Special K2 workshop at the DPS on 10 November 2015

News article posted on by Geert Barentsen

The K2 mission will be part of a special workshop at the 47th annual meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) in National Harbor, Maryland, next month.

The workshop, called "NASA Planetary Science and Astrophysics Assets," will be held all day on Tuesday, 10 November 2015, in the Azalea 1 room at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

Between 9:00 am and 10:30 am, the workshop will focus on the K2 mission. The schedule is as follows:

  • K2 background (15 mins) - Thomas Barclay, NASA Ames
  • Targeting solar system bodies (10 mins) - Geert Barentsen, NASA Ames
  • K2 support and the ExoFOP (15 mins) - Rachel Akeson, NExScI
  • Observations of Neptune and Uranus (15 mins) - Amy Simon (NASA GSFC)
  • Pushing the limits of K2: observing distant, small Solar System bodies with Kepler (15 mins) - Csaba Kiss (Konkoly Obs., Hungary)
  • Trojan Asteroids (15 min) - Erin Ryan (NASA GSFC)
  • Q&A (5 mins)

The fields observed by K2 are close to the ecliptic plane and rich in solar system objects including planets, asteroids and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). K2 has already performed observations of Neptune and its large moon Triton, 68 Trojan and Hilda asteroids, 5 TNOs (including Pluto) and Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring). About thousands of main-belt asteroids that fell into the pixel masks of stars have been have been serendipitously observed. Uranus will be observed in a future campaign (C8), as will many more small solar system bodies. Observations of moving bodies as bright as Jupiter and as faint as V=23 have proved successful.

K2 has an ongoing funded Guest Observer program and which has been successfully proposed to by members of the planetary science community. We present K2’s plans and capabilities for solar system science and will have presentations by members of the planetary science community who have used K2 data. This presentation contains information about the mission and its capabilities, discusses the proposal cycles and provides examples, and has community folks talking about their K2 science.

We encourage members of the planetary science community interested in using the long-baseline, high-cadence, high-precision photometry provided by the Kepler spacecraft to join the workshop.