2014 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop: July 21 - 25
Imaging Planets and Disks

Hosted by The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute
At the Beckman Institute Auditorium, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

image credit: W. M. Keck Observatory

August 12 update: Videos of the workshop presentations can be viewed here

July 26 update: Workshop presentations, including the group projects, are now posted with links from the titles on the agenda page.

July 16 update: hands-on session information, POP schedule, and poster listing are now available.

Dec. 13 update: The 2014 Sagan Summer Workshop has been approved!

2014 Sagan Summer Workshop Attendees

The 2014 Sagan Summer Workshop will be held on the campus of Caltech from July 21-25, 2014. The workshop will explore current techniques and technology used to detect and image exoplanets and debris disks, as well as the underlying science driving the modeling of exoplanetary atmospheres and disk structure. A number of ground-based surveys are presently underway using advanced coronagraphs and Extreme Adaptive Optics on 5-10 m telescopes, while new algorithms are being used to dig deeper in space-based datasets. This year's focus on coronagraphy is particularly timely with the high level of ExEp activity regarding a coronagraph for the WFIRST/AFTA telescope. Introducing the science and technology of the AFTA coronagraph to graduate students and postdocs will be an important goal of the workshop.

Leaders in the field will summarize the current state of the art in science, hardware, and software. Prospects for future space instruments will also be discussed. Attendees will participate in hands-on exercises to gain experience working with imaging data and astrophysical models. Attendees will also have the opportunity to present their own work through short presentations (research POPs) and posters.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Properties of Imaged Planets
  • Integrating Imaging and RV Datasets
  • Thermal Evolution of Planets
  • The Challenges and Science of Protostellar And Debris Disks
  • Astrometry and Orbital Fitting---Going From Measurements to Orbits
  • Survey of High-contrast Instrument Concepts
  • Coronagraph and Starshade Theory
  • Future Coronagraphs in Space
    • Studying Planets and Disks with JWST
    • Imaging Jupiters in Reflected Light with WFIRST/AFTA

Click on the following links for more information
Hands On Sessions
Talk Submission Info
Local Information
Financial Aid
Organizing Committees


On July 3rd, the JPL Contracts Management Office, based on new instructions from NASA, directed us to refund the registration fees for the 2014 Sagan Summer Workshop. In addition, we are now prohibited from using NASA funds to provide any food or refreshments, including coffee, at the workshop.

July 3 update: the workshop is full and registration is now closed.

  • Early On-line Registration (Feb. 3 - Jun. 20): $275
  • On-line Registration (June 21 - July 11): $325
  • On-site Registration: $375
  • Extra Guest Ticket for Wednesday afternoon visit to California Science Center: $30
  • Extra Guest Ticket for Thursday evening workshop banquet at El Cholo restaurant: $35
  • Registration Fee includes:

    • Opening reception
    • Conference attendance and materials
    • Light breakfast each day of the workshop
    • Box lunches on Monday and Friday (and Wednesday for tour participants only)
    • Light snacks and drinks during morning and afternoon breaks each day of the workshop
    • 1 ticket to visit the California Science Center on Wednesday afternoon (extra tickets available for purchase)
    • 1 ticket to attend workshop dinner on Thursday (extra tickets available for purchase)

Hands-on Sessions

Please visit the hands-on session page for more information.

The hands-on sessions will be on the following topics:

  • Finding Earths from Space
  • LOCI
  • Principal Component Analysis Techniques
  • Building a Coronagraph

Financial Support (applications now closed)

Note that due to the impact of the sequester, we have very limited funding for financial assistance this year. While we do have a modest amount of funding to cover local expenses (registration and/or shared hotel and/or meals), we are not able to provide any airfare support. Undergraduate and graduate students, and postdocs may apply for support through the on-line application site. Each application must be accompanied by an advisor's letter of support that should be submitted through the on-line letter submission site

The application is due March 7 and decisions will be announced via email by March 24. Attendees who are awarded lodging support will be asked to share a hotel room at the workshop hotel, the Pasadena Sheraton.

Local Information

Click here for useful information on the workshop venue, workshop hotels, workshop events, and useful maps.

POP/Poster/Talk Submission Link (now closed)

July 4, 2014: deadline for POP and poster abstract submissions by workshop attendees.

July 18, 2014: deadline for talk submissions by workshop speakers.

Workshop attendees may submit two kinds of presentations: POPs and posters, with each submitted separately through the Presentation Submission site. You may submit a POP and a poster abstract on the same topic or on different topics. Both are intended to spark discussion during the week and to foster collaborations beyond the workshop.

Research POPs are short (2 minute) presentations. POP slides (maximum of 2 PDF format slides) should be submitted through the online link. The POP schedule will be published roughly two weeks before the workshop.

Posters will be on display during the week on walls adjacent to the workshop venue. There will not be a dedicated poster session, however there will be time for discussion during the breaks and lunches. Posters should be no more than 40 inches wide x 36 inches high.

Due to space limitations, both in the agenda and on the walls, the number of POPs and posters that we can accept is limited. First come, first served!

Important Dates

  • September 2013: First announcement
  • December 20, 2013: 2014 Workshop approved by NASA HQ
  • February 3, 2014: On-line Registration and Financial Support application period open
  • March 7, 2014: Financial Support application due
  • March 24, 2014: Financial Support decisions announced via email
  • April 2, 2014: POP/Poster/Talk submission period open
  • June 20, 2014: Early Registration Fee deadline
  • July 4, 2014: Pasadena Sheraton reservation deadline and POP/Poster Submission deadline
  • July 11, 2014: On-line Registration closed; final agenda posted
  • July 20, 2014: Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop Opening Reception
  • July 21-25, 2014: Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop

Scientific Organizing Committee

Local Organizing Committee

Chas Beichman (NExScI)

Dawn Gelino (NExScI)

Fritz Benedict (Univ. of Texas)

Carolyn Brinkworth (NExScI)

Carolyn Brinkworth (NExScI)

Helene Mannings (NExScI)

Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz)

Irene Loera (NExScI)

Dawn Gelino (NExScI)

Ellen O'Leary (NExScI)

Lynne Hillenbrand (Caltech)

Peter Lawson (JPL)

Bruce Macintosh (LLNL)

Ben Oppenheimer (AMNH)

Karl Stapelfeldt (NASA GSFC)

Alycia Weinberger (DTM CIW)

Click here for information and presentations from previous summer workshops.


(last updated July 26, 2014)