Earth is a planet within a solar system, and our little blue dot is habitable to life, bizarrely. We now know of many other solar systems in the cosmos, termed exosystems. Additionally, astronomers have developed some really awesome methods enabling us to observe and characterize many, many exoplanets in these exosystems. This means geologists are now required to work alongside astronomers to constrain the environmental conditions of these exoplanets with the ultimate aim of addressing if they’re potentially habitable, or not. In short, we want to know what’s going on in these exosystems (because they’re there), but we appreciate the need to better understand the geological history of our own solar system before we can fully understand exosystems.
To this end we have established the St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science, a collaborative endeavor between astronomers and geoscientists. Furthermore, because there are huge societal ramifications to the answer of the question (are we alone?), we have broadened the center away from purely physical sciences and includes members from the School of Philosophy.
We are very excited about our future, and we greatly look forward to working with the many other groups around the world who share our passion for understanding where we come from, and whether or not we are alone in the cosmos.
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