K2 Supernova Experiment Workshop on Feb 14-16, 2017

News article posted on by Geert Barentsen

We previously announced that in order to maximize the science return from the remaining fuel, the K2 Campaign 16 field has been changed to enable a forward-facing supernova survey. In addition to benefiting from low galactic extinction, the new field allows simultaneous observations to be made from the ground to complement K2’s single-bandpass photometry, i.e. allowing K2's supernovae to be characterized spectroscopically.

The survey is called the K2 Supernova Cosmology Experiment. Its aims include, but are not limited to:

  • monitoring >20,000 galaxies to gather a statistical sample of the best supernovae lightcurves ever obtained;
  • catching the critical first few hours of supernovae, allowing different explosion physics and progenitors to be elucidated;
  • improving the calibration of Type Ia supernovae for cosmology by determining the key parameters needed for distance fitting.

Proposals to select and analyze K2 targets for this Campaign are eligible for funding up to $150,000 as part of K2 GO Cycle 5 (which also accepts proposals from all other areas of astrophysics and planetary science). The Step 1 deadline is Nov 3, 2016.

To help the supernova community plan the observations and follow-up, the mission will be hosting a K2 Supernova Cosmology Workshop on Feb 14-16, 2017, at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California.

The motivations for this workshop include:

  • planning the K2 observations with Kepler/K2 team members;
  • coordinating the simultaneous, ground-based follow-up observations and proposals;
  • preparing the data analysis and interpretation efforts, e.g. informed by the previous supernovae observed by Kepler;
  • exploring synergies with other space missions, wavelength regions, and science areas.

This will be an unconference-style meeting with a limited number of introductory talks and a strong focus on participant-led breakout sessions. The final day will provide ample time for drafting papers and observing proposals.

Details on the venue, accommodation, and registration are available on the meeting webpage.