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 (Hannah Jang-Condell, Deputy Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist).

New Executive Committee members for 2021: Michael Bottom, Ofer Cohen, Knicole Colon, Ilaria Pascucci.


ExoPAG News and Announcements (July 16, 2021)

  1. Call for NASA Keck Key Strategic Mission Support Proposals for 2022A (Deadline: September 16, 2021)
  2. 2021 Sagan Summer Virtual Workshop: Circumstellar Disks and Young Planets (July 19-23, 2021)
  3. ExoPAG 24 Presentations Online
  4. ROSES-21 Amendment 26: D.7 Strategic Astrophysics Technology will Focus on Upcoming Decadal Recommendations
  5. NASA SMD Town Hall Meeting (July 22, 2021; 1:30pm EDT)
  6. PLATO Atmospheres Workshop (December 8-10, 2021; Virtual)
  7. Atmospheres, Atmospheres! Do I Look Like I Care About Atmospheres? (ESO Virtual Conference, August 23-27, 2021)
+ more

1) Call for NASA Keck Key Strategic Mission Support Proposals for 2022A

NASA is a 1/6 partner in the W. M. Keck telescopes and allocates ~47 nights per semester. For the upcoming 2022A proposal cycle, in addition to General Observing and Mission Support proposals, NASA is also soliciting proposals for large Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) programs. Also starting in 2022A, the NASA Keck proposal review will use the Dual Anonymous Proposal Review (DAPR) process.

The opportunity to propose as Principal Investigators (PIs) for the NASA time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers, i.e., those with their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution. Astronomers at non-U.S.-based institutions may serve as Co-Is.

KSMS projects may support past, present, and/or future missions, now including JWST. Between 10 - 60 nights total over two years (2022A-2023B) will be allocated between one or more KSMS projects with a maximum of 15 nights per semester. An important element of the KSMS programs is a plan for timely release of processed data in a form suitable for use by the broader community as a contributed dataset through the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA).

Proposers planning to submit a KSMS proposal must submit a required but non-binding Notice of Intent (NOI) by August 16, 2021. The NOI should contain the PI and co-I names and affiliations, the program title, a short abstract, and identify the supported mission(s).

For more information on KSMS proposals, please read the full announcement attached and also posted here (https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/KSA/22A_KSMS.pdf).

Important Dates:

  • July 30, 2021: Call for Proposals and NOI submission site available
  • August 16, 2021: NOIs due to NExScI by 4 pm Pacific
  • September 2, 2021: Deadline to request a written letter of endorsement from NASA Headquarters
  • September 16, 2021: All proposals and letters of support due to NExScI by 4 pm Pacific

Questions: keckcfp@ipac.caltech.edu

We are also requesting those interested in NASA Keck time to complete this short survey (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScUCfQumoIyWTQf0Qwlc9hOdeswDrhf6NhAweLKp_txagc9-A/viewform) to provide input about how observations with the Keck telescopes enable or enhance the scientific return of NASA missions and NASA's long term science goals. This information will be helpful to the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is preparing its new Strategic Plan, and to NASA, which is considering the renewal of the 5-year Cooperative Agreement to continue NASA's access to the Keck telescopes for the period 2023-2028. Please read this July 1 letter (https://nexsci.caltech.edu/missions/KSA/NASAKeck_Survey.pdf) from the NExScI directors with more information on this request and complete the survey by August 1. Thank you in advance!


2) 2021 Sagan Summer Virtual Workshop: Circumstellar Disks and Young Planets (July 19-23, 2021)

A final reminder that the Sagan Summer Virtual Workshop will be held next week (July 19-23, 2021). There are already 1287 registered participants!

Free registration, the agenda, and complete information on the hands-on sessions for the 2021 Sagan Summer Workshop are now posted at the workshop website: https://nexsci.caltech.edu/workshop/2021/

Join us for the 21st Sagan Summer Workshop!

The 2021 Sagan Summer Workshop will focus on young planets and the circumstellar disks from which they form during the first few million years of a star's lifetime. As a protoplanet accretes material from the disk, dynamical interactions drive migration and produce disk substructures such as the gaps, rings and spirals now detected in high-resolution optical, near-infrared, and submillimeter images. Over the next 100 million years, planetary systems continue to evolve through processes such as collisions, differentiation, and scattering. These late-epoch evolutionary processes are reflected in the structure and distribution of secondary dust disks. These debris disks, formed as the result of planetesimals stirring, serve as signposts for the presence of planetary systems.

