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Kepler Science Center
K2 Operational Milestones


Final pointings for Campaign 6 (RA = 13:39:27.6, Dec = -11:17:43 J2000) and Campaign 7 (RA = 19:11:18.8, Dec = -23:21:36 J2000) have been set. We are requesting the community propose the targets to observe during each campaign.

  • What's new?
    Proposal writing will require an increased investment in proposers time. Be prepared
    Proposal submission is a 2-step process. Step 2 proposals will not be accepted without Step 1
    Research grants will be made available to the most successful US-based proposers
    The proposal review is administered by NASA Headquarters
    Proposers are required to be registered users of the NSPIRES system
    US proposers institutions are required to be registered on the NSPIRES system
  • Proposal deadline
    Step 1: 23:59 EST Jan 16, 2015
    Step 2: 23:59 EST Feb 27, 2015
  • Anticipated duration of campaigns
    Campaign 6: Jul 13-Oct 1, 2015. Campaign 7: Oct 3-Dec 26, 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 campaigns 6 and 7.
  • Should you apply for targets that do not fall on Silicon?
    Please, no. The boresight locations for Campaigns 6 and 7 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 has been updated with campaign 6 and 7 sources. Documentation describing the compilation of the EPIC is provided here.
  • 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 be approximately 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.

Step-by-step Instructions for the Submission of a K2 Guest Observer Proposal
  1. If new to the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, NSPIRES, register on the NSPIRES website.

  2. Familiarize yourself with the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences Announcement 2014 (ROSES-2014). This document provides an overview of the NRA process and is a compilation of most solicitations within NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Not all of this document is required reading.

  3. Read the Cycle 2 K2 Research Announcement. New amendments to the Kepler NRA are publicized at NSPIRES. Check this page regularly.

  4. Understand the scope of the Guest Observer Program. Science papers exploiting data from the Kepler and K2 mission can be found here and here.

  5. Submit Step 1 of the proposal by 23:59 EST on Jan 16, 2015.:

  6. Compile the material required for your proposal. The generic content of the proposal is described in Sec 2.3 of the NRA Proposers Guide. Page limits and proposal content within the NRA Guide are amended within Sec 3.4 of the Cycle 2 K2 NRA. We describe the content of the proposal here. Briefly, proposers will need to:

    1. Understand the scope of the Guest Observer Program. Science papers exploiting data from the Kepler and K2 mission can be found here and here.
    2. Familiarize yourself with the technical documentation for the mission.
    3. Develop and justify a science concept for observations within the new campaign fields of view.
    4. Identify appropriate targets for the proposed observations using the K2 Target Search page as the primary (but not exclusive) source list. This search page provides for the construction of short or long target lists based upon e.g. celestial cone searches, magnitude and color.
    5. Complete the Target Table, as an integral component of the proposal and as a separate submission to the Guest Observer Office.
    6. Provide the administrative elements of the proposal including a proposer biographical information, and a statement of current and pending financial support.
    7. Submit Step 2 of the proposal to NSPIRES before 23:59 EST on Feb 27, 2015.

Questions concerning K2's science opportunities and open programs, public archive or community tools? Contact us via the email address.
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Last Updated: May 29, 2014
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