Change to Campaign 16 field position and delay to GO Cycle 5 deadline

News article posted on by Knicole Colon, Tom Barclay

In order to maximize the science return from K2 using the remaining fuel, the mission has decided to change the position of the field for Campaign 16 and to delay the upcoming K2 Cycle 5 deadline by about a month.

The position of the Campaign 16 field is being changed to facilitate supernova science. Recent estimates of the remaining fuel on the Kepler spacecraft indicate that Campaign 17 is at risk. Campaign 17 was intended to have a primary science focus of supernova science. In order to enable detailed characterization of supernovae, Campaign 17 would be a forward-facing campaign (much like the C9 microlensing campaign). Observing in this mode allows for simultaneous observations from K2 and from Earth.

In order to maximize the science return from the K2 mission, we are changing the position of the field for Campaign 16. Campaign 16 will now involve the Kepler spacecraft observing in the forward-facing direction, and a significant fraction of pixels will be dedicated to supernova science. The new pointing for Campaign 16 will have significant overlap with the field observed during Campaign 5. The final field position will be posted to this website in the near future.

As a reminder, proposals are currently being solicited for K2 GO Cycle 5, which includes Campaigns 14, 15, and 16. While Campaign 16 will be partially dedicated to supernova science, proposals covering all other areas of astrophysics and planetary science are still encouraged for Campaign 16. In particular, we encourage K2 observations that can benefit from simultaneous observations from Earth.

With these changes to the Campaign 16 field, the Step 1 and Step 2 proposal deadlines have been revised. Step 1 proposals are now due by 23:59 EST 3 November 2016, and Step 2 proposals are due by 23:59 EST 15 December 2016. Investigators may not submit a Step 2 proposal without first submitting a Step 1 proposal.

Proposers should only propose for targets that are on active silicon in the updated Campaign 16 field. All investigators must update their version of the K2fov target selection tool once the new field position of Campaign 16 has been announced. The field position currently configured in K2fov v5.2 is preliminary.

Information about the proposal process, including the scope, evaluation criteria, availability of funds, eligibility, target selection tools, submission process, and frequently asked questions, is detailed on the proposal preparation page.