WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge

Welcome to the 2019 WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge

The 2019 WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge is for exoplanet scientists who are interested in learning the art and science of high contrast imaging of exoplanetary systems. The WFIRST Coronagraph Instrument (CGI), with a possible Starshade, is the only exoplanet imaging instrument planned for flight in the next decade. The Data Challenge is an excellent way to become familiar with the intricacies of the first spaceborne high contrast exoplanet imaging mission, as a pathfinder to future flagship missions.

To prepare scientists to participate in the Challenge, two special events will be held: a 2-day Tutorial and Hack Day at the Flatiron Institute in New York City on October 16&17, and a 1-day Tutorial in Tokyo on October 20 preceding the “In the Spirit of Lyot 2019” conference.

The tutorials will cover:

  • The WFIRST CGI and Starshade data format, specificities and observing scenarios
  • The Hybrid Lyot and star-shade coronagraphs
  • Extracting faint sources with PSF subtraction/more advanced algorithms
  • Discriminating eventual background sources using parallax and proper motion
  • Finding orbital solutions from two to six imaging epochs throughout the mission as well as simulated radial velocity (RV) data
  • Determining physical parameters of any found exoplanet(s) using all the available information (astrometry, photometry)

Both the NYC and Tokyo events will allow participants to work with a full set of state-of-the-art simulated CGI and Starshade data, plus pre-cursor RV data for participants to develop their ability to extract and characterize planets. Participants will be invited to form teams and will have access to a comprehensive simulated data set with tutorial material, tools for analysis, regular tele/videocons, and a slack channel for questions and collaboration.

The October 16&17 Flatiron event will include tutorials, working hack sessions, and a special trip to the Hayden Planetarium for a dome presentation built around Gaia astrometric data. TRAVEL SUPPORT: Partial travel support is available for the Flatiron event. These funds are intended for early career participants who also commit to the full 2019 Data Challenge.

NOTE: To apply for travel funds to Flatiron, please register by September 30).

The October 20 Tokyo event will include tutorials and access to support materials, and the opportunity to form teams and to confer with the Data Challenge organizers during the Spirit of Lyot conference.

NOTE: On Sept 25 we reached 20 attendees, hurry up if you want one of the ~10 spots left

The official 2019 Data Challenge opens on October 20 and closes on December 20 with all findings due at that time. Submissions will be done through a form asking specific questions and allowing for discussion of findings. Judging of the submissions will be done by a panel of reviewers assembled from the Turnbull WFIRST SIT and the wider exoplanet community. Winning participant(s) will be funded to present their results and methods at a major exoplanet conference in 2020. After the deadline, all participants/teams are encouraged to publish their results.

Once you have registered, you will receive more information about the data products, tutorials, timeline, and incentives for successfully completing the challenge.