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ExoPAG News and Announcements (October 5, 2020)

  1. Exoplanet Explorers Speaker Series Call for Applications (Applications due Nov. 5, 2020)
  2. Habitable Worlds 2021 (Online conference Feb. 22-26, 2021)
  3. Call for Applications: 2021 NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (Einstein, Hubble and Sagan Fellowships; Deadline Nov. 5, 2020)
  4. NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Virtual Meeting (Oct. 19-21, 2020)
  5. ExoPAG SIG3 Exoplanet/Solar System Synergy Tutorial and Journal Club (Oct. 8, 2020, 2pm EDT/11am PDT)
  6. Technosignatures Virtual Seminar Series
  7. AAS237 Special Session: Atmospheric Characterization of TESS Exoplanets (Abstract deadline: Oct. 6, 2020)
  8. Habitable Worlds Dual-Anonymous Peer Review Webinar (Oct. 7, 2020)
  9. AAS237 Abstract Deadline (Oct. 13, 2020)
  10. Protostars and Planets VII (Postponed to Mar. 21-27, 2022)
+ details

1) Exoplanet Explorers Speaker Series Call for Applications (Applications due Nov. 5, 2020)

NASA's Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) invites postdocs and graduate students currently at US institutions to participate in the inaugural Exoplanet Explorers (ExoExplorers) Science Series. This inaugural ExoExplorers cohort, which will run a pilot program from Jan 2021-June 2021, will present half-hour monthly seminars to the larger exoplanet community on topics focusing on observation, theory, and instrumentation in support of the broad themes outlined in the “ExEP Science Gap List."

Each of the ExoExplorers will receive $1000 compensation for their talk. In addition, ExoExplorers will be expected to participate in:

  1. Weekly interactions between members of the cohort
  2. Monthly informal roundtable discussions with prominent scientists in the exoplanet and educational fields (“ExoGuides”)
  3. One to two professional development training sessions on topics to be decided by the cohort, such as proposal writing, CV building, and public speaking.

We are seeking applicants that strive for excellence in their research and also for increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the exoplanet science community. As such, we seek applicants that contribute to exoplanet science through their understanding of the barriers facing underserved and underrepresented communities.

Members of the ExoPAG Executive Committee (EC) will review and accept up to 10 people for this pilot cohort.

A website describing the program is available at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/exopag/exoexplorers/

Those who wish to apply should submit a 700-1000 word statement describing 1) your research and how it supports the broad themes outlined in the ExEP Science Gap List (and related exoplanet topics), 2) how you would participate in and contribute to the cohort and its efforts through the activities described above and 3) how you would leverage these experiences to both become leaders in exoplanet science and to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the broader exoplanet community. Your application will be evaluated based on how you address these three prompts. Please also include a current CV as part of your application. Your statement and CV must be PDF format. Applications are due November 5th, 2020 (midnight Pacific time).

Questions? Please see our FAQ page to view answers to previously submitted questions or to submit a question. To ensure that all potential applicants have access to the same information, we will post answers to received questions on that webpage. The last day to submit substantive questions about the program, call, or application content is October 30. After this date, we will only answer procedural questions about the application process.


2) Habitable Worlds 2021 (Online Conference Feb. 22-26, 2021)

In coordination with the AAS, the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) is pleased to announce the AAS Topical Conference:

Habitable Worlds 2021.

The goal of the workshop is to identify opportunities and obstacles to cross-disciplinary collaboration on the questions of what makes planets habitable, and life on them detectable. The culminating event will be a synchronous, online conference 22-26 February 2021.

In preparation for the meeting in February, we have planned three ice-breaking, community-wide, collaborative online activities 1-31 October 2020, designed to promote interdisciplinary communication and to set the agenda for the conference. These activities will generate input from the fields of astronomy/astrophysics, planetary sciences, and Earth sciences, and are open (after a free signup) to all who wish to participate. The activities are mostly about getting the different communities on the same page, and involve very little time commitment.

For more information on the Conference please see: https://aas.org/meetings/aastcs8/habitable

To directly sign up for the free Pre-meeting Icebreaker activities please see: http://nexss.info/community/workshops/habworlds2021

Your expertise from your discipline is needed to help shape the future study of habitability and detectability of life on exoplanets!

We look forward to seeing you!

Steve Desch, Arizona State University (Chair)
Dorian Abbot, University of Chicago
Daniel Apai, University of Arizona
Paul Byrne, North Carolina State Universityv
Shannon Curry, University of California, Berkeley
Dawn Gelino, Caltech/IPAC-NASA Exoplanet Science Institute
Hilairy Hartnett, Arizona State University
Natalie Hinkel, Southwest Research Institution
Seth Jacobsen, Michigan State University
Hannah Jang-Condell, NASA HQ
Paul Kalas, University of California, Berkeley
Stephen Kane, University of California, Riverside
Aki Roberge, NASA HQ
Cayman Unterborn, Arizona State University"


3) Call for Applications: 2021 NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (Einstein, Hubble and Sagan Fellowships; Deadline Nov. 5, 2020)

"On behalf of the NASA Astrophysics Division, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) announces the call for applications for postdoctoral fellowships under the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) beginning in the fall of 2021.

The NHFP supports postdoctoral scientists performing independent research that contributes to NASA Astrophysics (see https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/for more information). The research may be theoretical, observational, and/or instrumental. If your application is successful and you accept our offer, you will become an Einstein, Hubble or Sagan fellow depending on the area of your research. We are continuing the legacy of those three earlier programs in this way, and through joint management of the program by STScI, in collaboration with the Chandra X-ray Center and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute.

The NHFP is open to applicants of any nationality who have earned (or will have earned) their doctoral degree on or after January 1, 2018 in astronomy, physics or related disciplines. The duration of the Fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment, and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds. Eligibility may extend to those who received their PhD as early as January 1, 2017, if professional work was necessarily delayed by personal or family considerations. Extended eligibility must be justified in an email to nhfp@stsci.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the application deadline.

We anticipate offering up to 24 NHFP Fellowships this year. The Fellowships are tenable at a U.S. host institution of the fellow's choice, subject to a maximum of two new fellows per host institution per year, and no more than five fellows at any single host institution, except for short periods of overlap.

The Announcement of Opportunity, which includes detailed program policies and application instructions, is available at the website: http://nhfp.stsci.edu. The application submission page will be open from September 8 until November 5, 2020.

Applicants should follow the instructions given in the Announcement and also examine the Frequently Asked Questions. Please send any further inquiries about the NHFP to nhfp@stsci.edu.

Important dates:

  • Applications are due Thursday, November 5, 2020 (7 PM EST, 4 PM PST, 24:00 UTC)
  • Letters of reference are due Thursday, November 12, 2020 (Note: the applications are due one week before the letters)
  • Offers will be made in early February 2021 and new appointments should begin on or about September 1, 2021.

NHFP Fellowships are open to English-speaking citizens of all nations. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or national origin. Women and members of minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Annoucement of Opportunity: http://nhfp.stsci.edu

Questions: nhfp@stsci.edu


4) NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Virtual Meeting (Oct. 19-21, 2020)

The next meeting (virtual) of The Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) will be held Oct. 19-21, 2020.

The agenda will be posted on the APAC site: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/nac/science-advisory-committees/apac

Further information is available at: https://science.nasa.gov/files/science-pink/s3fs-public/atoms/files/Published%20FRN%20APAC%20October%20Meeting.pdf


5) ExoPAG SIG3 Exoplanet/Solar System Synergy Tutorial and Journal Club (Oct. 8, 2020, 2pm EDT/11am PDT)

"Good Afternoon Everyone,

The ExoPAG Science Interest Group 3 on Exoplanet Solar System synergies is supporting and organizing Tutorial Talks aimed at introducing field newcomers to important topics or methods in planetary and exoplanetary science. The talks include a 30 minute tutorial from an expert to introduce the topic, followed by a 30 minute group discussion of a recent paper in which the topic/method features. The details of our next tutorial talk are listed below:

Date: October 8th at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

Speaker: Elisabeth Newton, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Dartmouth College

Title: The advantages and challenges of M dwarfs as planet hosts

Abstract: M dwarfs provide strong advantages in the search for exoplanets: as the smallest type of star, they result in the largest signals for transit and radial velocity planet detection. With the addition of the low intrinsic luminosities, they also provide the best opportunity for the detection of biosignatures on habitable planets. The newly discovered young exoplanet AU Mic b provides an example of the “M dwarf advantage.” However, it also highlights the challenges: M dwarfs are overluminous for extended periods of time when they are first forming, and they display high levels of stellar activity: strong magnetic fields, x-ray and UV flux, and flaring. These factors may be detrimental for habitability, while also posing a challenge to detection and characterization. I will discuss the advantages and challenges of M dwarfs, and discuss the recent discovery of AU Mic bs (Plavchan et al.).

Link to the Paper: https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020Natur.582..497P/abstract

Zoom Connection Info: Contact Daniel Larsen - dlarsen9@uw.edu

Thanks!

DANIEL LARSEN, MS
Astrobiology Program Administrator
VPL Project Administrator
UW Astronomy Department
Box 351580
Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-2604 | dlarsen9@uw.edu"


6) Technosignatures Virtual Seminar Series

From Ravi Kopparapu:

"If you are interested in attending ‘Technosignature’ virtual seminar series, please email Ravi Kopparapu (ravikumar.kopparapu@nasa.gov) to join the mailing list.

The seminars include a range of topics from Solar system to exoplanets, galactic to extra-galactic, evolution of intelligence and technology, theory and observation spanning the electromagnetic spectrum.

We plan to have these seminars nominally on Wednesday’s starting at 11AM U.S Eastern time, with a duration of 40minutes of talk, and 20 minutes of discussion. We found that an extended discussion after a talk invites new ideas and collaborations which are crucial for developing a vibrant community. These talks will be given on zoom. The current schedule and recorded talks are available at SEEC (Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration). We will also be recording the talks and make them publicly available, unless a speaker requests us not to do so."


