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Kepler Science Center
HOW TO PROPOSE TARGETS FOR K2
K2 Operational Milestones

CAMPAIGNS 2-3 (2014 AUG-2015 FEB)

Final pointings for Campaigns 2 (RA = 16:24:31.2, Dec = -22:27:00 J2000) and Campaign 3 (RA = 22:26:40.8, Dec = -11:06:00 J2000) have been set. We are requesting the community propose the targets to observe during each campaign.

  • Proposal deadline
    May 9, 2014 at 23:59pm PDT
     
  • Anticipated duration of campaigns
    Campaign 2: Aug 17-Nov 13, 2014. Campaign 3: Nov 13, 2014-Feb 4, 2015. Start and stop dates are approximate, flexible and could be overtaken by unanticipated operational events.
     
  • One proposal or two?
    In the interest of efficiency, proposers are requested NOT to provide two separate proposals with identical science cases for each of the two campaigns. If the same science goals are spread across both campaigns, please provide one science justification and two target tables, one for each field.
     
  • Target Selection
    In order to avoid inefficiency for Proposers, you are encouraged to use the online tool K2fov to determine whether your targets fall upon silicon and propose only those that do. The precision of this tool is a few 4"x4" arcsec detector pixels. The tool has been updated for the boresight pointings of campaign 2 and 3, as of Apr 8, 2014.
     
  • Should you apply for targets that do not fall on Silicon?
    Please, no. The boresigt locations for Campaigns 2 and 3 are set. Proposing off-silicon targets is a waste of energy for proposers, reviewers and Project staff. Use K2fov and apply only for targets that fall upon silicon (output flag "2").
     
  • The K2 Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC)
    Proposers are asked to submit targets that have been selected from the EPIC. The EPIC plays the same role for K2 that the Kepler Input Catalog (KIC) played for Kepler target selection. The primary purpose of the catalog is to define photometric apertures for each potential target by providing celestial positions and Kepler bandpass magnitudes. EPIC parameters are produced by source matching existing multi-band catalogs and calculating color corrections for the Kepler bandpass. The EPIC will be updated with campaign 2 and 3 sources near, or around, Apr 10, 2014. Documentation describing the compilation of the EPIC is provided here.
     
  • What comprises a K2 target proposal?
    i) A one-page scientific justification of the targets proposed in PDF format. All text and figures should be confined to a single page. ii) A formatted excel spreadsheet file listing all campaign 2 targets being proposed. iii) A formatted excel spreadsheet file listing all campaign 3 targets being proposed. Please resist the urge to add extra columns or information to the spreadsheet. Here is an example target list and the template may be downloaded here. Three new columns have been added to the form since Campaign 1 for proposers to provide proper motion information if they disagree with the proper motion provided in the EPIC and to indicate the angular size of an extended target.
      Example K2 Proposed Target List
     
    ATTRIBUTE
    DESCRIPTION
    Object
    The Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC) ID number. This attribute can be determined by using the Kepler Target Search page. The EPIC ID is coupled to celestial coordinates and magnitudes. If the proposed target does not have an EPIC ID number please use a unique identifier, common or catalog name for this source, and supply the J2000 celestial coordinates in the Right Ascension and Declination columns of your target table.
    Right Ascension
    Right Ascension (J2000) of the center of the desired aperture. Celestial coordinates are only required if the target is not listed in the EPIC Target Search page. Adhere to decimal degree format.
    Declination
    Declination (J2000) of the center of the desired aperture. Celestial coordinates are only required if the target is not listed in the EPIC Target Search page. Adhere to decimal degree format.
    Kp
    The apparent magnitude of the target in the Kepler bandpass. The combination of celestial coordinates and magnitude are the primary data required by the Kepler Science Center to calculate target pixel masks. The Kepler magnitude for most sources can be obtained from the EPIC Target Search page. If no Kepler bandpass magnitude is provided in the EPIC, it can be estimated. If the magnitude entered here is brighter than the EPIC magnitude, then the user-supplied magntiude will be adopted. For highly-variable stars, list the brightest predicted magnitude.
    Cadence Mode
    The observing mode requested. Long cadence (30-minute) mode or Short cadence (1-minute) mode.
    δRA
    Proper motion of the target in units of arcsec per year. This information is optional and should only be provided if the proposer disagrees with the proper motion provided in the EPIC.
    δDec
    Proper motion of the target in units of arcsec per year. This information is optional and should only be provided if the proposer disagrees with the proper motion provided in the EPIC.
    Extent
    The radius of the semi-major axis of an extended target such as a galaxy. To reiterate, this is the radius, NOT the diameter i.e. the furthest distance that structure extends from the target coordinates provided. This column should be ignored if all targets are point sources.
    Comments
    If a target is non-standard, provide a brief description of non-standard table entries including: (a) user-supplied magnitude; (b) user-supplied coordinates; (c) extended sources; (d) the amplitude of highly variable stars, (e) high proper motion stars; (f) custom mask requests. Comments should be expanded upon within the text of the science justification of the proposal.

