Researchers from Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and University of Colorado Boulder have used Mars to find out Earth-like habitable planets in other solar systems. A multi-disciplinary team of scientists’ form space physics, planetary sciences and astrophysics disciplines were working to widen their knowledge of Mars in order to understand better which planets beyond Earth’s solar system contains life. Containing life can be explained through the exoplanets’ atmospheres and how the exoplanet retains that atmosphere.
The team is studying as if “Exoplanet Mars” is orbiting a dim and class-M star. The host star is only had 4% of Sun’s brightness and is 3,000 degrees Celsius cooler than Sun. From this study, the researchers will understand in this situation how can Mars retain an atmosphere that will be habitable. This experiment shown that Exoplanet Mars has lost its atmosphere sooner than what the real-world planet has experienced.
A planetary researcher at LASP, David Brain has said that Mars is a remarkable natural object that can be used as an example to demonstrates how a planet’s atmosphere and its habitability can be affected by the elements of both the planet and its host star. The biggest challenge to the researchers was to assemble the expertise. The new experiment results in understanding of both the planet and it host star’s property. This experiment will help in predicting the habitability of individual planets orbiting other stars.
This experiment is made possible by the Connection to Habitability NASA DRIVE Science Centre. DRIVE Science Centre is a part of NASA that handle grand challenge goals through integrated multi-agency initiatives.
The DRIVE Science Centre has brought together experts from various science disciplines to deal with a big question of habitability in exoplanets. To work collaboratively with various science disciplines is not an easy task. The experts have to learn how to communicate more effectively with each other.