The workshop will address how transformational new datasets are allowing us to address key questions about the formation and evolution of planets and their potential habitability; topics will include:

  • Properties of transiting young planets detected by the Kepler/K2 and TESS missions
  • Gaia identification of groups of young stars and determination of their ages
  • Properties of planets and disks imaged directly with ground-based faculties (e.g., Gemini/GPI, SPHERE/VLTI, Keck and ALMA) and space-based telescopes (Spitzer, HST and, soon, JWST)
  • Environment influence of an active young star on the evolution of the primordial atmosphere of a young planet
  • Theoretical bases for the formation and evolution of a planetary systems, including both the disk and planets

The 2021 workshop will be fully virtual. The Sagan Summer Workshops are aimed at advanced undergraduates, grad students, and postdocs, however all are welcome to attend. There is no registration fee for these workshops. Attendees will also participate in hands-on tutorials and have the chance to meet in smaller groups with our speakers.

We ask all participants to follow this Code of Conduct (https://nexsci.caltech.edu/workshop/2021/code.shtml)

Website: https://nexsci.caltech.edu/workshop/2021/

Questions: sagan_workshop@ipac.caltech.edu

Twitter: #sagan2021

View presentations from previous summer workshops and full-length pre-recorded talks for this year’s workshop on the Sagan Summer Workshop YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SaganSummerWorkshop/playlists


3) ExoPAG 24 Presentations Online

Presentation slides from ExoPAG 24 (held June 24, 2021) are posted at:

https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/exep/events/347/exopag-24-virtual-meeting/

Most of the presentations have already been posted. The remaining few presentations and videos of the talks should be posted within the next couple weeks.


4) ROSES-21 Amendment 26: D.7 Strategic Astrophysics Technology will Focus on Upcoming Decadal Recommendations

Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?solId=%7bCEB50291-CFB3-2D82-0F88-D529F2160335%7d&path=&method=init) supports the maturation of key technologies for potential infusion in space flight missions. Strongly endorsed by the 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the SAT program is a key element of the strategy adopted by the Astrophysics Division in implementing the Astro2010 recommendations (see the Astrophysics Implementation Plan at https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/documents).

ROSES-2021 Amendment 26 is an advance notice that this year proposals to D.7 SAT must be focused exclusively on the technology needs of missions recommended by the 2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/decadal-survey-on-astronomy-and-astrophysics-2020-astro2020), which will be issued shortly. Topics focused on technology development relevant to NASA Astrophysics but not pertaining to the missions recommended by the 2020 Decadal Survey may be submitted to D.3 Astrophysics Research and Analysis (https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?solId=%7b99310630-22E7-32E0-0407-A41939865EDE%7d&path=&method=init)

The due dates and full text of D.7 SAT will be released in a subsequent amendment following the release of the 2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/decadal-survey-on-astronomy-and-astrophysics-2020-astro2020). The due date for SAT proposals will be no fewer than 90 days after the release of that amendment.

We do not anticipate that the Astrophysics Technology Gaps List will be updated in time for SAT this year, so proposers should simply refer to the text of D.7 SAT once it is released to see which projects are in scope this year.

On July 8, 2021, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2021" (NNH21ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2021 and the SARA's ROSES blog at: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/solicitations/roses-2021/amendment-26-d7-strategic-astrophysics-technology-will-focus-upcoming-decadal-recommendations.

In addition to the Program Officers listed in the table below with their areas of expertise, the main point of contact concerning this program is: Mario R. Perez who may be reached at mario.perez@nasa.gov.

Questions concerning D.7 may also be directed to:


5) NASA SMD Town Hall Meeting (July 22, 2021; 1:30pm EDT)

NASA's Science Mission Directorate will hold a community town hall meeting with Associate Administrator for Science Thomas H. Zurbuchen and his leadership team at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, July 22, to discuss updates to NASA's science program and share the current status of NASA activities.

Members of the science community, academia, the media, and the public are invited to participate by joining at:https://nasaevents.webex.com/nasaevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e64a419cf4cd7764e9427bb0aa74a0293

If prompted, please use event number: 199 165 8366, followed by event password: dzPfxAWy442.

To ask a question, participants can go to: https://nasa.cnf.io/sessions/d9pq/#!/dashboard

Users must provide their first and last name and organization and can submit their own questions or vote up questions submitted by others. The meeting leaders will try to answer as many of the submitted questions as possible.

Presentation materials for the meeting will be available for download and a recording will be available later that day at: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/virtual-townhall

This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. You should inform all meeting attendees prior to recording if you intend to record the meeting. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.


6) PLATO Atmospheres Workshop (December 8-10, 2021; Virtual)

Dear Colleagues,

FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT

We are pleased to announce the PLATO atmospheres workshop which will be held online via webex on December 8-10, 2021.

