The Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) is responsible for soliciting and coordinating community input into the development and execution of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP). It serves as a community-based, interdisciplinary forum for soliciting and coordinating community analysis and input in support of the Exoplanet Exploration Program objectives and of their implications for architecture planning and activity prioritization and for future exploration. It provides findings of analyses to the NASA Astrophysics Division Director.


Executive Committee:

ExoPAG activities and meetings are organized through an Executive Committee, selected by NASA HQ through a Dear Colleague letter. Appointments are made annually to replace members rotating off; the normal term is 3 years. If you are interested in serving on the Executive Committee, please contact the ExoPAG Executive Secretary at NASA HQ (Douglas Hudgins, Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist).

New Executive Committee members for 2020: Natasha Batalha, Jacob Bean, John Debes, Laura Schaefer

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 (, and questions regarding other aspects should be addressed to Maria Jaquez ( 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:]

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 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: 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.


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:

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 (,

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 and NOIRLab Sept. 21, 2020 COVID-19 Update: see

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 ( 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:

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{4B9CAAB3-D398-183A-B1F3-EF963DF415C7}

ExoPAG News and Announcements - Archive

ExoPAG overview top image - PIA23002 K2-138 6 Planets Artwork