Astrophysics with the SPHEREx
All-Sky Spectral Survey
A Community Workshop on the New Science Enabled
by the SPHEREx Optical to Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Survey
February 24-26, 2016 in Pasadena
at the Keck Institute for Science Studies

The SPHEREx team held a community workshop in February 2016 in Pasadena. The results have now been distilled into a white paper by Doré et al. 2016, which describes the potential impact of SPHEREx on the wider astronomical community in detail.

Workshop Attendees

SPHEREx was recently selected by NASA as a Small Explorer for Phase A study, with launch in 2020 if we prevail in the next evaluation cycle. The PI of SPHEREx is Professor Jamie Bock of Caltech/JPL. Briefly, SPHEREx will return spectra from 0.75 to 5.0 um of every 6x6 arcsec pixel on the sky. The spectral resolving power will be 41.5 from 0.75 to 4.1um and 150 from 4.1 to 5.0 um, and the 5-sigma sensitivity at the end of the two year mission is expected to be better than 19th AB magnitude. The sensitivity estimates are compared to those of other surveys in the figure at left.

The SPHEREx science team built our proposal to study three specific science issues: 1) Cosmic inflation; 2) The history of light production in the Universe; and 3) The evolution of ices in interstellar and protostellar environments. However, SPHEREx, as the first all sky spectral survey in the 0.75-5.0 um band, will create a data base applicable to a very wide range of astrophysical questions. Our intent for the workshop was, accordingly, to enlist the participation of the scientific community on the following three items:

  • Identify the most exciting and compelling science questions outside of our three main science themes which can be explored with SPHEREx data
  • Identify data products, tools, and ancillary data beyond those needed for the three main themes
  • Evaluate and comment on early release science plans

The community workshop was well-attended, with over 60 attendees (see below), and highly interactive. The results included a publicly available white paper, and motivated some modifications to our plans for data products and data releases during the mission, as well as a list of new data products and software tools to enable legacy science themes identified during the workshop, if additional funds can be identified for that purpose. We intend that this workshop serve as the beginning of a continuing dialogue between the SPHEREx team and interested members of the astrophysics community.

Scientific Organizing Committee

Michael Werner (JPL, Co-Chair)
Olivier Doré (JPL, Co-Chair)
Michael Blanton (NYU)
Davy Kirkpatrick (IPAC)
Casey Lisse (Johns Hopkins Univ/APL)
Gary Melnick (SAO)
Massimo Roberto (STScI)
Michael Strauss (Princeton)

Stephen Unwin (JPL)
Meg Urry (Yale)
Rogier Windhorst (ASU)

Invited Speakers

Matthew Ashby (SAO)
Bob Benjamin (UW)
Adwin Boogert (SOFIA/USRA)
Asantha Cooray (UCI)
Doug Finkbeiner (Harvard)
Tom Greene (NASA Ames)
Davy Kirkpatrick (IPAC)
Mariska Kriek (Berkeley)
Woon-Seon Jeong (KASI)
Casey Lisse (JHU/APL)
Gary Melnick (SAO)
David Neufeld (JHL)
Jason Rhodes (JPL)
Mara Salvato (MPIE)
Karin Sandstrom (UCSD)
Dan Stevens (Ohio State)
Michael Strauss (Princeton)
Kate Su (Arizona)
Rogier Windhorst (ASU)

Workshop Attendees

Matthew Ashby
Robert Benjamin
Gary Bernstein
Lindsey Bleem
Jamie Bock
Adwin Boogert
Jeff Booth
Phil Bull
Peter Capak
Tzu-Ching Chang
David Ciardi
Asantha Cooray
Brendan Crill
Michael Cushing
Roland de Putter
Olivier Doré
Tim Eifler
Peter Eisenhardt
Chang Feng
Simone Ferraro
Douglas Finkbeiner
Tom Greene
Steve Groom
Salman Habib
Lynne Hillenbrand
Davy Kirkpatrick
Minjin Kim
Phil Korngut
Elizabeth Krause
Mariska Kriek
Dustin Lang
Boris Leistedt
Tony Li
Cassey Lisse
Steve Matousek
Philip Mauskopf
Gary Melnick
Alexander Mendez
Bertrand Mennesson
Joe Mohr
Elena Murchikova
Abraham Neben
David Neufeld
Elena Pierpaoli
Jeonghyun Pyo
Jason Rhodes
Mara Salvato
Karin Sandstrom
Emmanuel Schaan
Kevin Schlaufman
Nick Scoville
John Silverman
Yong Seon Song
Keivan Stassun
Dan Stevens
Michael Strauss
Kate Su
Harry Teplitz
Volker Tolls
Chao-Wei Tsai
Stephen Unwin
Bade Uzgil
Mohammadjavad Vakili
Marco Viero
Michael Werner
Rogier Windhorst
Hao-Yi Wu
Michael Zemcov