work to find the best habitable exoplanet candidates possible. A barrier to this, they claim, is that many astronomers see the field of exoplanet science as niche and immature, undeserving of the same funding as planetary and Earth science. They then go on to discuss how to take our knowledge of the solar system and apply it to exoplanets, and how to best find habitable worlds.

Read the full article here.

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