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Welcome to the Planetary Systems Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We are located in Greenbelt, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, in NASA's first science center, where our scientists are part of the world's largest Earth and space science research organization. These pages will introduce you to our work exploring the bodies of our solar system and planets around other stars. You will find information about our research and instrument work, along with scientific data and links to original publications.

Featured Video

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“Titan Tours” is a science video intended to educate and inform a general audience about Saturn’s moon, Titan. Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, and the only moon with a substantial atmosphere. It has fascinating similarities and important differences to that of the Earth. Other natural processes active on Titan include rainfall, rivers and lakes – the only place other than Earth where these can be found – but the liquids on Titan are hydrocarbons similar to gasoline, not water as on Earth.

The movie takes the viewer on a fictional vacation to Titan, where the traveler first meets the captain of our cruise liner for an introduction, and then tour guides at five different locations on the moon. At each stop, the guides introduce the local geography: a dry lake bed, a dune field, a volcano, a crater and a lake, and then offer a recreational activity such as skiing, driving, ballooning or boating to more vividly illustrate the location and create a memorable learning opportunity. This video was produced by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, with volunteer performances by student summer interns.

The film has been submitted to the AGU Film festival, held in December 2016.

Laboratory News

Poster Blowout 2018

Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.

Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

The Search for Habitability

How many planets could support life? In a TEDx talk, Goddard’s Geronimo Villanueva explains how scientists look for conditions suitable for life on Mars and other rocky or icy objects, and how they can take the search beyond our solar system.
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Researchers in the Planetary Systems Laboratory place special emphasis on study of the atmospheres of solar system bodies based on observations in the infrared spectral region. They investigate atmospheric physical processes in a broad context by comparing Earth's atmosphere to those of other planets. In addition, the Laboratory specializes in the design of novel optical and infrared instruments and detectors.

Scientists and Staff

A photo-roster for the Planetary System Laboratory's people is here.

Contact Us

Jocelyn M Lynch
Administrative Assistant [693]

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at 1.301.286.8955.

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