Workshop: Blazing Paths to Observing Stellar and Exoplanet Particle Environments

November 6 - 10, 2023
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Workshop Overview:

Now that astronomers are routinely probing the composition and evolution of exoplanet atmospheres, the fields of astrophysics, heliophysics, and exoplanetary science must devote greater attention to the particle environments of planets, i.e., space weather. Particles, although far more difficult to observe than photons, could play a significant role in stellar and planetary evolution. Particles erode and chemically modify planetary atmospheres, affecting climate, water inventories, surface radiation, biogenesis, and bioindicators, key driving science of the next flagship observatory. Meanwhile, the stellar particle wind and mass ejections alter a fundamental stellar property - rotation - in turn affecting stellar magnetic activity and associated radiation that also influences planets.

In the Solar System, space weather is monitored by a host of in situ and remote sensing means. This suite of sensors tracks variations in the solar wind and galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and impulsive events like coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar energetic particle (SEP) events. CMEs can be particularly damaging to planetary atmospheres in their path. In contrast with the present-day Sun, for stars and young solar analogs observations of winds, CMEs, SEPs, and GCRs are scarce at best. This absence is striking because many nearby stars are more magnetically active than the Sun, suggesting they produce more intense space weather.

This workshop will chart a course for the new field of planetary particle environment observation and observation-guided modeling. With the confluence of new Solar System observations, renewed modeling efforts, and a significant community push to understand exoplanet atmospheres, it is time to tackle detecting and characterizing particles in the space environments of planets.

The workshop team will review existing approaches for observing particle phenomena in stellar systems and identify study areas essential to evaluate and mature new promising techniques, defining requirements for any new observatory capabilities needed to implement those that hold the greatest promise. The outcome will be a written report to serve as a central resource around which the community can organize efforts to advance the study of planetary particle environments from a sometimes speculative to a largely observational science.

Schedule coming soon...

List of Workshop Participants Coming Soon...

Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.

Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.

Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Wilson Avenue. Turn right into the North Wilson Structure and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosk located inside the North Wilson Structure or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in an unmarked spot in the North Wilson Structure located on Wilson Avenue.

Maps and General Information on Pasadena