Wednesday, October 31, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium

Astronomy Colloquium

NASA's Next Astrophysics Flagship: The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
Jason Rhodes, JPL,

The top recommendation for a large space mission in the US 2010 Decadal Survey was the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).  Similarities in hardware requirements between proposed dark energy, exoplanet microlensing, and near infrared surveyor missions allowed for a single mission that would accomplish all three goals.  The gift of an existing 2.4 meter telescope to NASA by another US government agency allowed for the addition of a coronagraph that will take images and spectra of nearby exoplanets; this instrument will be a technological stepping stone to imaging other Earths in the 2030s.  I will give an overview of WFIRST's proposed instrumentation, science goals, and implementation plan. I will delve into the details of a number of scientific and technical efforts in Pasadena that are paving the way for this ambitious and exciting mission.

For more information, please contact Althea E. Keith by phone at 626-395-4973 or by email at aek@astro.caltech.edu.