7) AAS237 Special Session: Atmospheric Characterization of TESS Exoplanets (Abstract deadline: Oct. 6, 2020)

"Please consider submitting an abstract at this winter's AAS meeting to the special session "Atmospheric Characterization of TESS Exoplanets." AAS will be entirely remote this year, so no hotel costs, and we expect to have a great turn-out for our virtual audience.

One of the greatest impacts of the TESS mission will be to dramatically increase the number of known exoplanets well-suited for detailed atmospheric characterization via HST and JWST. Already, exciting new results about the atmospheres of both giant and rocky planets have come from the first two years of TESS discoveries and data.

If you have results related to:

  • The identification of new planets in TESS data that are promising atmosphere targets
  • Characterization observations of planets observed or discovered by TESS
  • Predictions for what we can expect from future JWST observations of smaller TESS planets

Then submit your abstract to "Atmospheric Characterization of TESS Exoplanets." Note that the deadline for special session abstracts is Oct. 6, which is a week earlier than the regular abstract deadline of Oct. 13.

The session is organized under the auspices of the TESS Atmospheric Characterization Working Group.

Thomas Beatty
tgbeatty@arizona.edu"


8) Habitable Worlds Dual-Anonymous Peer Review Webinar (Oct. 7, 2020)

On October 7, 2020 at 3pm ET/12pm PT, NASA's Science Mission Directorate will host a webinar to discuss the implementation of dual-anonymous peer review for the Habitable Worlds Program (E.4 of ROSES-2020). In dual-anonymous peer review, not only are proposers unaware of the identity of reviewers, but the reviewers do not have explicit knowledge of the proposing teams and institutions during the scientific evaluation of the proposal. The webinar will: (1) discuss the motivation for switching to dual-anonymous peer review, (2) describe important changes to proposal writing to be compliant with dual-anonymous peer review, and (3) explain how dual-anonymous peer reviews work in Habitable Worlds. In advance of the webinar, questions may be submitted and upvoted on at: https://arc.cnf.io/sessions/zazz/#!/dashboard

For more information on dual-anonymous peer review, please visit: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/dual-anonymous-peer-review


9) AAS237 Abstract Deadline (Oct. 13, 2020)

A reminder that Tuesday October 13, 2020 is the deadline for submitting abstracts for the 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), which will be held (virtually) January 11-15, 2021: https://aas.org/meetings/aas237


10) Protostars and Planets VII (Postponed to Mar. 21-27, 2022)

Protostars and Planets VII (PP7), which was originally scheduled for April 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, has been postponed to March 21-27, 2022.

Current Schedule:

  • Nov. 30, 2020: Decision on Review Chapters and Talks
  • Apr. 1, 2021: Start of Registration (subject to change)
  • Sep. 1, 2021: Deadline for Manuscript Submission
  • Mar. 21, 2022: Start of PP7 meeting


ExoPAG News and Announcements (September 24, 2020)

  1. RFP for Starshade Exoplanet Data Challenge (Deadline October 16, 2020)
  2. Improvements to the NASA Goddard Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center (EMAC)
  3. NN-EXPLORE: Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST) and Updates on Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab. No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.
  4. ROSES D.10 TESS Guest Investigator Cycle 4 (Deadline January 15, 2021)
+ details

1) RFP for Starshade Exoplanet Data Challenge (Deadline October 16, 2020)

"Dear Colleague,

You are invited to participate in the Starshade Exoplanet Data Challenge, as part of the Starshade Science and Industry Partnership (SIP) activities. The objective of the data challenge is to develop image-processing algorithms to detect planets and extract their spectra from synthetic images, to validate the flow down of requirements from science to key instrument performance parameters, and to quantify the required accuracy of noisy background calibration.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has issued Request for Proposals (RFP) to support participation in the data challenge.

Questions regarding technical aspects of the RFP should be addressed to Dr. Renyu Hu (renyu.hu@jpl.nasa.gov), and questions regarding other aspects should be addressed to Maria Jaquez (maria.a.jaquez@jpl.nasa.gov). The proposal is due on October 16, 2020.

Q&A session: Prospective proposers are encouraged to participate in a Q&A session on September 24, 10 am PT = 1 pm ET, as part of the SIP Telecon #9.

[Editor’s note: The telecon has passed - slides from this telecon can be viewed at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/technology/starshade/sip/]

The Exoplanet Exploration Program of the NASA Astrophysics Division charters the Starshade Science and Industry Partnership (SIP). The purpose of the Starshade SIP is to maximize the technology readiness level of starshades to enable potential future exoplanet science missions.

Best regards,

Renyu

Renyu Hu, PhD
Starshade Scientist, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program
W: 818 354 6090, M: 818 281 9459"


2) Improvements to the NASA Goddard Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center (EMAC)

"Dear Colleagues,

We’d like to highlight a number of upgrades to the NASA Goddard Exoplanet Modeling and Analysis Center (EMAC) website and database: https://emac.gsfc.nasa.gov. We now have links to Discussion pages, various sorting and linking capabilities, and an RSS announcement page and feed, and we encourage you to take another look if you’ve seen it before. Additionally, we have an RSS alerts service describing the new tools listed on EMAC the previous month, and you can track updates on Twitter @ExoplanetModels.

EMAC is a community software database and repository for exoplanet-related resources and tools hosted at NASA Goddard. This project intends to bring together open-source modeling and analysis software as well as computed model outputs to create a central clearinghouse where the exoplanet community can access a wide range of useful exoplanet science resources. We encourage everyone to consider listing your open-source or web-accessible tools and model databases on the EMAC resources page. Visitors can also vote for tools they would like to see developed into a web tool or web interface under the “Vote” tab.

If you have any questions or feedback, or want to suggest a tool that we should recruit, please feel free to visit our feedback page to let us know.

Thanks,

The EMAC Science Support Team at NASA Goddard"


3) NN-EXPLORE: Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST) and Updates on Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab. No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.

NSF's NOIRLab Call for Proposals: Semester 2021A

NOIRLab is providing regular updates on observatory science operations in Arizona, Chile, and Hawai'i at: https://noirlab.edu/public/announcements/ann20002/

WIYN: The WIYN 3.5m telescope (along with all telescopes on Kitt Peak) had been closed since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the NOIRLab Sept. 21, 2020 Update: "Phase 1 operations started Monday, 14 September 2020. First activities include safety inspections, road repairs, deferred mountain facility maintenance, and other initial activities to prepare to restart DESI and NEID commissioning. If the ramp-up proceeds according to plan, the WIYN 3.5-meter Telescope and DESI/Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope are expected to resume night-time activities by mid-November." Due to this closure and its impact on Semester 2020A (1 February 2020 - 31 July 2020), as well as continuing impact on Semester 2020B (which began on 1 August 2020), WIYN is NOT soliciting new proposals for semester 2021A. Those PIs with approved NEID programs for Semester 2020A will remain in the NEID queue for Semester 2021A. At this point, there is no WIYN/NEID schedule for Semester 2020B and all 2020B proposals are being held in reserve by WIYN in order to prepare a schedule when the observatory reopens. If you have questions about WIYN/NEID please contact us (vsmith@noao.edu,Jayadev.Rajagopal@gmail.com).

CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m CHIRON: In addition to the observing time available through the nominal NSF's NOIRLab community access, the NN-EXPLORE program is providing an additional 300 hours (approximately 30 nights) to support 2021A observations utilizing the CHIRON spectrograph for exoplanet science related to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Data will be acquired in queue mode so no travel support will be available to the observers under this portion of the program. Raw echellegram images and calibration files, as well as final processed 1-D extracted wavelength-calibrated spectra can be provided to the PI. For details see http://www.astro.yale.edu/smarts/1.5m.html) and http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~thenry/SMARTS/). NOIRLab Sept. 21, 2020 COVID-19 Update: see https://noirlab.edu/public/announcements/ann20002/.

MINERVA-Australis: As part of the NN-EXPLORE program, NASA entered in a partnership with the MINERVA-Australis consortium starting in 2020B. That agreement continues in Semester 2021A, with 300 hours of observing time open to NNEXPLORE proposals. MINERVA-Australis is a dedicated exoplanet observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Queensland, Australia. The facility is located at USQ's Mt. Kent Observatory, and saw first light in quarter two 2018; commissioning of the facility was completed in mid-2019. MINERVA-Australis currently consists of 5 (0.7m) PlaneWave CDK700 telescopes; these telescopes have two ports, allowing each to be used for either spectroscopic or photometric observations. A summary of the facility and its capabilities can be found in the commissioning paper by Addison et al. 2019 (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019PASP..131k5003A). The photometric channel is capable of milli-magnitude precision and currently, the light from four telescopes can be combined onto one R=75,000 echelle spectrograph for radial velocity precisions of 1-10 m/s depending on the target brightness and how many telescopes are combined.

NN-EXPLORE website: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/NNExplore/


4) ROSES D.10 TESS Guest Investigator Cycle 4 (Deadline January 15, 2021)

D.10 TESS Guest Investigator Cycle 4

Solicitation: NNH20ZDA001N-TESS

Deadline: January 15, 2021

https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?solId={4B9CAAB3-D398-183A-B1F3-EF963DF415C7}


ExoPAG News and Announcements (September 16, 2020)

  1. ExoPAG 23 (Virtual): Save the Dates (January 5-6, 2021; 12pm EST-4pm EST)
  2. Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)
  3. NN-EXPLORE Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST). No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.
  4. Habitable Worlds Dual-Anonymous Peer Review Webinar (Oct. 7, 2020)
  5. Call for Applications: 2021 NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (Einstein, Hubble and Sagan Fellowships; Deadline Nov. 5, 2020)
  6. exoplanet-talks.org Online Presentation Platform for Exoplanet Science
  7. CHEOPS Discretionary Programme Now Open
  8. SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: No-charge Digital Forum (Dec. 13-18, 2020)
+ details

1) ExoPAG 23 (Virtual): Save the Dates (January 5-6, 2021; 12pm EST-4pm EST)

ExoPAG 23 has been tentatively scheduled as a virtual meeting over two half-days:

Tue. Jan. 5, 2021: 12pm EST/9am PST - 4pm EST/1pm PST

Wed. Jan. 6, 2021: 12pm EST/9am PST - 4pm EST/1pm PST

These are the two days before the AAS 237 Workshop days (Thr/Fri Jan. 7-8, 2021), and the week before AAS 237 (Jan. 11-15, 2021).

