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Meeting Location and Date

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), a NASA research coordination network dedicated to the study of planetary habitability, is pleased to announce a five-day workshop on Habitable Worlds 2017:  A System Science Workshop, November 13–17, 2017 at the University of Wyoming Conference Center in Laramie, Wyoming.

Purpose and Scope

The field of exoplanets is currently at the cusp of a watershed moment in finding life on other worlds, propelled by the discoveries of habitable zone terrestrial planets in both ground and space-based surveys, and the potential for future telescopes to characterize the atmospheres of some of these rocky planets. Preparing for such a singular moment needs a diverse community, including Earth scientists, heliophysicists, planetary scientists, and astrophysicists.

Following the goals of NExSS to investigate the diversity of exoplanets and to learn how their history, geology, and climate interact to create the conditions for life, and corresponding biosignature detection, the workshop aims to address these questions:

  • What does it mean to be habitable?
  • What conditions are needed for habitability and how do those conditions arise?
  • What are the indicators of these conditions and their histories?
  • How can we observe these indicators?


The workshop will span five days, with plenary talks in the mornings, breakout groups for in-depth discussions in the evenings, and ample space and time for posters. Breakout groups will provide a brief summary of their discussions on the last day of the meeting. We welcome suggestions from the community of topics to be discussed in the breakout discussions.

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