Artist's concept of NASA's NExSS collaboration
The search for life beyond our solar system requires unprecedented cooperation across scientific disciplines. NASA's NExSS collaboration includes those who study Earth as a life-bearing planet (lower right), those researching the diversity of solar system planets (left), and those on the new frontier, discovering worlds orbiting other stars in the galaxy (upper right). Credits: NASA

Is there any planet like Earth beyond our solar system? If so, what might it teach us about Earth's past and future? NASA scientists will explore the topic and answer questions from the public during a live webcast on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time (11 a.m. to noon Pacific time).

The panel will examine the conditions that make Earth a habitable environment and discuss the possibility of Earth-like planets around other stars. The scientists will discuss what the discovery of such planets might teach us about Earth and its environment.

The panelists represent the Origins and astrobiology programs at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. They are:

-- Dr. Victoria Meadows, leader of JPL's astrobiology research team, which is exploring the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe

-- Dr. Rolf Danner, research scientist for JPL's planet-finding missions

-- Dr. Rachel Akeson, research scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena; involved in the study of planetary origins

-- Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt, JPL Origins program research scientist studying planets beyond our solar system

The panelists will take questions in real-time from audiences at science museums around the country. Questions from the public will be accepted via e-mail on the day of the webcast, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time (8 a.m. Pacific time). E-mail questions should be sent to with Earth Day in the subject line.

The webcast, in Real Player format, will be available at . The Web site also includes information, animation and interactive features explaining JPL's search for planets.

NASA's Origins program, managed by JPL, includes a series of missions to search for Earth-like planets around other stars and answer the questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone? More information on Origins is available at .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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