  • What type of science targets can be proposed?
    There are no constraints whatsoever on the type of science or science target that can be proposed.
     
  • How many targets can be proposed?
    Both long cadence (30-min exposure) and short cadence (1-min exposure) targets will be observed during this campaign. There are no constraints whatsoever on the number of targets that can be proposed. The total long cadence target list is expected to fall somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 targets per campaign. Up to 100 short cadence targets are anticipated per campaign.
     
  • How many pixels around each target will be collected?
    This is currently unquantified, but K2 target pixel masks are anticipated to be significantly larger than Kepler pixel masks. Extra halos of pixels will be added to K2 masks in order to capture uncertainties in field acquisition (currently a few pixels) and pointing drift over time (currently a few pixels). See the most current information on the mission performance page.
     
  • Are there bright or faint magnitude limits?
    There are no faint limits upon the brightness of targets that can be proposed. Bright targets will be significantly more expensive in terms of pixel usage. Targets brighter than 3rd magnitude in the Kepler bandpass cannot be observed because charge bleeding along CCD pixel columns will fall into collateral pixels of the detector. Bright targets and short cadence targets will requires strong, compelling science cases.
     
  • Future Schedule
    The Project expects to make a call for target proposals covering Campaigns 4-5 directly after the level of K2 funding awarded by the 2014 NASA Senior Review is understood in Jun. The deadline for Campaign 4-5 targets will likely be around Sep 15, 2014.

CAMPAIGN 1 (2014 JUN-AUG)

K2's first full-science window starts in Jun 2014 and lasts approximately 75 days. We are requesting the community propose the targets to observe during the campaign. There has been no community advocacy received for or against the proposed fine-positioning of field 1. The final field boresight position has been set to RA (J2000) = 11h 35m 45.5s, Dec (J2000) = +01o 25' 02" (l = 264.5 deg, b = +58.5 deg) which provides suitable stars for the Fine Guidance Sensors. The deadline for target proposals is 23:59 PST Mar 7, 2014.

  • Anticipated duration of campaign
    Jun 8 - Aug 20, 2014. Start and stop dates are approximate, flexible and could be overtaken by unanticipated operational events.
     
  • Target Selection
    The field center for Campaign 1 is set, therefore the area of sky over which we are requesting potential targets is smaller than Campaign 0. A search cone of radius 8.5 deg around the boresight position above will include all potential targets falling upon detector silicon. Targets close to the perimeter of this cone are at great risk of being unobservable. In order to avoid inefficiency for Proposers, you are encouraged to use the online tool K2fov to determine whether your targets fall upon silicon and propose only those that do. The precision of this tool is a few 4"x4" arcsec detector pixels.
     