Details of the final programme and schedule are still being finalised. We plan to have three afternoon sessions each starting at 14:00 CET and ending with a short breakout discussion. The three sessions are:

  1. Sub-Neptunes (Wednesday 8th December)
  2. Hot Jupiters (Thursday 9th December)
  3. (Hot) Earth-like Planets (Friday 10th December)

We will end on the Friday with a general discussion including joint strategies with exoplanet missions following PLATO.

Confirmed speakers include: Eliza Kempton, Vivien Parmentier and Mark Hammond.

Planned are 20-minute invited talks, 10-minute standard talks and a poster session.

SCIENCE CONTRIBUTIONS

Although it is not the main aim of the PLATO mission to characterise atmospheres, it is nevertheless possible with PLATO to constrain basic atmospheric information e.g. to observe possible phase curves hence albedo and meridional transport for some favorable Ultra Hot Jupiter or/and Hot Jupiter atmospheres, or to constrain bulk composition via the Rayleigh Absorption Feature with the Fast Camera Filters, or to distinguish different types of massive early steam atmospheres from PLATO measurements of planetary radius and age.

We welcome contributions from the exoplanetary science community at large

on exoplanetary atmospheres including (Ultra) Hot Jupiters, Sub-Neptunes and (hot) terrestrial exoplanets for modeling and observations. This includes data analyses and modeling studies on atmospheric composition, climate, escape, clouds, retrieval, phase curves and evolution of hot and temperate rocky and gassy exoplanets. The organizers particularly welcome a clear demonstrable link with the PLATO mission science goals.

REGISTRATION

Registration will be possible until November 1, 2021. To register please send an email to: PLATO_atmospheres@dlr.de and state your name, institution and whether you request a talk or poster (in which case please send a title and short (~up to half a page) abstract).

Please accept our apologies if you receive this email multiple times.

Kind Regards,

The PLATO Atmospheres Workshop Team
LOC: Szilard Csizmadia, Alexander Esau, John Lee Grenfell, Barbara Stracke
SOC: Szilard Csizmadia, John Lee Grenfell, Tristan Guillot, Manuel Güdel, Helmut Lammer,
Tim Lichtenberg, Lena Noack, Heike Rauer, Frank Sohl


7) Atmospheres, Atmospheres! Do I Look Like I Care About Atmospheres? (ESO Virtual Conference, August 23-27, 2021)

ESO is pleased to announce the conference “Atmospheres, Atmospheres! Do I look like I care about atmospheres?” that will take place online from 23 to 27 August 2021. The conference is scheduled to take place online (as a Zoom meeting), for 5 hours each day of the program. We anticipate the live program to start at 1 pm CEST and finish at 6 pm CEST.

Important Dates:

  • 25 July 2021: Abstract and lecture registration deadline
  • 15 August 2021: Conference registration deadline
  • 23-27 August 2021: Conference dates

Rationale: This conference will bring together the community working theoretically and observationally on understanding ex- oplanet atmospheres by transmission and emission spectroscopy, with an emphasis on using ground-based facilities. It aims also to bring together those working on the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets and those studying the atmo- spheres of giant planets in our Solar System, in order to compare methodologies and see where synergies exist or could be made. The conference has as further goal to prepare the next generation of astronomers to embark on this exciting and essential area of astrophysics, which is technically very challenging. Therefore, the conference is split into two separate events: the first two days are devoted to lectures and hands-on sessions and are aimed primarily at students (including master students) and other astronomers wishing to start in the field. The number of participants to this part of the conference will be limited to ensure the highest interaction possible, and if needed a selection of participants will be done by the organisers. The last three days of the conference will consist in a series of invited and contributed talks. In addition, the conference will include time allocated for discussions and social interactions. The conference will have dedicated breakout groups on Slack to foster discussions and post files. We anticipate discussion on Slack to start one week before the conference. The deadline for registration for the lectures and for abstract submission is 25 July 2021. Registration for the second part of the conference will be possible until 15 August 2021. To register please fill in the registration form available on the website. Registration is free. Please act responsibly and attend the conference if you register. To cancel your registration, please email atmo2021@eso.org. Details will be emailed to registered participants closer to the conference dates.

Download/Website: https://www.eso.org/sci/meetings/2021/Atmo2021.html

Contact: atmo2021@eso.org


ExoPAG News and Announcements - Archive


NExSS

The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) is a research coordination network whose role is to form a cohesive community of exoplanet researchers that transcends disciplines and funding stovepipes. It is led by teams funded by NASA Research & Analysis Programs from the Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Heliophysics and Earth Science Divisions that conduct interdisciplinary exoplanet research. NExSS helps lead or facilitate white papers, workshops, conferences, science and communications working groups, and other community activities that support exoplanet research.

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