NASA Exoplanet Science Institute Headlines
NExScI is the science operations and analysis center for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. We provide tools and archives for the exoplanet community, administer the Sagan program of fellowships and workshops, and support the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer and administration of the NASA Keck telescope time. Click here to see past headlines and events.
The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, has completed its first study of dust in the "habitable zone" around a star
, opening a new door to finding planets like Earth. Dust is a natural byproduct of the planet-formation process, but too much of it can block our view of planets. The findings will help in the design of future space missions that have the goal of taking pictures of planets similar to Earth, called exo-Earths. NExScI provides data archiving and public distribution and project science functions for the LBTI for NASA.
A study by Bertrand Mennesson (JPL) and Rafael Millan-Gabet (NExScI) used Keck Interferometer data to tightly constrain the amount of exozodi dust likely to be encountered by future missions to image exo-Earths. The study also found a link between warm dust in the habitable zones of nearby Sun-like stars and more distant colder dust reservoirs analogous to the Kuiper belt. This link could be used to select stars around which to search for exo-Earths. Read more in the full stories from JPL
While analyzing spectrographic data from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, NASA Keck PI Kim Vy-Tran spotted a strong detection of hot hydrogen gas that appeared to arise from a massive, bright elliptical galaxy. This fingerprint of hydrogen led to the discovery of a record-breaking cosmic magnifying glass. Read the full story
The 2015B call is now closed. Click here
for more information.
and the application for financial assistance
to attend the 2015 Sagan Summer workshop on Exoplanetary System Demographics: Theory and Observation
are now available. Applications for financial assistance are due March 5. The workshop will be held July 27-31 at Caltech. Click here
for more information.
The 2015 symposium will be held on the Caltech campus May 7-8, 2015 and provides an opportunity for current and past Sagan/Michelson fellows to present their current research. Click here
to register for free and for more information. All are welcome to attend!
for applications for the 2015 Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships is now closed. Click here
for more information on the program.
Videos of the presentations from this year's workshop on Imaging Planets and Disks
are now posted, view them here
and on the Sagan Summer Workshop YouTube channel
Future efforts to image exoplanets directly will concentrate on the nearest and brightest stars.
A catalog listing
the properties of such stars is now available for use in planning such missions (e.g. WFIRST-AFTA).
Archived videos of talks, including the public lecture by Frank Drake
, are available as links on the agenda page
The Keck Observatory Archive (KOA)
announces the first public release of OSIRIS data. These data products contain complete sets of metadata for raw (level 0) images, including WCS information derived by KOA; and reduced (level 1) browse products derived from the public OSIRIS pipeline, automated by KOA. Finally, the search engine returns the optimum set of calibration files for reduction of raw science files. Altogether, we have released data from 1,003 nights, containing 32,000 science files (2.4 TB).
Data from all active instruments at the Keck Observatory are now in the public domain.
For an introduction to NExScI's managed and supported data tools, archives, telescope time, meetings, and fellowships, click here
. This PDF file contains the NExScI brochure and handouts prepared for the June 2014 AAS meeting in Boston. The movie that we show at the NExScI booth can be viewed here