Request for input on the Campaign 17 and 18 field placement

News article posted on by Knicole Colon & Geert Barentsen

The fields for K2 Campaigns 17 and beyond have not yet been set. Although these future Campaigns are at risk of not being executed due to Kepler running low on fuel, there is a significant chance that the spacecraft will continue to function well into 2018 and the project must be ready to observe fields accordingly.

We strive to optimize these future fields based on potential science. We are now soliciting feedback from the community on the placement of fields 17 and 18. Example options which satisfy K2's pointing constraints are shown below. When submitting your input, please keep in mind that we can only shift the field along the ecliptic between these options, not up or down.

We ask that all requests for field placements be received by April 11 and be submitted via this Google Form. Advocacy that was submitted in recent months via e-mail will be taken into account as well. We anticipate announcing the final field positions in early May.

Questions may be addressed to keplergo@mail.arc.nasa.gov.


Campaign 17: Example forward-facing options

Campaign 17 is designated to have a forward-facing field to enable simultaneous observations from the Earth. Possible field options are outlined in the table below.

Note that all options have a start date of 3 March 2018, i.e. 5 days after the end of Campaign 16. The first option is very short in duration due to its partial overlap in observing geometry with C16.

Campaign 17: Example options

Option Possible dates Max. duration Overlap region
1 Mar 3 - Apr 18, 2018 46 days 14 modules of C10
2 Mar 3 - May 8, 2018 66 days 14 modules of C6
3 Mar 3 - May 23, 2018 81 days 1 module of C6

C17 options


Campaign 18: Example forward-facing options

The field for Campaign 18 largely depends on the location of the Campaign 17 field as well as whether or not Campaign 18 will be posited as a forward-facing or backward-facing field. If we allow Campaign 18 to begin 5 days after the end of each of the three options for Campaign 17 noted above, then we obtain the following options listed below in the case of a forward-facing field:

Campaign 18: Example options (forward-facing)

Option Possible dates Max. duration Overlap region
1 Apr 23 - Jul 18, 2018 86 days 17 modules of C9*
2 May 13 - Aug 09, 2018 88 days 9 modules of C7
3 May 28 - Aug 25, 2018 88 days none
* C9 was the microlensing experiment where pixels were primarily collected around the Galactic bulge. Therefore, the distribution of targets across modules was not uniform in that campaign.

C18 Forward Options


Campaign 18: Example backward-facing options

And these are the C18 options for the backward-facing geometry, in which case Earth is kept out of the field but simultaneous observations from the ground would be challenging:

Campaign 18: Example options (backward-facing)

Option Possible dates Max. duration Overlap region
1 Apr 23 - Jul 18, 2018 86 days 1/2 module of C5
2 May 13 - Aug 09, 2018 88 days 14 modules of C5 and C16
3 May 28 - Aug 25, 2018 88 days 2 modules of C14

C18 Backward Option


K2fov

The above field options have been configured in the GitHub version of K2fov using mock field numbers:

  • 171, 172, 173 (C17);
  • 181, 182, 183 (C18 forward-facing);
  • 184, 185, 186 (C18 backward-facing).