  • The K2 Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC)
    Proposers are asked to submit targets that have been selected from the EPIC. The EPIC plays the same role for K2 that the Kepler Input Catalog (KIC) played for Kepler target selection. The primary purpose of the catalog is to define photometric apertures for each potential target by providing celestial positions and Kepler bandpass magnitudes. EPIC parameters are produced by source matching existing multi-band catalogs and calculating color corrections for the Kepler bandpass. The EPIC will be updated with sources in upcoming fields before each call for targets. Future additions to the catalog will provide estimates of stellar properties, e.g. Teff, log(g), Fe/H and stellar radius, to facilitate target selection. Documentation describing the compilation of the EPIC is provided here.
     
  • What comprises a K2 target proposal?
    i) A one-page scientific justification of the targets proposed in PDF format. All text and figures should be confined to a single page. ii) an excel spreadsheet file listing all targets being proposed. The request for campaign 0 target lists as simple three-column ascii files was a costly failed experiment. Proposers could not resist slipping in additional columns and/or rows of formatted and unformatted information, taking the whole process to the brink of serious delay. Therefore, for campaign 1, we request the delivery of targets as a formatted spreadsheet. Please resist the urge to add extra information to the spreadsheet. Here is an example target list and the blank template may be downloaded here.
      Example K2 Proposed Target List
     
    ATTRIBUTE
    DESCRIPTION
    Object
    The Ecliptic Plane Input Catalog (EPIC) ID number. This attribute can be determined by using the Kepler Target Search page. The EPIC ID is coupled to celestial coordinates and magnitudes. If the proposed target does not have an EPIC ID number please use a unique identifier, common or catalog name for this source, and supply the J2000 celestial coordinates in the Right Ascension and Declination columns of your target table.
    Right Ascension
    Right Ascension (J2000) of the center of the desired aperture. Celestial coordinates are only required if the target is not listed in the EPIC Target Search page. Adhere to decimal degree format.
    Declination
    Declination (J2000) of the center of the desired aperture. Celestial coordinates are only required if the target is not listed in the EPIC Target Search page. Adhere to decimal degree format.
    Kp
    The apparent magnitude of the target in the Kepler bandpass. The Kepler magnitude for most sources can be obtained from the EPIC Target Search page. If no Kepler bandpass magnitude is provided, it can be estimated. For highly variable stars, list the brightest predicted magnitude. The combination of celestial coordinates and magnitude are the primary data required by the Kepler Science Center to calculate target pixel masks.
    Cadence Mode
    The observing mode requested. Long cadence (30-minute) mode or Short cadence (1-minute) mode.
    Comments
    If a target is non-standard, provide a brief description of non-standard table entries including: (a) user-supplied magnitude; (b) user-supplied coordinates; (c) extended sources; (d) the amplitude of highly variable stars, (e) high proper motion stars; (f) custom mask requests. Comments should be expanded upon within the text of the science justification of the proposal.

  • What type of science targets can be proposed?
    There are no constraints whatsoever on the type of science or science target that can be proposed.
     
  • How many targets can be proposed?
    Both long cadence (30-min exposure) and short cadence (1-min exposure) targets will be observed during this campaign. There are no constraints whatsoever on the number of targets that can be proposed. The total long cadence target list is expected to fall somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 targets. Up to 100 short cadence targets are anticipated.
     
  • How many pixels around each target will be collected?
    This is currently unquantified, but K2 target pixel masks are anticipated to be significantly larger than Kepler pixel masks. Extra halos of pixels will be added to K2 masks in order to capture uncertainties in field acquisition (currently a few pixels) and pointing drift over time (currently a few pixels). See the most current information on the mission performance page.
     
  • Are there bright or faint magnitude limits?
    There are no faint limits upon the brightness of targets that can be proposed. Bright targets will be significantly more expensive in terms of pixel usage. Targets brighter than 3rd magnitude in the Kepler bandpass cannot be observed because charge bleeding along CCD pixel columns will fall into collateral pixels of the detector. Bright targets and short cadence targets will requires strong, compelling science cases.
     
