WFIRST Special Session
AAS, Wednesday, January 7, 2015
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 607 at the Seattle Convention Center
Organizers: Neil Gehrels (NASA/GSFC)
WFIRST is the top ranked large space mission of the Astro2010 Decadal Survey. NASA has recently acquired two "Hubble class" 2.4m mirror telescopes, one of which is being baselined for WFIRST. The NASA name for this configuration of the mission is the Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (AFTA). The predicted performance is impressive with IR surveys covering 1000's of square degrees to 27th magnitude. In addition to a wide-field imaging camera with a grism and an IFU spectrograph, a high contrast coronagraph will significantly advance exoplanet direct imaging, the highest ranked ASTRO2010 mid-scale priority. Observing time will be available to the community through a vigorous Guest Investigator program. The mission will make large advances in studies of dark energy, exoplanets, galaxy formation and many other areas of extragalactic, galactic and solar system astrophysics. This session will examine the scientific opportunities for the AAS community made available by the utilization of one of the 2.4m telescopes for the WFIRST-AFTA mission.