Fields selected for K2 Campaigns 17, 18, and 19

News article posted on by Geert Barentsen

The K2 project has selected the fields that will be observed as part of Campaigns 17, 18, and 19. The fields were selected based on the feedback received as part of a recent solicitation for community input, while also taking into account the spacecraft's constraints and fuel usage.

Campaign 17 (Mar 1 - May 8, 2018) will observe a forward-facing field toward the constellation of Virgo. The high galactic latitude of this field makes it ideally suited to enable the K2 Supernova Cosmology Experiment to continue, leveraging ground-based resources already put in place for Campaign 16. The field also provides a substantial overlap with Campaign 6, offering a longer baseline for stellar activity, asteroseismology, and AGN studies, as well as enabling dozens of known K2 planet candidates to be revisited. The field also provides access to ~20 deg2 of previously unexplored sky.

Campaign 18 (May 12 - Aug 2, 2018) will be a backward-facing campaign dedicated to revisit Campaign 5 and substantially overlap Campaign 16. The third visit to this key part of the sky that contains the M44 and M67 clusters will enable users to study benchmark targets with a 3-year baseline and 8-month duty cycle, enabling "original Kepler mission"-like science at a Galactic sightline that is located 130 degrees away from the original Kepler field in Cygnus. Alongside M44 and M67, the field provides access to HIP 41378 (a 5-planet system around a 9th magnitude star), and more than one hundred previously-published K2 planet candidates.

Campaign 19 (Aug 6 - Oct 10, 2018) will observe a forward-facing field near the constellation of Aquarius, partially overlapping Campaigns 3 and 12, plus providing access to ~15 deg2 of previously unstudied sky. The field includes the planet Neptune, Comet 2P/Encke, and the Trappist-1 system and the forward-facing orientation facilitates simultaneous ground observations.

These fields will constitute K2's GO Cycle 6. A call for target and funding proposals to be submitted to this Cycle is expected to be issued in July as part of the NASA ROSES program, with a Step-1 deadline expected to fall in October.

The following graphs illustrate the exact field placement:

K2 C17 Field
C18 Field
C19 Field


Finally, the graph below shows their position relative to all twenty K2 Campaigns:

Footprint all campaigns

Additional details of all fields can be found on the K2 Campaign fields page.