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Exoplanet
The search for evidence of life beyond Earth is neither pipe dream nor daydream but rather an open road to the end of our cosmic loneliness.Natalie Batalha

The UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology Initiative launches in 2020

In the next decade, spacecraft will visit the watery worlds of our solar system equipped with instru­ments capable of detecting complex organic molecules. The most pow­erful telescopes in history will look through the atmospheres of exoplan­ets for the gasses created by living organisms.
UC Santa Cruz stands at the fore­front of this endeavor, with faculty who are world leaders in the study of exoplanets, the origin of life, plan­etary science, and instrument devel­opment. UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology will continue its groundbreaking research while training diverse new generations of astrobiologists.
This effort is inherently interdisciplinary, demanding varied expertise. On a campus with a tra­dition of breaking barriers between academic disciplines, the humanities, social sciences, and the arts will play a central role, engaging the public in our discoveries and their societal implications. We invite you to join us on this great frontier of science and humanity.

Meet our Astrobiology team

In 2017, responding to discoveries made during Professor Natalie Batalha’s leadership of the Kepler Mission, Congress made the search for life beyond Earth a NASA objective. Now, Professor Batalha has organized a team of UC Santa Cruz experts to begin strategic planning, implementing pilot programs, laying the groundwork for new courses and research endeavors, and designing compelling public events. Our work will ensure humanity truly understands the knowledge that UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology is discovering.


Natalie Batalha
Professor Batalha is the director of the Astrobiology Initiative. She is involved with the detection and characterization of planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets) with the goal of understanding and finding the most likely cradles of life. She also studies exoplanets as a population to understand their diversity.