Further meetings details (including agenda) will eventually be posted at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/exopag/exopag-meetings/


2) Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)

The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is seeking community input on the ExEP Science Gap List (SGL) through September 30, 2020, with the goal of providing an updated version in early 2021:

See the current version of the SGL.

The Science Gap List (SGL) tabulates program “science gaps”, which are defined as the difference between knowledge needed to define requirements for specified future NASA exoplanet missions and the current state of the art, or knowledge which is needed to enhance the science return of current and future NASA exoplanet missions. Making the gap list public signals to the broader community where focused science investigations are needed over the next 3-5 years in support of ExEP goals. The ExEP Science Gap List represents activities and investigations that will advance the goals of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, and provides brief summaries in a convenient tabular format. The ExEP Science Gap list is meant to assist proposers in describing the relevance of their work to Program goals as they respond to SMD ROSES and mission observing proposal solicitations. All ExEP approaches, activities, and decisions are guided by science priorities, and those priorities are presented and summarized in the ExEP Science Gap List.

Please contact ExEP scientists Karl Stapelfeldt (Karl.R.Stapelfeldt@jpl.nasa.gov) & Eric Mamajek (Eric.Mamajek@jpl.nasa.gov) with any input for revisions to the SGL.

In 2021, ExEP plans to update the Science Plan Appendix to take into account the Decadal Survey recommendations and NASA’s response. The Science Plan Appendix is a more comprehensive document that lays out the scientific challenges that must be addressed to advance the goals of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program (last version 2018).

The ExEP Exoplanet Program Science documents are available at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/science-overview/


3) NN-EXPLORE Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST). No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.

NSF's NOIRLab Call for Proposals: Semester 2021A

http://ast.noao.edu/observing/call-for-proposals-2021a

WIYN: The WIYN 3.5m telescope (along with all telescopes on Kitt Peak) has been closed since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, at this time, there is no scheduled date for re-opening. Due to this closure and its impact on Semester 2020A (1 February 2020 - 31 July 2020), as well as continuing impact on Semester 2020B (which began on 1 August 2020), WIYN is not soliciting new proposals for semester 2021A. Those PIs with approved NEID programs for Semester 2020A will remain in the NEID queue for Semester 2021A. At this point, there is no WIYN/NEID schedule for Semester 2020B and all 2020B proposals are being held in reserve by WIYN in order to prepare a schedule when the observatory reopens. If you have questions about WIYN/NEID please contact us (vsmith@noao.edu, Jayadev.Rajagopal@gmail.com).

CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m CHIRON: In addition to the observing time available through the nominal NSF's NOIRLab community access, the NN-EXPLORE program is providing an additional 300 hours (approximately 30 nights) to support 2021A observations utilizing the CHIRON spectrograph for exoplanet science related to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Data will be acquired in queue mode so no travel support will be available to the observers under this portion of the program. Raw echellegram images and calibration files, as well as final processed 1-D extracted wavelength-calibrated spectra can be provided to the PI. For details see http://www.astro.yale.edu/smarts/1.5m.html and http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~thenry/SMARTS/).

MINERVA-Australis: As part of the NN-EXPLORE program, NASA entered in a partnership with the MINERVA-Australis consortium starting in 2020B. That agreement continues in Semester 2021A, with 300 hours of observing time open to NNEXPLORE proposals. MINERVA-Australis is a dedicated exoplanet observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Queensland, Australia. The facility is located at USQ's Mt. Kent Observatory, and saw first light in quarter two 2018; commissioning of the facility was completed in mid-2019. MINERVA-Australis currently consists of 5 (0.7m) PlaneWave CDK700 telescopes; these telescopes have two ports, allowing each to be used for either spectroscopic or photometric observations. A summary of the facility and its capabilities can be found in the commissioning paper by Addison et al. 2019 (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019PASP..131k5003A). The photometric channel is capable of milli-magnitude precision and currently, the light from four telescopes can be combined onto one R=75,000 echelle spectrograph for radial velocity precisions of 1-10 m/s depending on the target brightness and how many telescopes are combined.

NN-EXPLORE website: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/NNExplore/


4) Habitable Worlds Dual-Anonymous Peer Review Webinar (Oct. 7, 2020)

On October 7, 2020 at 3pm ET/12pm PT, NASA's Science Mission Directorate will host a webinar to discuss the implementation of dual-anonymous peer review for the Habitable Worlds Program (E.4 of ROSES-2020). In dual-anonymous peer review, not only are proposers unaware of the identity of reviewers, but the reviewers do not have explicit knowledge of the proposing teams and institutions during the scientific evaluation of the proposal.

The webinar will: (1) discuss the motivation for switching to dual-anonymous peer review, (2) describe important changes to proposal writing to be compliant with dual-anonymous peer review, and (3) explain how dual-anonymous peer reviews work in Habitable Worlds. In advance of the webinar, questions may be submitted and upvoted on at: https://arc.cnf.io/sessions/zazz/#!/dashboard

For more information on dual-anonymous peer review, please visit: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/dual-anonymous-peer-review


5) Call for Applications: 2021 NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (Einstein, Hubble and Sagan Fellowships; Deadline Nov. 5, 2020)

"On behalf of the NASA Astrophysics Division, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) announces the call for applications for postdoctoral fellowships under the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) beginning in the fall of 2021.

The NHFP supports postdoctoral scientists performing independent research that contributes to NASA Astrophysics (see https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/ for more information). The research may be theoretical, observational, and/or instrumental. If your application is successful and you accept our offer, you will become an Einstein, Hubble or Sagan fellow depending on the area of your research. We are continuing the legacy of those three earlier programs in this way, and through joint management of the program by STScI, in collaboration with the Chandra X-ray Center and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute.

The NHFP is open to applicants of any nationality who have earned (or will have earned) their doctoral degree on or after January 1, 2018 in astronomy, physics or related disciplines. The duration of the Fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment, and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds. Eligibility may extend to those who received their PhD as early as January 1, 2017, if professional work was necessarily delayed by personal or family considerations. Extended eligibility must be justified in an email to nhfp@stsci.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the application deadline.

We anticipate offering up to 24 NHFP Fellowships this year. The Fellowships are tenable at a U.S. host institution of the fellow's choice, subject to a maximum of two new fellows per host institution per year, and no more than five fellows at any single host institution, except for short periods of overlap.

The Announcement of Opportunity, which includes detailed program policies and application instructions, is available at the website: http://nhfp.stsci.edu . The application submission page will be open from September 8 until November 5, 2020.

Applicants should follow the instructions given in the Announcement and also examine the Frequently Asked Questions. Please send any further inquiries about the NHFP to nhfp@stsci.edu.

Important dates:

Applications are due Thursday, November 5, 2020 (7 PM EST, 4 PM PST, 24:00 UTC)

Letters of reference are due Thursday, November 12, 2020 (Note: the applications are due one week before the letters)

Offers will be made in early February 2021 and new appointments should begin on or about September 1, 2021.

NHFP Fellowships are open to English-speaking citizens of all nations. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or national origin. Women and members of minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Annoucement of Opportunity: http://nhfp.stsci.edu

Questions: nhfp@stsci.edu "


6) exoplanet-talks.org Online Presentation Platform for Exoplanet Science

"Dear colleagues and friends,

I wish to update you on a new initiative that we are starting: an online presentation platform for exoplanet science. It is expected be operational before the end of the calendar year. Attached is the detailed case for the platform, with a short summary below. If you want to make sure you don't miss any updates on this, you can leave your name and email here (also for your comments and suggestions): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Gg23EJ63xjy7uKtvv5JPBSxJxnxpNidceyVkidZqyak/viewform?edit_requested=true

I hope you are all well in these strange times!

Ignas Snellen

The corona-crisis has made us think about the future of conferences and symposia. Although meetings will always play an important role in our scientific lives, it will take a while before we can all travel again and spend time with hundreds in a cramped room. Also, long-distant travel is not particularly green. In addition, the current situation makes it increasingly difficult for early career scientists to present and promote themselves - something that has always been challenging.

We are going to try something different, and set up a web-based scientific presentation platform for the field of extrasolar planets. Anybody registered can upload a presentation to the system, e.g. when they have published a paper, a thesis, or at any time. The presentation is stored in the system with a range of keywords to make the database easily searchable – no frills, no likes, no number of views. Anybody can view a presentation until the presenter removes it again from the database. Registered scientists can ask questions either publicly or privately via a discussion console – even months after a talk has been uploaded.

Although clearly not all of the important aspects of real-life conferences will be replaced by this platform, especially networking, it will have many benefits – even after the immediate Covid-19 crisis is over. Early Career Scientists will have an easily accessible way to present their work, allowing high quality talks, with potentially a long-term legacy value – and will learn the important skills of making state-of-the-art video presentations. We envisage this will become a novel path for scientists to interact with each other: Journal clubs starting paper discussions with a short video, and academic recruiters watching online presentations of candidates.

This week is the technical kick-off of the project, with an anticipated running time of about 12 weeks before going live. In addition to a local team, we have an informal international advisory committee (Jayne Birkby, Jean-Michel Désert, Debra Fischer, Kevin Heng, Laura Kreidberg, Didier Queloz and Sascha Quanz). We are particularly aware of security and (social) safety challenges. You will need to be a scientist affiliated with a recognised institute to register and be able to post a video or place comments. The public at large can only watch the videos.

