In April of 2016, the NASA K2 mission will execute Campaign 9, a continuous 75-day long campaign targeting the galactic bulge dedicated to a single Microlensing Science Experiment.
The motivations for holding this workshop are two-fold: Firstly to provide an opportunity for interactive planning for the K2 Microlensing Experiment amongst NASA, the K2 project and the scientific community; and secondly to serve as a pre-proposal discussion opportunity in advance of the submission of K2 Microlensing Science Team proposals.
K2 project staff will describe the observing plan and operating procedures for up-linking target lists, down-linking the observed data and the time-line for archiving products. NASA HQ and K2 staff will present information regarding the proposal process, possible avenues for investigation, and funding. We are also inviting attendees to present information valuable in the planning and preparation for the experiment.
The NASA K2 mission makes use of the Kepler spacecraft to expand upon Kepler’s groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of exoplanets and astrophysics through new and exciting observations. K2 uses an innovative way of operating the spacecraft by carefully balancing the pressure of photons coming from the Sun. The K2 mission offers long-term, simultaneous optical observation of thousands of objects at high precision.
The K2 observation plan is to execute standalone campaigns lasting approximately 75 days. Campaign 9 will begin in April, 2016 and will observe a region of the sky in the direction of the Galactic bulge. Campaign 9 will differ from every previous campaign because (a) it will be dedicated to the detection of gravitational microlensing events and (b) the spacecraft boresight will point toward the direction of motion.
To support Campaign 9 activities, in the K2 Cycle 3 GO Call for Proposals available through ROSES, NASA has a Cycle 9 solicitation to join the Microlensing Science Team. This team, consisting of approximately 5 to 10 members, will coordinate with and make recommendations to the K2 GO office and K2 project regarding the observational planning of Campaign 9. The intention is to form a cohesive team that can work to represent and serve the best interests of the microlensing scientific community. Proposals are expected to address one or more of the specific areas of work relevant to the exploitation of K2 microlensing experiment data.