WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge

Welcome to the 2019 WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge

The 2019 WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging Data Challenge is for exoplanet scientists who are interested in learning the art and science of high contrast imaging of exoplanetary systems. The WFIRST Coronagraph Instrument (CGI), with a possible Starshade, is the only exoplanet imaging instrument planned for flight in the next decade. The Data Challenge is an excellent way to become familiar with the intricacies of the first spaceborne high contrast exoplanet imaging mission, as a pathfinder to future flagship missions.

This year's Data Challenge focuses on revealing a fictitious exoplanetary system around the nearby solar-type star 47 UMa:

  • The WFIRST CGI data format, specificities and observing scenarios
  • The Hybrid Lyot and star-shade coronagraphs
  • Extracting faint sources with PSF subtraction/more advanced algorithms
  • Discriminating eventual background sources using parallax and proper motion
  • Calibrating out the exozodiacal light
  • Finding orbital solutions from two to six imaging epochs throughout the mission as well as simulated radial velocity (RV) data
  • Determining physical parameters of any found exoplanet(s) using all the available information (astrometry, photometry)

The official 2019 Data Challenge opened on October 20 and closes on December 20 with all findings due at that time. Submissions will be done through a form asking specific questions and allowing for discussion of findings. Judging of the submissions will be done by a panel of reviewers assembled from the Turnbull WFIRST SIT and the wider exoplanet community. Winning participant(s) will be funded to present their results and methods at a major exoplanet conference in 2020. After the deadline, all participants/teams are encouraged to publish their results.

You can still register and receive more support and information for successfully completing the challenge.