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Cosmic Origins News

3 March 2023

Towards Starlight Suppression for the Habitable Worlds Observatory | August 8–10, 2023

NASA has begun planning for an ambitious program to develop the Habitable Worlds Observatory—the first in a panchromatic suite of observatories recommended by the Astro2020 Decadal Survey. The high-level science goals of the mission are to directly image ~25 potentially Earth-like planets with high-contrast imaging and spectroscopically characterize them for signs of life, as well as perform exquisite general astrophysics. To inform future architecture trades, and the engineers and scientists who will conduct them, we will need a comprehensive survey of key technologies and approaches for combining them in an ultra-stable architecture.

To bring the community to a common foundation of knowledge in preparation for architecture trades, NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program is planning a hybrid workshop on August 8–10, 2023, at the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA.

Towards Starlight Suppression for the Habitable Worlds Observatory

The purpose of this workshop is to:

  • Discuss current best understanding of required starlight suppression performance levels.
  • Present the best performances to-date of key technologies and approaches (lab demonstrations, modeling, hardware).
  • Discuss the suppression/stability trade space for the observatory and the coronagraph (note: this will not include performing trades, only mapping out the space).
  • Discuss remaining technical gaps and potential future efforts for maturation/risk reduction.

The organizing committee will be soliciting summary talks from experts in relevant areas and provide ample time for open debate and discussion. The purpose is to gain common understanding of the current state of potential technologies and where advancement is needed. At the completion of the workshop, attendees will be knowledgeable in the technical basis of coronagraph performance needs, current capabilities, and remaining gaps/risks as well as the overall coronagraph-observatory stability trade space.

This workshop will be open to all and will provide a valuable foundation for those interested in contributing to the Habitable Worlds Observatory, from students new to the field to experts with decades of experience. In keeping with NASA and the community’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA), those with diverse and/or under-represented backgrounds are especially encouraged to attend. To maintain accessibility of the material to a broad audience, no level of previous knowledge is expected beyond basic operations of an Infrared/Optical/Ultra-Violet telescope.

Stay tuned for more information. Contact Jennifer Gregory at jgregory@jpl.nasa.gov to indicate interest and to receive future announcements about the workshop.

Webb Unveils Dark Side of
Pre-stellar Ice Chemistry

An international team of astronomers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has obtained an in-depth inventory of the deepest, coldest ices measured to date in a molecular cloud. Read more.

COR News and Events

See our new Events Calendar

Current and Upcoming Events

Continuing Call for Nominations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG) Executive Committee. »  Details.
25 May 2023
Diffuse Gas in Cosmic Ecosystems SIG Seminar »  Details.
10-14 July 2023
Science with the Habitable Worlds Observatory and Beyond »  Details.

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Program News and Announcements

23 May 2023
Hubble Cycle 31 Phase I Proposal Deadline | Wednesday May 24, 2023 at 8:00pm EDT »  Details.
23 May 2023
Science with the Habitable Worlds Observatory and Beyond | 10-14 July 2023 »  Details.
23 May 2023
Diffuse Gas in Cosmic Ecosystems Science Interest Group | Thursday, May 25th »  Details.
4 May 2023
ROSES-22: Topical Workshops, Symposia, and Conferences (TWSC) Delayed »  Details.
4 May 2023
ROSES-23: Research Initiation Awards (RIA) and SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding (BPSF) »  Details.
4 May 2023
Joint Webinar on Research Initiation Awards (RIA) and SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding (BPSF) »  Details.
4 May 2023
NASA Fall Internship Applications Due May, 27th, 2023 »  Details.

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