AAAS cordially invites you to
NASA's Next Astrophysics Flagship: The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
Featuring Jason Rhodes, Senior Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
October 9, 2018
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Light refreshments to follow
Please join us for a lecture by Jason Rhodes on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope. The top recommendation for a large space mission in the U.S. 2010 Decadal Survey was the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). Similarities in hardware requirements between proposed dark energy, exoplanet microlensing, and near infrared surveyor missions allowed for a single mission that would accomplish all three goals. The gift of an existing 2.4 meter telescope to NASA by another U.S. government agency allowed for the addition of a coronagraph that will take images and spectra of nearby exoplanets; this instrument will be a technological stepping stone to imaging other Earths in the 2030s. Rhodes will give an overview of WFIRST's proposed instrumentation, science goals, and implementation plan.
Jason Rhodes grew up in Des Moines, IA, and developed an early passion for space and NASA. He went to Space Camp three times growing up. He went on to get a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton before doing stints as a postdoc at NASA GSFC and Caltech using Hubble Space Telescope data to study the properties of dark matter. He came to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2004, where he has worked on dark energy mission development for the past 14 years. He is the U.S. science lead for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid dark energy mission, the JPL Project Scientist for NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), and serves on the NSF/DOE Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Dark Energy Science Collaboration’s (DESC) Advisory Committee. In addition to his research in dark energy, he has taken an interest in using coronagraphs and starshades to study the properties of exoplanets.
This talk is part of the Colloquium Series offered by AAAS to provide a forum to explore timely topics relevant to science and society. These events are free of charge and open to the public.