Planetary Science Seminar
Campaign 9 of K2 (K2C9), the extended mission of the Kepler spacecraft, will conduct a 3.4 square-degree survey toward the Galactic bulge from 7/April through 1/July this year that will leverage the spatial separation between K2 and the Earth to simultaneously observe ~120 microlensing events, including several planetary in nature as well as many short-timescale microlensing events, which are potentially indicative of free-floating planets (FFPs). These measurements will in turn allow for the direct measurement of the masses of and distances to the lensing systems, quantities that are not typically measured for most microlensing events detected by ground-based surveys alone. I will provide an overview of the K2C9 space- and ground-based microlensing survey and specifically detail the demographic questions that can be addressed by this program, including the frequency of FFPs and the Galactic distribution of exoplanets, the observational parameters of K2C9, and the array of ground-based resources dedicated to concurrent observations. Finally, I will outline the avenues through which the larger community can become involved, and generally encourage participation in K2C9, which constitutes an important pathfinding mission and community exercise in anticipation of WFIRST.