We hope you will become as enthusiastic about this idea as we are, and will try to help to make it a success. Think about upcoming articles/projects you, or your team member, could give a short presentation on. Probably in a few weeks we will start pre-registration. If you want to make sure you don't miss any updates on this, you can leave your name and email here (also for your comments and suggestions): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Gg23EJ63xjy7uKtvv5JPBSxJxnxpNidceyVkidZqyak/viewform?edit_requested=true

Of course, for comments you could also email me directly.

Kind regards,

Ignas Snellen, also on behalf of Yamila Miguel, Aurora Kesseli, Matthew Kenworthy and Frans Snik

ps: the website exoplanet-talks.org is not yet active."


7) CHEOPS Discretionary Programme Now Open

"I would like to draw your attention to the CHEOPS discretionary programme. This provides the opportunity to request observing time on CHEOPS at any time of the year, and specifically outside the annual announcements of opportunity.

Details of the programme, including all tools/manuals/information needed to prepare and submit observing proposals, can be found at: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/cheops-guest-observers-programme/discretionary-programme

There are very specific criteria that a target must meet for a proposal to be eligible for time within this programme - these are given on the webpage itself, and in the programme documentation (Policies and Procedures document) which is listed on the webpage under “Documentation”. When submitting a proposal it is important to take into account that, for operational reasons, it will take at best a minimum of around 3 weeks from proposal submission to target observation.

Please send any questions to cheops-support@cosmos.esa.int

Best wishes,

Kate Isaak, ESA CHEOPS Project Scientist"


8) SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: No-charge Digital Forum (Dec. 13-18, 2020)

https://spie.org/conferences-and-exhibitions/astronomical-telescopes-and-instrumentation

"Announcing: Digital Forum 2020

This has been an historic year for the Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation symposium. We received a record number of abstract submissions from developers of ground- and space-based telescopes, the supporting technologies, and the latest instrumentation. This is the symposium that advances astronomical engineering.

To support this vital community during an unprecedented time, SPIE is transitioning this event into a safe and accessible, no-charge Digital Forum that will run 13-18 December 2020.

This online SPIE event will include live plenary presentations, on-demand technical talks, and opportunities to connect with other participants. Experts in this community will gather to share recent results, present new concepts, and discuss ongoing and future telescope projects. The 2020 program includes a robust lineup of speakers and global participation."


ExoPAG News and Announcements (September 8, 2020)

  1. NN-EXPLORE Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST). No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.
  2. NASA Keck 2021A Call for Proposals (Deadline September 17, 2020, 4pm PDT)
  3. NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) 2021A Call for Proposals (October 1, 2020, 5pm HST)
  4. Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)
  5. ExoPAG SIG3 Exoplanet/Solar System Synergy Tutorial Talk (Sept. 10, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)
+ details

1) NN-EXPLORE Proposals Invited for CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m with CHIRON and MINERVA-Australis in Semester 2021A (Deadline September 30, 2020, 11:59pm MST). No New WIYN Proposals Solicited for 2021A.

NN-EXPLORE website

NSF's NOIRLab Call for Proposals - Semester 2021A

WIYN: The WIYN 3.5m telescope (along with all telescopes on Kitt Peak) has been closed since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, at this time, there is no scheduled date for re-opening. Due to this closure and its impact on Semester 2020A (1 February 2020 - 31 July 2020), as well as continuing impact on Semester 2020B (which began on 1 August 2020), WIYN is not soliciting new proposals for semester 2021A. Those PIs with approved NEID programs for Semester 2020A will remain in the NEID queue for Semester 2021A. At this point, there is no WIYN/NEID schedule for Semester 2020B and all 2020B proposals are being held in reserve by WIYN in order to prepare a schedule when the observatory reopens. If you have questions about WIYN/NEID please contact us (vsmith@noao.edu , Jayadev.Rajagopal@gmail.com).

CTIO/SMARTS 1.5m CHIRON: In addition to the observing time available through the nominal NSF's NOIRLab community access, the NN-EXPLORE program is providing an additional 300 hours (approximately 30 nights) to support 2021A observations utilizing the CHIRON spectrograph for exoplanet science related to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Data will be acquired in queue mode so no travel support will be available to the observers under this portion of the program. Raw echellegram images and calibration files, as well as final processed 1-D extracted wavelength-calibrated spectra can be provided to the PI. For details see http://www.astro.yale.edu/smarts/1.5m.html and http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~thenry/SMARTS/).

MINERVA-Australis: As part of the NN-EXPLORE program, NASA entered in a partnership with the MINERVA-Australis consortium starting in 2020B. That agreement continues in Semester 2021A, with 300 hours of observing time open to NN-EXPLORE proposals. MINERVA-Australis is a dedicated exoplanet observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Queensland, Australia. The facility is located at USQ's Mt. Kent Observatory, and saw first light in quarter two 2018; commissioning of the facility was completed in mid-2019. MINERVA-Australis currently consists of 5 (0.7m) PlaneWave CDK700 telescopes; these telescopes have two ports, allowing each to be used for either spectroscopic or photometric observations. A summary of the facility and its capabilities can be found in the commissioning paper by Addison et al. 2019 (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019PASP..131k5003A). The photometric channel is capable of milli-magnitude precision and currently, the light from four telescopes can be combined onto one R=75,000 echelle spectrograph for radial velocity precisions of 1-10 m/s depending on the target brightness and how many telescopes are combined.


2) NASA Keck 2021A Call for Proposals (Deadline September 17, 2020, 4pm PDT)

The 2021A NASA Keck Call for Proposals is now available.

Mission Support and General Observing proposals to support all NASA's Science Goals and Missions are solicited. The opportunity to propose as a Principal Investigator for NASA's time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers (i.e. those who have their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution).

Key Dates:

September 3: deadline to request letters from NASA HQ for general mission support proposals

September 17 by 4 pm Pacific: proposal submission deadline

Please see the call website for details on highlights for 2021A, guidelines for allocation of NASA Keck time, proposals in support of NASA missions, multi-semester proposals, targets of opportunity, etc.


3) NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) 2021A Call for Proposals (October 1, 2020, 5pm HST)

http://irtfweb.ifa.hawaii.edu/observing/callForProposals.php

Call for Proposals for the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility

DEADLINE: Thursday 01 October 2020

NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Observing Proposals: The due date for the 2021A semester (February 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021) is Thursday, October 1, 2020. See our online submission form, which is available for proposal submission from 12:00AM on September 01, 2020 until 5:00PM on October 01, 2020 HST.

Available IRTF facility instruments: http://irtfweb.ifa.hawaii.edu/instruments/

IRTF Facility Instruments:

  • SpeX, 0.7-5.3 micron medium-resolution spectrograph
  • iSHELL, 1.1-5.3 micron cross-dispersed spectrograph and imager.
  • MORIS, Andor 512 x 512 pixel CCD camera mounted at the side-facing window of SpeX

IRTF Visitor Instruments:

  • TEXES, 8-26 micron high resolution grating spectrograph
  • BASS, medium resolution 3-14 micron spectrometer 116 element, non-scanning prism system
  • HIPWAC, 7-13 micron heterodyne spectrograph R>10^6

4) Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)

The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is seeking community input on the ExEP Science Gap List (SGL) through September 30, 2020, with the goal of providing an updated version in early 2021:

See the current version of the SGL.

The Science Gap List (SGL) tabulates program “science gaps”, which are defined as the difference between knowledge needed to define requirements for specified future NASA exoplanet missions and the current state of the art, or knowledge which is needed to enhance the science return of current and future NASA exoplanet missions. Making the gap list public signals to the broader community where focused science investigations are needed over the next 3-5 years in support of ExEP goals. The ExEP Science Gap List represents activities and investigations that will advance the goals of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, and provides brief summaries in a convenient tabular format. The ExEP Science Gap list is meant to assist proposers in describing the relevance of their work to Program goals as they respond to SMD ROSES and mission observing proposal solicitations. All ExEP approaches, activities, and decisions are guided by science priorities, and those priorities are presented and summarized in the ExEP Science Gap List.

Please contact ExEP scientists Karl Stapelfeldt (Karl.R.Stapelfeldt@jpl.nasa.gov) & Eric Mamajek (Eric.Mamajek@jpl.nasa.gov) with any input for revisions to the SGL.

In 2021, ExEP plans to update the Science Plan Appendix to take into account the Decadal Survey recommendations and NASA’s response. The Science Plan Appendix is a more comprehensive document that lays out the scientific challenges that must be addressed to advance the goals of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program (last version 2018).

The ExEP Exoplanet Program Science documents are available at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/science-overview/


5) ExoPAG SIG3 Exoplanet/Solar System Synergy Tutorial Talk (Sept. 10, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)

From ExoPAG SIG3 co-chairs Vikki Meadows and Kathy Mandt:

"Dear ExoPAG SIG3,

Our next Tutorial Talk will be given by Prof. Nancy Chanover, who will provide an introduction to the Planetary Data System Atmospheres Node for those who might be considering using the PDS for exoplanet science.

These tutorial talks are aimed at introducing field newcomers to important topics or methods in planetary and exoplanetary science. They typically include a 30 minute tutorial from an expert to introduce the topic, followed by a 30 minute group discussion of a recent paper in which the topic/method features. The details for Nancy's talk are listed below:

Date/Time: Sept 10th at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT

Speaker: Nancy Chanover, Professor of Astronomy, New Mexico State University

Title: How to Leverage NASA’s Planetary Data System Atmospheres Node for Exoplanet Science

Abstract: The NASA Planetary Data System Atmospheres Node is charged with archiving atmospheric data from NASA’s solar system missions, as well as ground-based observations, laboratory experiments and analog field measurements conducted in support of NASA’s missions. In this presentation I will provide a brief overview of the PDS Atmospheres Node data archive and discuss its relevance to the exoplanet atmospheric science community. I will also briefly discuss nomenclature issues that might be confusing to first-time users and point to PDS-based resources to help interpret them. Finally, I will discuss a paper (Elrod et al. 2018) that illustrates the use of data archived at the PDS Atmospheres Node for understanding the role that solar activity plays in driving atmospheric escape on Mars.