  • Future Schedule
    As the K2 mission gains momentum, the target proposal process will mature on a best-effort basis. The call for Campaign 2 and 3 targets will be combined. The deadline for target proposals for both campaigns is May 9, 2014. The goal is to achieve steady state for a call for target proposals covering Campaigns 4-5 directly after the level of K2 funding awarded by the 2014 NASA Senior Review is understood in Jun. The deadline for Campaign 4-5 targets will likely be around Sep 15, 2014.

CAMPAIGN 0 (2014 MAR-MAY)

K2 has a performance demonstration window starting Mar 2014 and lasting approximately 75 days. While engineering testing takes priority during this campaign, we are hopeful that impactful science can be accomplished from the data collected. This initial campaign test has the possibility of collecting science data for 5,000-10,000 targets. We are requesting the community propose the targets to observe during the campaign. Since Campaign 0 is a trial run of a full 83-day campaign concept, proposers should accept that targets will necessarily be observed at risk. The deadline for target proposals is Feb 1, 2014.

Proposed K2 Campaign Sequence

  • Boresight coordinates
    RA (J2000) = 06h 47m 00s, Dec (J2000) = +21o 22' 47" (l = 193.3 deg, b = +8.6 deg) These coordinates have the potential to change by ±2 deg along a line approximately parallel with the ecliptic (black line) in order to acquire suitably bright guide stars. It is not possible to understand at the current time whether specific sources fall on or off active silicon. Therefore proposers are requested to choose targets within a search cone of radius 12 deg centered upon the coordinates above and take a risk on desired targets falling off silicon once the boresight is finalized.
     
  • Anticipated duration of campaign
    Mar 10 - May 30, 2014. Start and stop dates are approximate, flexible and could be overtaken by unanticipated operational events.
     
  • What type of science targets can be proposed?
    There are no constraints whatsoever on the type of science or science target that can be proposed.
     
  • How many targets can be proposed?
    Both long cadence (30-min exposure) and short cadence (1-min exposure) targets will be observed during this campaign. There are no constraints whatsoever on the number of targets that can be proposed. The total long cadence target list is expected to fall somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 targets. Up to 100 short cadence targets are anticipated.
     
  • How many pixels around each target will be collected?
    This is currently unquantified, but K2 target pixel masks are anticipated to be significantly larger than Kepler pixel masks. Extra halos of pixels will be added to K2 masks in order to capture uncertainties in field acquisition (currently a few pixels) and pointing drift over time (currently a few pixels). See the most current information on the mission performance page.
     
  • Are there bright or faint magnitude limits?
    There are no faint limits upon the brightness of targets that can be proposed. Bright targets will be significantly more expensive in terms of pixel usage. Targets brighter than 3rd magnitude in the Kepler bandpass cannot be observed because charge bleeding along CCD pixel columns will fall into collateral pixels of the detector.
     
  • What comprises a K2 target proposal?
    i) A one-page scientific justification of the targets proposed in PDF format. All text and figures should be confined to a single page. ii) an ASCII file listing all targets being proposed, containing three comma-delimited columns:
    1. RA (J2000) in decimal degrees
    2. DEC (J2000) in decimal degrees
    3. Magnitude (preferably close to V, I or R)
    Please adhere to this format rigidly in order to save both proposer and the K2 project valuable time and resources as the process unfolds.
     
  • Where should the proposals be submitted.
    To the email address before 23:59pm PST on Feb 1, 2014.

Target lists are being invited at an early stage during the engineering phase in order to activate the community over K2 as early as possible and allow community analysis and science to feedback into the priorities and operations of K2 as rapidly as possible.

Since time is short before the commencement of Campaign 0, for this one time only, targets will be selected from the submitted proposals by the K2 Project after consultation with independent, unconflicted community scientists. Target proposal procedures will evolve as the mission matures. Formal peer-review will be employed as K2 operations money (hopefully) starts to flow from NASA after the Senior Review. Source Input Catalogs similar to the Kepler Input Catalog will be produced and archived publicly before each proposal submission cycle. Note well that Campaigns 1,2 and 3 are just around the corner.


Questions concerning K2's science opportunities and open programs, public archive or community tools? Contact us via the email address.
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