Astrophysics Investments for Planetary Science

NASA’s Astrophysics Investments Website for the Planetary Science Community
Jim Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA
Paul Hertz, Director, Astrophysics Division, NASA

NASA’s Astrophysics Missions are available for the use of the entire science community to advance important science objectives independent of which NASA Division manages the programs.  The planetary science community has benefited from both using the tools and science derived from NASA’s astrophysics investments. This has been occurring for a long time and we want to highlight this great relationship that our two disciplines have continued to develop over the years. We truly believe that the collaboration benefits both scientific disciplines and furthermore, that the best insights comes from interdisciplinary interactions between many scientific fields.

With the goal of engaging the planetary community in taking part in further potential observations from astrophysics missions and continued astrophysics collaborations, we held workshops at the Division of Planetary Science (DPS) meeting through a collaboration of the Astrophysics and Planetary Science Divisions. As a result and with the goal of providing continuous information to the community we are creating a website that would keep updates about the missions proposals schedules as well as links to white papers and presentations that would help our community.

This website is not meant to replace the missions websites, but provide, as much as possible a portal for our community interested in using those investments.

It is quite apparent that we have been experiencing a renaissance of planetary science using astrophysics missions. We deeply appreciate how these two communities of scientists have started to work together in understanding the origin and evolution of our Solar System and all the diversity of objects within. When we look at the sky at night, we now know that the stars we see have solar systems similar to our own.  This is the new paradigm that has drawn us more closely together.

SOFIA Cycle 6 Call for Proposals

Future Spitzer Space Telescope Observing Opportunities

ETC Webinar: Thursday, June 15, 12-1 PM EDT (US) Webex info: Link: Meeting number: 640 002 474
Password: JWST2018 
The General Observer (GO) Call for Proposals will be released on November 30, 2017, with a submission due date of March 2, 2018. Get ahead of the game by joining STScI's John Stansberry and Bryan Holler for a hands-on demonstration of the ETC in the context of Solar System observations. This webinar will also feature an overview of Pandeia, the downloadable ETC engine written in Python, and a request for community input on Pandeia tools and capabilities that would be useful for planning observations. 
Attendance information and a recording of the webinar will also be available on the JWST events page at:
Other useful links:  JWST ETC web-interface: (Note that you must create a MyST log-in to save your workbooks in the ETC.) 
Pandeia download page: 
JWST Documentation (JDOX) for Solar System targets will begin to be published on May 19 at:

Community  Release (AAS, NExScI, PS Division, ExoPAG, CoPAG…)

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR JWST Cycle 1 Call for Proposals

IMPORTANT JWST events for the Planetary Science Community

Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) Webinar for Solar System Observations
June 15 (12–2 EDT)

JWST proposal workshops
Sept 17–22: EPSC (Riga, Latvia) – proposed

JWST proposal workshop and JWST Townhall
Oct 15–20: DPS (Provo, UT) – proposed

Solar System Workshop (Baltimore, MD)
Nov 13–15: JWST

JWST Solar System Workshop (ESTEC: Noordwijk, Netherlands)
Dec 13–15

Notice of Future Call for NASA Keck Key Strategic Mission Support Programs

NASA is a 1/6 partner in the two 10-m telescopes of the William M. Keck Observatory. Access to NASA’s share of this time on the Keck telescopes, approximately 90 nights per year, is available to all astronomers resident at US institutions. Proposals are submitted twice a year to the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) which runs the selection process on behalf of all science disciplines in NASA’s Astrophysics and Planetary Science Divisions. Observing time is awarded on the basis of scientific merit and the degree to which the proposed program supports NASA missions and/or NASA’s strategic goals.

Starting in 2016, NASA set aside 1/3 of its allocation for Key Strategic Mission Support programs (KSMS). These programs were required to demonstrate a critical need for ground-based data in direct support of an on-going or a future space mission. In the 2016A semester, NASA selected three KSMS projects for a 2 year duration: follow-up of transiting exoplanet candidates found by the K2 mission (Andrew Howard, PI, Hawaii/Caltech, 40 nights over 2 years); calibration of photometric redshifts for the EUCLID mission using spectroscopic redshifts of over 1,000 galaxies (Dan Stern, JPL, PI, 10 nights over 2 years); and a search for evidence of water and active generation of plumes in support of the Europa Clipper project (Lucas Paganini, U. Catholic/GSFC, PI, 10 nights over 2 years). All three programs come to an end at the completion of the 2017B semester.

In the expectation that NASA’s 5-year Cooperative Agreement with William M. Keck Observatory will be renewed for the period 2018-2022, NASA is planning to release a new call for KSMS projects to begin with the 2018A semester. Details of the opportunity and the proposal process will be announced when the 2018A Call for Proposals is released early in August 2017 with non-binding notices of intent due shortly thereafter. All proposals for the 2018A semester will be due on September 14, 2017.  A KSMS project is typically multi-semester, spanning 10-60 nights over a time period of up to three years. The KSMS opportunity will be open for all topics/missions in astrophysics and planetary science.

Managed for NASA by USRA's Lunar and Planetary Institute