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Date: May 18, 2017
Speaker: Jeffrey Kruk, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Topic: Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
Time and Location: 1:00 p.m., with Q&A to follow in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (www.acp.org), 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD - off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.
Abstract: The Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope Mission
The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, the top-priority in the 2010 Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey, will be the next large astrophysics mission to follow the James Webb Space Telescope. This observatory will incorporate an already-built 2.4m telescope that will provide image clarity similar to the Hubble Space Telescope, but with an optical design and array of new-generation H4RG infrared detectors that enables imaging of 100 times the area of HST in a single exposure. The wide-field IR instrument will provide galaxy surveys and supernova monitoring for dark energy studies that are significantly deeper than those planned by other observatories. A coronagraph instrument will directly image ice and gas giant planets, and circumstellar disks. The talk will summarize the science program and mission design, and will give an update on the status of the project.
Biography: Dr. Kruk received his A.B. degree at Princeton, and his graduate degrees at Yale. He began with research and academic positions at Rice and at Johns Hopkins. Since 2010 he has been a Research Astrophysicist at NASA Goddard.
His record of leadership is very strong in instrumental development and exercise, beginning at Brookhaven, Los Alamos, and Fermilab. He held essential roles in contributing to the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope, and to several aspects of the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, where he served as Program Manager. Since 2011 he has served as Observatory Project Scientist on the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, since 2015 he has served as Observatory Project Scientist with WFIRST, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope.
Dr. Kruk has received awards too numerous to be detailed here he has served on a number of Review Panels and the like; and he has published reams of research papers in refereed journals.