Professor Jeremy Kasdin selected to NASA WFIRST science team
NASA has recently announced the selection of the WFIRST science team,
WFIRST is an upcoming major NASA mission that will use a repurposed NRO telescope to characterize and detect exoplanets, image and characterize both nearby and distant galaxies, and probe the nature of dark energy.
WFIRST has two instruments: a wide field camera with Hubble quality resolution and 200 times larger field of view than Hubble Space Telescope and a coronagraph that will be capable of characterizing planets around the nearest stars. WFIRST should have a transformative impact on astronomy when it is launched in 2024.
Princeton researchers will play a leading role in the design and formulation of WFIRST, the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope:
- Jeremy Kasdin will lead the coronagraph formulation and design as Coronagraph Adjutant Scientist
- David Spergel will lead the wide field camera formulation and design as Wide Field Camera Adjutant Scientist. Together with Neil Gehrels (Goddard Space Flight Center), Spergel and Kasdin will cochair the science team for the mission.
- Robert Lupton and David Spergel are members of the WFIRST cosmology team led by Olivier Dore (a former Princeton postdoc now at JPL)
- Jenny Greene is a member of the extragalactic science team
- Adam Burrows and Jeremy Kasdin are members of the coronagraph science team
The initial steps in developing the current concept for using the telescope began with a September 4, 2012 meeting in Princeton. Over the subsequent three years, David Spergel was co-chair of the Science Definition Team for the mission and Jeremy Kasdin played a major role in the design of the coronagraph.