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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.