Paper for Discussion: Elrod et al. (2018), GRL, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077729

Thank you again to Laura Schaefer and Mark Marley for organizing the Tutorial Talk series!

Vikki + Kathy"

Contact Vikki Meadows (vsm@astro.washington.edu) or Kathy Mandt (Kathleen.Mandt@jhuapl.edu) for details.


ExoPAG News and Announcements (August 21, 2020)

  1. NASA Keck 2021A Call for Proposals (Proposal Deadline September 17, 2020)
  2. NExScI Exoplanet Talk Calendar: Continuation for Fall 2020
  3. Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020) - Meeting 8 (Aug. 25, 2020)
  4. Exostar Redux - Online Reunion Conference (Aug. 26, 2020)
  5. TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) Workshop (Sept. 14-16, 2020)
+ details

1) NASA Keck 2021A Call for Proposals (Proposal Deadline September 17, 2020)

The 2021A NASA Keck Call for Proposals is now available: https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/KeckSolicitation/gen-info.shtml

Mission Support and General Observing proposals to support all NASA's Science Goals and Missions are solicited. The opportunity to propose as a Principal Investigator for NASA's time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers (i.e. those who have their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution).

Key Dates:

  • September 3: deadline to request letters from NASA HQ for general mission support proposals
  • September 17 by 4 pm Pacific: proposal submission deadline

Please see the call website: https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/KeckSolicitation/gen-info.shtml for details on highlights for 2021A, guidelines for allocation of NASA Keck time, proposals in support of NASA missions, multi-semester proposals, targets of opportunity, etc.


2) NExScI Exoplanet Talk Calendar: Continuation for Fall 2020

"Hello Fellow Exoplaneteers,

As many institutions will be maintaining a partially or fully virtual environment for the start of the 2020--2021 academic year, we at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute will continue to solicit contributions to our centralized Exoplanet Talk Calendar. This portal contains user-submitted details regarding exoplanet talks, including colloquia, seminars, and meetings, that are able to be shared and viewed live, or that have been recorded. For everyone interested in staying tuned to the exciting exoplanet science that is still happening around the globe, please check out our Public Calendar Website:

https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/remote_exoplanets.shtml

Calen Henderson, on behalf of the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute
chenderson@ipac.caltech.edu"


3) Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020) - Meeting 8 (Aug. 25, 2020)

Meeting #8 of the Steering Committee of the Decadal Survey on Astronomy & Astrophysics 2020 is being held August 25, 2020, with open sessions between 12pm-3pm ET/9am-12pm PT.

The draft agenda with remote connection details is at: https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/08-25-2020/docs/DA98BD7AB203810398243A0DDE3FD88C606ED4866D46

To request the password, please email dwise@nas.edu (Subject line: Astro2020 Steering Committee Meeting #8 password).

The open session includes the following agency presentations:

  • 12pm ET/9am PT: National Science Foundation Update (Ralph Gaume)
  • 1pm ET/10am PT: Department of Energy Update (Kathy Turner)
  • 2pm ET/11am PT: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Update (Paul Hertz)

4) Exostar Redux - Online Reunion Conference (Aug. 26, 2020)

Exostar Redux - Online Reunion Conference
Wednesday, August 26-27, 2020 (11am EDT/8am PDT start)
Coordinators: Rebekah Dawson, Jim Fuller, Daniel Huber, Katja Poppenhaeger, and Victor Silva Aguirre

The goal of our program ”Exostar” was to foster the unique synergy between stellar astrophysics and exoplanet science. A year after its successful completion we will meet in this virtual conference to hear about selected star-planet interaction topics, present some of the key results of the program, and understand the latest discoveries in the fields of exoplanet studies and stellar evolution.

https://www.kitp.ucsb.edu/activities/exostar_oc20

Four sessions of talks on (times PDT):

Wednesday August 26, 2020:

  • 08:00AM Session 1: Accurate determination of stellar properties
  • 10:00AM Session 2: Star planet interaction and habitability

Thursday August 27, 2020:

  • 08:00AM Session 3: Characterization of exoplanets
  • 10:00AM Session 4: Evolution of Star-Planet Systems

Registration: https://ucsb.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nskEHSMrR6aVr3ON_y_FOg

Deadline is August 27, 2020 7:50am PDT/10:50am EDT


5) TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) Workshop (Sept. 14-16, 2020)

THAI workshop will be fully remote September 14-16, 2020: http://www.nexss.info/community/workshops/thai


ExoPAG News and Announcements (July 31, 2020)

  1. SAG 22: Investigating an Exoplanet Target Star Archive - Invitation to Join
  2. ExoPAG SIG 3 (Exoplanet/Solar System Synergies) Monthly Tutorial Talk (August 6, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)
  3. SAG 21: The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy - Invitation to Join (Deadline July 31, 2020)
  4. ExEP Technology Colloquium: "The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update" by Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (Aug. 12, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)
  5. Community Announcement: Intention to Amend ROSES-20 via a Future Appendix “Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon” (PRISM)
  6. Expression of Interest (EOI): SMD call for Augmentations and Funded Extensions
+ details

1) SAG 22: Investigating an Exoplanet Target Star Archive - Invitation to Join

"Dear colleagues,

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) has recently formed the Study Analysis Group (SAG) 22 on “Investigating an Exoplanet Target Star Archive,” co-chaired by Joshua Pepper (Lehigh U), Natalie Hinkel (SwRI), and Chris Stark (NASA Goddard).

Current and upcoming NASA missions will be intensively observing a number of stellar systems to characterize exoplanets. The selection of those stellar targets and the interpretation of the observations depends on knowing the properties of the host stars to various levels of precision. There is therefore a need for a comprehensive catalog of star and planetary system properties of possible targets for future exoplanet missions. The goal of this SAG is to identify a set of stellar properties to be included in the catalog, review the number and types of stars to be included, and consider the attributes of a living catalog that can be maintained, improved, and curated. The SAG may also identify particular types of information that are not currently in hand that should be obtained. The SAG will report its findings via one or more publications and a white paper delivered to the Agency in mid-2021. Further details about this SAG and the terms of reference can be found here: https://sites.google.com/view/sag22/home

We are seeking volunteer members from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. If you are interested in participating, please complete this short online form.

The SAG is open to anyone who wishes to participate, and we especially welcome junior members of the scientific community. Roles and responsibilities within the SAG will be entirely set by the interest and availability of participants.

Our first official meeting will be in mid-August. Please pass along this invitation to any internal email lists.

Leads: Joshua Pepper (Lehigh U), Natalie Hinkel (SwRI), Chris Stark (STScI) "


2) ExoPAG SIG 3 (Exoplanet/Solar System Synergies) Monthly Tutorial Talk (August 6, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)

The ExoPAG Science Interest Group on Exoplanet/Solar System Synergies has established a monthly Tutorial Talk aimed at introducing field newcomers to important topics or methods. The talks will include a 30 minute tutorial from an expert to introduce the topic followed by a 30 minute group discussion of a recent paper in which the topic/method features. Talks will meet the first Thursday of the month at 2 PM EDT/11 AM PDT.

The first Tutorial Talk will be on August 6th at 11am. The topic will be “Volatile Solubilities in Rocks”, by Laura Schaefer (Stanford), with a discussion of Kite et al. (2020) Atmosphere Origins for Exoplanet Sub-Neptunes (https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020ApJ...891..111K/abstract).

For connection information, please contact the co-chairs Vikki Meadows and Kathy Mandt.


3) SAG 21: The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy - Call to Join (Deadline July 31, 2020)

"Dear colleagues,

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) has recently formed the Study Analysis Group (SAG) 21 on “The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy,” co-chaired by Dr. Nestor Espinoza (STScI) and Dr. Benjamin Rackham (MIT).

The goal of this SAG is to bring an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the stellar, heliophysics, planetary, and exoplanetary communities together in order to address both the impact of stellar contamination on transmission spectra and the constraints on stellar photospheric heterogeneity enabled by transiting exoplanets with future space-based observations (e.g., JWST and beyond). The SAG will report its findings via one or more publications and a white paper delivered to the Agency in mid-2021. Terms of reference for SAG 21.

If you are interested in participating, please join the email list.

All are welcome to join and participate at whatever level they would like! Roles and responsibilities within the SAG will be entirely set by the interest and availability of participants.

We will settle on a date and time for our first meeting in August after assessing the availability of interested participants at the end of this month.

We would be grateful if you could extend this invitation to your internal distribution lists.

All the best,

Nestor Espinoza
Assistant Astronomer
Space Telescope Science Institute

Ben Rackham
51 Pegasi b Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology"


4) ExEP Technology Colloquium: "The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update" by Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (Aug. 12, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)

Please save the date for the next Exoplanet Exploration Program Technology Colloquium!

“The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update”

Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (JPL)

The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope will make the first demonstration of a high-contrast coronagraph technology (capable of wavefront control) on a space telescope for direct imaging of exoplanets when it launches in the mid-2020s. In developing the instrument, the CGI team has matured a number of key technologies: low-order wavefront sensing and control, deformable mirrors, electron-multiplying CCD detectors, coronagraph masks for a highly obscured pupil. The instrument is now in the final design and fabrication phase and CGI’s upcoming mission will greatly reduce risk for future NASA missions capable of imaging and characterizing Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of their star, such as LUVOIR or HabEx.

Come hear Feng describe:

  • What is the status of CGI?
  • How far along are the new technologies it will demonstrate?
  • What will be the overall contrast performance of CGI?

As always, the talk will be recorded and archived so you can view it later, but I hope you can join us via the WebEx. For more info on the seminar series, see the ExEP Technology Colloquia website. The intention of these web seminars is to provide a forum for sharing key technology advances and results that enable or enhance the direct imaging and characterization of exoplanets. Topics may include recent coronagraph and starshade demonstration results, advances in detector technology, deformable mirrors, LOWFS/C, telescope stability, polarization, RV, starshade, etc.

ExEP Tech Colloquium: CGI update
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
11:00 am | Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00) | 1 hr 30 mins


5) Community Announcement: Intention to Amend ROSES-20 via a Future Appendix “Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon” (PRISM)

This National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Community Announcement concerns the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program’s (LDEP) intention to release a solicitation for lunar science and technology payloads within “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) 2020" (NNH20ZDA001N). NASA has not approved the issuance of a program element entitled “Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon” (PRISM) solicitation and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the call and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this notification or the planned PRISM solicitation are incurred completely at the submitter's own risk.

The PRISM call will seek investigations that address the science goals of 1) any SMD division, e.g., Planetary Science, Earth Science, Heliophysics, Astrophysics, Biological and Physical Sciences, formerly a Division in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate known as Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications; 2) Strategic Knowledge Gaps of the HEOMD; or 3) any technology demonstration goals of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) that advance capabilities for science, exploration, or commercial development of the Moon. PRISM science investigations must address NASA’s science objectives as described in 2018 NASA Strategic Plan, the relevant division Decadal Surveys, and/or the 2019 NASA Science Strategy of the Moon. Also of relevance are those objectives outlined in the Planetary Science Decadal (Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022), the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, and the Advancing Science of the Moon Specific Action Team.

PRISM will solicit development and flight of science-driven suites of instruments and technology demonstration payloads that will be flown on Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) landers. The Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program (LDEP) anticipates flying two CLPS landers to the lunar surface each year in 2021 and beyond. The PRISM solicitation will call for science investigations enabled by the provision of a suite of instruments to be delivered to predetermined lunar landing sites. Suites are defined as two or more instruments designed to work together to address a fundamental scientific question. NASA expects to select suites to be manifested on the next two CLPS deliveries expected to be delivered in late 2023 and early 2024. These deliveries will go to Reiner Gamma (a lunar swirl) in Q4 2023, and a Schrodinger Basin impact melt (lunar far side) in Q2 2024. Proposals will identify one or more of these lunar landing sites and propose an investigation uniquely achieved within that type of lunar terrain.

NASA plans to fund instrument development and flight through Principal Investigator (PI)-led lunar-surface and lunar-vicinity science investigations or technology demonstration payloads under a not-to-exceed cost cap. Proposed investigations, including all mission phases, are expected to not exceed $30M and 50 kg down-mass to the lunar surface for each delivery in total. More suites may be selected if the total cost remains below the overall PRISM cost cap ($60M total for both deliveries). Thus, lower-cost investigations and cost-efficient operations are encouraged. Additionally, each selected package may be co-manifested with other PRISM or unrelated payloads on each lander.

SMD’s remaining Lunar Surface Instrumentation and Technology Payloads (LSITP) instrument has been premanifested on the lunar far side delivery. The instrument, Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment (LuSEE), is a flight-spare payload from the FIELDS experiment on the recently launched Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, and will measure the electromagnetic and electrostatic environment of the lunar surface, including surface electric potentials, magnetic fields, and electrostatic signatures of dust. LuSEE will also measure radio emissions from the Sun, Earth, and outer planets. PRISM proposals may propose suites that complement, but do not overlap, the science expected from LuSEE.

NASA recognizes and supports the benefits of having diverse and inclusive scientific, engineering, and technology communities and fully expects that such values will be reflected in the composition of all proposal teams as well as peer review panels (science, engineering, and technology), science definition teams, and mission and instrument teams.

Foreign contributions to PRISM proposals, including hardware, will be allowed on a no-exchange-of-funds basis and such that the total value of foreign contributions to the proposed investigation shall not exceed one-third of the investigation.

Because a Request for Information: Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) Solicitation: NNH20ZDA007L was released April 10, 2020 (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7b8A4B5803-AF22-1C12-B9B1-1A0DEB015EE8%7d&path=closedPast ), SMD will not release draft text of the PRISM program element for community comment. The time frame for the solicitation is intended to be:

ROSES 2020 PRISM Release: Summer 2020 (target)
Pre-proposal Conference: 14 days after ROSES release
Proposals due: 60 days after ROSES release
Selection: 4-5 months post proposal due date

Questions may be addressed to:
Dr. Brad Bailey,
Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office (ESSIO) Program Scientist, SMD, NASA,
Email: brad.bailey@nasa.gov ;
and/or
Dr. Sarah Noble,
Planetary Science Division Program Scientist, SMD, NASA,
Email:sarah.k.noble@nasa.gov.


6) Expression of Interest (EOI): SMD call for Augmentations and Funded Extensions

"Solicitation Number: NNH20ZDA010L
Release Date: July 29, 2020
Response Date: August 21, 2020

Dear Colleague,

At the Virtual Community Town Hall on July 9, 2020, SMD announced that it would be accepting requests for funded extensions and augmentations to existing awards to help make up for increased costs directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. SMD’s priorities for funding extensions and augmentations, in the likely case that demand exceeds available funding, are in an SMD policy document, “Augmentations and Funded Extensions in Response to COVID-19.”

In order to estimate the size of this new program, SMD asks currently funded researchers who may request an extension or augmentation to submit an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) via the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). SMD asks that EOIs be submitted by August 21, 2020 as a Notice of Intent (NOI) in response to NNH20ZDA010L via NSPIRES. Download the full text of the EOI and response instructions.

Non-NSPIRES submissions will not be accepted or acknowledged. SMD will not provide any feedback on a submitted Expression of Interest. An EOI submission is not required for the submission of a proposal. An EOI’s contents do not limit the content of submissions to the “SMD Post-COVID Recovery” solicitation. NASA SMD will keep EOI contents confidential and will use responses to improve management of the augmentation and extension processes.

A forthcoming amendment adding a new program element to the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2020, solicitation NNH20ZDA001N, is expected to be entitled “SMD Post-COVID Recovery” with requests for augmentations and funded grant extensions due to be submitted after October 1, 2020.

Thanks for your cooperation. Be well and stay safe.

Dr. Michael H. New
Deputy Associate Administrator for Research
Science Mission Directorate
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Questions concerning general ROSES-2020 policies and procedures, including this Expression of Interest, should be emailed to sara@nasa.gov and use as the subject line “SMD call for Augmentations and Funded Extensions, Solicitation: NNH20ZDA010L”."


ExoPAG News and Announcements (July 24, 2020)

  1. SAG 21: The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy - Call to Join (Deadline July 31, 2020)
  2. ExEP Technology Colloquium: "The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update" by Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (Aug. 12, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)
+ details

1) SAG 21: The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy - Call to Join (Deadline July 31, 2020)

"Dear colleagues,

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) has recently formed the Study Analysis Group (SAG) 21 on “The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Space-based Transmission Spectroscopy,” co-chaired by Dr. Nestor Espinoza (STScI) and Dr. Benjamin Rackham (MIT).

The goal of this SAG is to bring an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the stellar, heliophysics, planetary, and exoplanetary communities together in order to address both the impact of stellar contamination on transmission spectra and the constraints on stellar photospheric heterogeneity enabled by transiting exoplanets with future space-based observations (e.g., JWST and beyond). The SAG will report its findings via one or more publications and a white paper delivered to the Agency in mid-2021. The terms of reference for SAG 21 can be found at the ExoPag website:https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/exopag/sag/#sag21.

If you are interested in participating, please join the email list by signing up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLtAKqre3Po-6OtENOOzd-yfFkYedmVxM5MU-FySTzZQ5Q1A/viewform

All are welcome to join and participate at whatever level they would like! Roles and responsibilities within the SAG will be entirely set by the interest and availability of participants.

We will settle on a date and time for our first meeting in August after assessing the availability of interested participants at the end of this month.

We would be grateful if you could extend this invitation to your internal distribution lists.

All the best,

Nestor Espinoza
Assistant Astronomer
Space Telescope Science Institute

Ben Rackham
51 Pegasi b Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology"


2) ExEP Technology Colloquium: "The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update" by Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (Aug. 12, 2020; 2pm EDT/11am PDT)

From Brendan Crill, ExEP Deputy Program Chief Technologist:

“Please save the date for the next Exoplanet Exploration Program Technology Colloquium!

The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope : A Status Update

Feng Zhao, Deputy Instrument Manager for Roman/CGI (JPL)

The Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) on the Roman Space Telescope will make the first demonstration of a high-contrast coronagraph technology (capable of wavefront control) on a space telescope for direct imaging of exoplanets when it launches in the mid-2020s. In developing the instrument, the CGI team has matured a number of key technologies: low-order wavefront sensing and control, deformable mirrors, electron-multiplying CCD detectors, coronagraph masks for a highly obscured pupil. The instrument is now in the final design and fabrication phase and CGI’s upcoming mission will greatly reduce risk for future NASA missions capable of imaging and characterizing Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of their star, such as LUVOIR or HabEx.

Come hear Feng describe:

  • What is the status of CGI?
  • How far along are the new technologies it will demonstrate?
  • What will be the overall contrast performance of CGI?

As always, the talk will be recorded and archived so you can view it later, but I hope you can join us via the WebEx. For more info on the seminar series, see the ExEP Technology Colloquia website. The intention of these web seminars is to provide a forum for sharing key technology advances and results that enable or enhance the direct imaging and characterization of exoplanets. Topics may include recent coronagraph and starshade demonstration results, advances in detector technology, deformable mirrors, LOWFS/C, telescope stability, polarization, RV, starshade, etc.

ExEP Tech Colloquium: CGI update
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
11:00 am | Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00) | 1 hr 30 mins


ExoPAG News and Announcements (July 14, 2020)

  1. Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 Science White Papers (Deadline July 15, 2020)
  2. What’s the Weirdest Exoplanet? (Input for exoplanets.nasa.gov Website)
  3. "AbSciCon 2021" - First Announcement (May 9-14, 2021, Atlanta; Session Deadline Sept. 16, 2020)
  4. "Threats from the Surroundings" e-workshop - First Announcement (Nov. 10-12, 2020, Virtual; Abstract Deadline Sept. 15, 2020)
  5. "PLATO Extra-Solar Planets 2020 (ESP2020)" - First Announcement (Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2020, Virtual; Registration Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)
+ details

1) Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 Science White Papers (Deadline July 15, 2020)

Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey (2023-2032) is now accepting white paper submissions.

https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/planetary-science-and-astrobiology-decadal-survey-2023-2032

The community is coordinating white papers in several locations:

  • The ExoPAG EC has set up the following googledoc so that interested members of the community can share information and plans about potential white papers
  • LPI is coordinating white papers at: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/decadal_whitepaper_proposals/
  • VEXAG is coordinating Venus-related white papers
  • OPAG is coordinating white papers

2) What’s the Weirdest Exoplanet? (Input for exoplanets.nasa.gov Website)

From Kristen Walbolt (ExEP):

“Our exoplanets.nasa.gov website is working on a new feature about some of the weirdest/wondrous exoplanets we’ve discovered so far.

So, what’s your favorite?

Send the planet name and 1-2 sentences on why to Kristen.l.walbolt@jpl.nasa.gov, if you’d like yours included.”


3) "AbSciCon 2021" - First Announcement (May 9-14, 2021, Atlanta; Session Deadline Sept. 16, 2020)

"The astrobiology community, in partnership with AGU and NASA, invites you to AbSciCon 2021 (https://www.agu.org/AbSciCon), the premier conference for those focused on diverse planetary environments and the origin and evolution of life on Earth.

AbSciCon 2021 will be 9-14 May 2021 in Atlanta, GA. The theme is Origins and Exploration: From Stars to Cells.

We are honored to announce Dr. Reva Kay Williams, the nation’s first Black female theoretical astrophysicist as the plenary speaker. Her talk on the seeding of stardust will be called: From Supermassive Stars to Quasars: Production of Stardust: The Seeds of Life in the Universe.

AbSciCon needs you to submit your sessions before 16 September, 11:59 p.m. ET.

https://www.agu.org/AbSciCon/2021/Present/Sessions "


4) "Threats from the Surroundings" e-workshop - First Announcement (Nov. 10-12, 2020, Virtual; Abstract Deadline Sept. 15, 2020)

First announcement – registration is open (note: limited space for full participation)

“Threats from the surroundings: an e-workshop on the importance of environment for the evolution of protoplanetary discs and formation of planets”

On-line on November 10-12, 2020

Website: https://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2020/tfts2020.html

Conference email: tfts2020@eso.org

Scientific Rationale:

Growing evidence indicates that protoplanetary discs (and by extension, forming planets) are significantly affected by the environment in which they form. In particular, the presence of massive stars and the dynamical history of clusters and associations impacts the evolution of discs and can lead to photoevaporation, truncation, and chemical enrichment.

We therefore need to move beyond the picture of planet-forming discs as isolated systems.

This e-workshop aims to bring together the community to share our current understanding of the different ways that the environment shapes disc evolution and planet formation, to shape the future direction of research in this regard through new ideas and collaborations.

(long version: https://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2020/tfts2020.html)

Invited speakers:

Reiter, Megan (UK Astronomy Technology Centre), Akeson, Rachel (IPAC Caltech), Ndugu, Nelson (Mbarara University Of Science And Technology), Winter, Andrew (MPIA Heidelberg), Kim, J. Serena (University of Arizona), Coleman, Gavin (Queen Mary University of London), Lugaro, Maria (Konkoly Observatory), Guzmán, Viviana (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile), Vazan, Allona (Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Open University of Israel)

Invited discussion leaders:

Rosotti, Giovanni (Leiden University), Pfalzner, Susanne (Max Planck für Radioastronomie, Bonn), Facchini, Stefano (ESO Garching), Mordasini, Christoph (University of Bern), Drążkowska, Joanna (USM Munich), Clarke, Cathie (IoA Cambridge)

SOC:

Manara, Carlo F. (ESO), Petr-Gotzens, Monika (ESO), Ansdell, Megan (NASA), Haworth, Thomas (Queen Mary University of London), Lichtenberg, Tim (Oxford University)

The meeting will be fully online (see Format). In order to facilitate the discussion, the number of talking participants will be limited to about 60 persons, selected by the SOC based on scientific relevance to the topic, considering all career stages and reflecting diversity.

All other participants will be able to observe and ask questions via chat.

Important Deadlines

Abstract submission: September 15, 2020

Programme release: October 13, 2020


5) PLATO Extra-Solar Planets 2020 (ESP2020) - First Announcement (Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2020, Virtual; Registration Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)

"Dear Colleagues,

This is the first announcement of the PLATO Extra-Solar Planets 2020 (ESP2020) workshop, to be held virtually between 30th November - 3rd December 2020. (The original place was Berlin, Germany, but due to the known pandemic situation we decided that the workshop will be virtual this year.) This is the third such workshop. The first one was held in Marseille, France (2018) and the second one was in Warwick, UK (2019).

The topic of the workshop this year is "Planetary interiors and system architectures". The aims of the workshop are to discuss how PLATO may help to understand planetary interiors and give new and more precise constraints on them, and to identify which open issues of planetary system architecture could be solved by PLATO's future measurements. We will also discuss what was learned from earlier (CoRoT, Kepler/K2, TESS, and ground-based measurements) related to system architectures and how the observations are confronted by theory.

More information about PLATO ESP2019 can be found at https://platoesp.org/, including a link to the registration and abtsract submission form. The closing date for registration is Wednesday, 30th of September 2020 at 23:59pm UTC+2.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop. If you have any questions, please contact the LOC at psmoffice@warwick.ac.uk.

Many thanks,

Szilárd Csizmadia

(On behalf of the SOC and LOC)"


ExoPAG News and Announcements (June 22, 2020)

  1. NN-EXPLORE Call for Proposals to use MINERVA-Australis (Deadline July 16, 2020)
  2. Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020
  3. Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting (June 23-24, 2020
  4. ExoPAG 22 Presentations Posted
  5. New ExEP Interactive Graphic on Exoplanet Discoveries
+ details

1) NN-EXPLORE Call for Proposals to use MINERVA-Australis (Deadline July 16, 2020)

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute is announcing a special Call for Proposals to use the MINERVA-Australis facility as part of the NASA/NSF Exoplanet Observational Research Program (NN-EXPLORE). As part of the NN-EXPLORE program, NASA has entered into a partnership with the MINERVA-Australis consortium. Starting in 2020B, 285 hours of shared-risk observing with the facility on MINERVA-Australis are available to researchers based at US institutions. MINERVA-Australis is a dedicated exoplanet observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Queensland, Australia. The MINERVA-Australis facility is suitable for observation programs requiring precision radial velocities such as individual measurements to constrain orbits and masses, RM-effect, or Doppler tomography, precision photometric observations such as transit observations, and spectroscopic stellar characterization.

Call for Proposals: https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/Minerva/

Proposal Submission site: https://catcopy.ipac.caltech.edu/nnexplore/proposal.php

Proposals are due Thursday July 16, 2020 7pm EDT/4pm PDT/11pm GMT

Questions: nnexplore@ipac.caltech.edu


2) Input to ExEP Science Gap List (Deadline Sept. 30, 2020)

The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is seeking community input on the ExEP Science Gap List (SGL) through September 30, 2020, with the goal of providing an updated version in early 2021:

The current version of the SGL is posted at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/internal_resources/1547

The Science Gap List (SGL) tabulates program “science gaps”, which are defined as the difference between knowledge needed to define requirements for specified future NASA exoplanet missions and the current state of the art, or knowledge which is needed to enhance the science return of current and future NASA exoplanet missions. Making the gap list public signals to the broader community where focused science investigations are needed over the next 3-5 years in support of ExEP goals. The ExEP Science Gap List represents activities and investigations that will advance the goals of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, and provides brief summaries in a convenient tabular format. The ExEP Science Gap list is meant to assist proposers in describing the relevance of their work to Program goals as they respond to SMD ROSES and mission observing proposal solicitations. All ExEP approaches, activities, and decisions are guided by science priorities, and those priorities are presented and summarized in the ExEP Science Gap List.

Please contact ExEP scientists Karl Stapelfeldt (Karl.R.Stapelfeldt@jpl.nasa.gov) & Eric Mamajek (Eric.Mamajek@jpl.nasa.gov) with any input for revisions to the SGL.

In 2021, ExEP plans to update the Science Plan Appendix to take into account the Decadal Survey recommendations and NASA’s response. The Science Plan Appendix is a more comprehensive document that lays out the scientific challenges that must be addressed to advance the goals of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program (last version 2018).

The ExEP Exoplanet Program Science documents are available at: https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/science-overview/


3) Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting (June 23-24, 2020)

The APAC will hold their next meeting

Tuesday June 23, 2020 (12pm-5pm EDT) and
Wednesday June 24, 2020 (11am-5pm EDT)

The APAC website is at: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/nac/science-advisory-committees/apac

The agenda and WebEx access information is posted at: https://science.nasa.gov/files/science-pink/s3fs-public/atoms/files/APAC_Agenda-June-2020.pdf


4) ExoPAG 22 Presentations Posted

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/events/307/exopag-22-virtual-meeting/

Most of the presentations are already posted, and the remaining ones will be posted as they become available.


5) New ExEP Interactive Graphic on Exoplanet Discoveries

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration website has a new real-time interactive graphic allowing users to see a census of exoplanet discoveries by year and method (plotted as a function of orbital period and planet mass - as measured or estimated through other parameters):

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exoplanet-discoveries


ExoPAGannounce News & Events (June 16, 2020)

  1. ExoPAG 22 (June 18-19, 2020)
  2. NASA Astrophysics Anticipated Job Openings
  3. Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting (June 23-24, 2020)
  4. AAS 236 NASA & NExScI Presentations
  5. SMD Releases the New Science Plan: Science 2020-2024: A Vision for Scientific Excellence
  6. TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) Workshop (Sept. 14-16, 2020)
  7. Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 - White Papers Deadline Extended
  8. ADAP Proposal Deadline Extended (new deadline July 16, 2020)
  9. COPAG Survey on COVID Impacts Extended
+ details

1) ExoPAG 22 (June 18-19, 2020)

ExoPAG 22 starts Thursday June 18th at 12pm EDT/9am PDT.

The agenda for ExoPAG 22 is posted at:

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/events/307/exopag-22-virtual-meeting/

Although the meeting is virtual, we ask participants to please register (big blue button on website).

Remote participation access information will be distributed shortly before the ExoPAG meeting.

Following a suggestion made at the last ExoPAG, the ExEP team is investigating using Slido for handling questions from participants.

Speakers have been asked to submit their presentations the day prior to their talks (which will be posted as they become available and signed clearance forms are in hand). ExEP is planning on posting the presentations and recordings of the talks.

We look forward to your participation in ExoPAG this Thursday and Friday!


2) NASA Astrophysics Anticipated Job Openings

Note: This Astrophysics Program Scientist Civil Servant job opening will be available through USAJOBS June 29–July 6, 2020 due to the Federal Holiday.

The Astrophysics Division within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking to hire multiple scientists to serve as civil servant Program Scientists at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Each Program Scientist will work as part of a diverse and agile team whose core values include excellence, integrity, transparency, teamwork and a growth mindset toward stewarding the nation’s space-based astrophysics program.

Responsibilities

NASA’s Astrophysics Division is responsible for the United States’ space-based astrophysics program (https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics). With a budget (including the James Webb Space Telescope) exceeding $1.5 billion annually, NASA leads the nation to explore the universe, determine how it began and evolved, and search for extrasolar planets.

SMD Program Scientists have broad responsibility for advancing NASA’s astrophysics portfolio; serving as the Headquarters science leads for one or more missions; developing and shaping multimillion-dollar scientific research grants programs selected through competitive peer review; and leading NASA’s preparation for implementing the recommendations of the 2020 Decadal Survey. Program Scientists have substantial influence over high-level astrophysics strategic planning, as well as leading the long-term scientific direction of missions and programs that they oversee.

Specifically, a Program Scientist within the Astrophysics Division will:

Solve problems in implementing a balanced program across the breadth of astrophysics within technological, scientific, budgetary, and programmatic constraints. Provide solutions that are strategic and tactical, and are innovative as well as implementable, in alignment with the priorities of NASA.

Orchestrate peer reviews that evaluate the scientific merit of proposals in all areas of astrophysics research across the thematic areas of the program (Physics of the Cosmos, Cosmic Origins, Exoplanet Exploration).

Collaboratively define a long-term vision for the program and work collaboratively to implement it in a fast-paced environment, while leading diverse teams using influence rather than supervisory authority.

Communicate, engage, and build consensus with multiple stakeholders, including the scientific community, external advisory committees, senior NASA leaders, and programs and projects at NASA Centers.

Manage multiple responsibilities using effective time management and organizational skills.

NASA recognizes that candidates with non-traditional career paths, or individuals who are at earlier stages of their careers may have demonstrated experience in different ways. NASA encourages applications from such individuals.

Application Process

This job announcement will open on Monday June 29 at https://www.USAJOBS.gov/. This is a fair and open competition that all U.S. Citizens and Status candidates can apply to.

This will be a Direct Hire Authority (DHA) announcement through USAJOBS, so it will only be open for 5 days. The short period that the announcement is open is due to the type of hiring authority, which streamlines the hiring process and assists with rapidly filling competitive positions. It is not a reflection of the openness of the position. Advance notice of the vacancy is being provided to allow interested scientists to prepare. In order to apply for this position, you will only need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information through USAJOBS.

Given the short period the announcement will be open, it is a good idea to log into USAJOBS before June 29 and create/update your username, password, resume, etc., to facilitate the timely submission of an application.

Candidates interested in being notified when this job opportunity is posted on USAJOBS and opened for five days are encouraged to sign up for a notification using the features of the USAJOBS website.

Further Information

Candidates interested in this opportunity are encouraged to contact NASA well in advance so they can make a well informed decision on submitting an application during the very short (5 day) window when the job opportunity will be open for applications. Questions about this anticipated opening for an Astrophysics Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters may be directed to Eric Smith, Chief Scientist, Astrophysics Division, eric.p.smith@nasa.gov, 202-358-2439.


3) Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting (June 23-24, 2020)

"The next meeting of the Astrophysics Advisory Committee will take place virtually on June 23-24, 2020. The meeting will be available to the public telephonically and by WebEx. You must use a touch-tone phone to participate in this meeting. Any interested person may dial the USA toll free conference call number 1-877-922-4779 or toll number 1-312-470-7379, passcode 5276208, to participate in this meeting by telephone on both days. The WebEx link is https://nasaenterprise.webex.com/; the meeting number on June 23, is 905 738 400, password is Apac0620#; and the meeting number on June 24, is 904 887 045, password is Apac0620#. The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics:

  • Astrophysics Division Update
  • Updates on Specific Astrophysics Missions
  • Reports from the Program Analysis Groups
  • Reports from Specific Research & Analysis Programs

The agenda will be posted on the Astrophysics Advisory committee web page:

https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/nac/science-advisory-committees/apac "


4) AAS 236 NASA & NExScI Presentations

NASA Town Hall for AAS 236 - June 1, 2020

Paul Hertz, Director, Astrophysics Division (NASA HQ)

https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/documents

see "2020 June AAS NASA Town Hall presentation UPDATED"

and "2020 June AAS Town Hall presentation with bonus materials UPDATED"

NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) Webinar for AAS 236

Dawn Gelino, Deputy Director (NExScI)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AucCx5uQHbA

NASA Exoplanet Archive Webinar for AAS 236

Jessie Christiansen, Deputy Science Lead NASA Exoplanet Archive (NExScI)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r_XBext7m8

KOA (Keck Observatory Archive): A Public Goldmine of 26 Years of Observations

Created by Chris Gelino and the NExScI KOA team (Voiced by: Anastasia Laity)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVKR5SEIReA


5) SMD Releases the New Science Plan: Science 2020-2024: A Vision for Scientific Excellence

Members of the science community are invited to download the Science Mission Directorate's (SMD's) newest version of its Science Plan, Science 2020-2024: A Vision for Scientific Excellence, at https://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy.

This document was developed through close collaboration with the entire SMD leadership team and NASA Center Directors and was reviewed by the NASA Advisory Committee’s Science Committee and the Space Studies Board. It lays out an ambitious program over next five years to build on current activities and drive change in high-priority areas where SMD can have the greatest impact.

SMD encourages all members of the community to read the document to learn about these priorities and the exciting work being done across the entire SMD portfolio.


6) TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) Workshop (Sept. 14-16, 2020)

http://www.nexss.info/community/workshops/thai


7) Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032 - White Papers Deadline Extended

https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/planetary-science-and-astrobiology-decadal-survey-2023-2032

"White Papers Deadline Extended

We recognize that we are in unforeseen and challenging times that impact the ability of community members to meet the previously defined July 4th deadline for Decadal white papers. These inputs are of crucial importance to the success of our Decadal, which depends upon the broad involvement of our community. As such, we are implementing changes to the white paper deadlines.

Science white papers – due July 15

Mission concept white papers – due August 15

All other white papers – due September 15"


8) ADAP Proposal Deadline Extended (new deadline July 16, 2020)

The Proposal Due Date for D.2 Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP) has been delayed. The New proposal due date for ADAP is July 16, 2020. In addition, the summary table of the key requirements for anonymized proposals, reproduced from the "Guidelines for Anonymous Proposals" in Section 2 has been slightly modified to indicate that not just the budget justification but also the (redacted) budget numbers should be included in the anonymized proposal.

On or about Jun 15, 2020, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2020" (NNH20ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2020and will appear on SARA's ROSES blog at: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2020/

Questions concerning D.2 Astrophysics Data Analysis Program may be directed to Douglas Hudgins at: Douglas.M.Hudgins@nasa.gov.

NASA Research Announcement: D.2 Astrophysics Data Analysis

Solicitation: NNH20ZDA001N-ADAP

https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?solId=%7bEC4AFCE9-78E3-7164-00DC-5D3E325B4EA1%7d&path=&method=init


9) COPAG Survey on COVID Impacts Extended

The NASA Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group Executive Committee (COPAG EC; https://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/copag/), is soliciting input on the impacts of COVID-19 on NASA astrophysics research, with special focus on the preparation and submission of proposals for the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP).

On June 15 this survey was reopened in response to a request from a community member, and the deadline is now Friday, June 19, 2020. We note that the ADAP deadline has just been extended to July 16, 2020.

Please find the Survey Here: https://forms.gle/hyrxTzHi8z5UCQGP8

The goal of this 5-10 minute community-led survey is to provide analysis useful for informing programmatic strategies by the Astrophysics Division to better support researchers through this time. Results based on analysis of the survey data will only be presented in aggregate, and will preserve anonymity. The COPAG EC thanks the ExoPAG and PhysPAG Executive Committees for feedback on gathering this input from the community.

The plan is to present results from the survey to the Astrophysics Advisory Committee (https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/nac/science-advisory-committees/apac) at their next meeting scheduled for June 23-24, 2020.