K2 Campaigns 8, 9 and 10 Director's Discretionary Targets program

News article posted on by Thomas Barclay

The Guest Observer Program solicitation for K2 occurs roughly twice per year and includes a call for multiple K2 campaigns. Given the proposal review timeline, and associated data processing and archive activities, there can be a significant delay between proposal submission and final target selection for each K2 campaign. To provide a faster mechanism for headline astrophysics with K2 we provide an alternative means for acquiring K2 data, through the Director's Discretionary Target (DDT) program.

The purpose of the DDT program for K2 is to:

  • Respond to targets of opportunity, e.g. newly discovered exoplanets or supernovae
  • Yield high-impact science from K2
  • Enhance existing GO programs with additional data

The DDT program for K2 occurs on a rolling basis; observations can be proposed for at any time starting with targets in Campaign 8. However, to ensure that approved targets are included in the final target lists for each campaign, proposals must be submitted by the following dates:

  • October 5, 2015 for Campaign 8
  • December 10, 2015 for Campaign 9
  • March 10, 2016 for Campaign 10

Proposals require a 2-page scientific justification and a target table and should be submitted on the DDT page. The required format as well as a template for the target table can be found here. The fixed locations and observing windows of Campaigns 8, 9, and 10 are provided at the field information page. Target overlap with the current GO target list will not be considered unless short cadence observations are being requested of a current long cadence target. DDT proposals will be sent to external reviewers; final selection will be at the discretion of the Guest Observer Office Director.

We expect to observe several hundred targets through the DDT program, which amounts to a few per cent of the total targets allocated. The exact number of DDTs to be observed largely depends on the number of short versus long cadence DDTs approved. There is no proprietary period and no associated funding for approved DDT programs. Proposals from any institution are encouraged.

We particularly encourage DDT proposals for Campaign 9, which is a non-standard campaign. The Campaign 9 microlensing experiment involves the Kepler spacecraft observing in the positive velocity vector (+VV) direction at fields toward the Galactic bulge. This allows for simultaneous observations from Earth during Campaign 9.