Earth Climate Models Bring Exoplanet To Life

  • Released Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:45PM
View full credits

In a generic brick building on the northwestern edge of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center campus in Greenbelt, Md., thousands of computers packed in racks the size of vending machines hum in a deafening chorus of data crunching. Day and night, they spit out five quadrillion calculations per second. Known collectively as the Discover supercomputer, these machines are tasked with running sophisticated climate models to predict Earth’s future climate.

But now, they’re also sussing out something much farther away: whether any of the more than 4,000 curiously weird planets beyond our solar system — or exoplanets — discovered in the past two decades could have the ingredients necessary to support life.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Series

This visualization can be found in the following series: