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June 2024

About This Article

 The latest news from the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope Science Operations Center (SOC) at STScI 

Roman’s Wide Field Instrument is completing its thermal vacuum tests and will join the telescope at Goddard later this summer. It’s time to plan the community-defined surveys, including a Galactic Plane General Astrophysics Survey, and you can help! A recent STScI newsletter summarizes how you can get involved. Members of the SOC will be at the summer AAS in Madison, and in July (9-12), please consider joining the next Roman Science Conference at IPAC. We hope to see you in person soon.

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Roman could detect the first stars being shredded by black holes. See other Roman press releases about primordial black holesgravitationally lensed supernovaedark matter clumps, and the ages of stars.

Roman at AAS in Madison, WI

Roman SOC staff will be attending the upcoming American Astronomical Society Meeting 244 in Madison, WI June 9-13. Highlights include iPosters from Will Schultz (129.04 on Monday 6/10 from 5:30 to 6:30pm) and Tyler Desjardins (306.01 on Wednesday 6/12 from 9 to 10am), as well as a Roman presentation by Claire Murray at the STScI Town Hall discussing Roman as a big data and survey mission. Tyler Desjardins will also present a general mission overview and Roman SOC updates at the exhibitor theater on Wednesday 6/12 at noon.

Please visit the STScI booth to talk with SOC staff and learn more about the Roman mission. See Roman at AAS for more information on the schedule and events, including splinter sessions, talks, and several iPoster presentations.

Roman Science Conference Series

The next Roman Science conference, "Challenging Theory with Roman: From Planet Formation to Cosmology", will be hosted by the Roman Science Support Center (SSC) at IPAC on July 9-12, 2024. The goal of this 4-day conference is to bring members of the community together to discuss how observations with the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will challenge theories, from exoplanets to the edge of the Universe. The conference will focus mainly on Roman surveys with the Wide Field Instrument, but will include topics relevant to the Coronagraph. This conference will also provide an opportunity to hear from and interact with members of the Core Community Survey definition committees.

Registration is now open! The registration deadline is June 25, 2024. Registration is free and a preliminary agenda is available.

Also see the summary of the previous Roman conference, "Roman Science Inspired by JWST Results" (June 2023).

WFI Thermal Vacuum Testing Update

The Wide Field Instrument (WFI) was back at the Titan test chamber undergoing its second Thermal Vacuum Integration and Testing Campaign (TVAC2), which will run until the end of May of 2024. The SOC has been closely following this testing campaign including in-person support from two of our team members. This testing campaign built upon the knowledge and data collected throughout the first TVAC campaign (TVAC1) and is the last chance to test some of the aspects of WFI prior to launch. The SOC has finished transferring all TVAC1 data and will use these data, together with data from TVAC2, to produce calibration reference files for initial on-orbit activities, and for long-term WFI characterization.

Recent Call for Community Input for Roman

The Roman Space Telescope team requested the science community's participation in the community-led definition of a Roman Galactic Plane General Astrophysics Survey. 

The call sought broader input into the range of science investigations the community would like to see enabled by this survey. It also simultaneously sought to form a definition committee composed of members of the science community who represent the breadth of science the community wants to see enabled with the Galactic Plane Survey, and the diversity of the scientists who will ultimately use Roman’s datasets. The call thus requested (a) community input into the definition of the Roman Galactic Plane Survey in the form of either short science pitches or more detailed white papers, and (b) self-nominations to serve on the definition committee for the Roman Galactic Plane Survey. Both were requested by May 20th, 2024.

For full details on this call, including context on how this call relates to previous calls, please visit the Galactic Plane Survey Definition information at the NASA Roman site.

Roman User Documentation System

The Roman User Documentation System (RDox) website is available and contains user-centered documentation for Simulation Tools and the Astronomer's Proposal Tool alongside early versions of the Data Handbook and the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) Image Mode User Guide. RDox will be developed incrementally as the mission progresses towards launch with roughly twice-annual content deliveries timed with major Roman Community Engagement activities.

RDox Article Highlight: Two articles highlighted in this newsletter are the WFI Quick Reference article and the Roman APT Quick Start Guide. These provide short overviews of the WFI Instrument and how to use Roman APT, respectively, and provide links to additional resources in RDox for more information. Both of these articles are helpful base references, either for experienced users to reliably find a specific piece of information in a hurry or for new users who are just starting to learn about Roman WFI.

Roman Science Forum

Please visit the Roman Science Forum to learn more about opportunities to get involved in the Roman Mission! This is a space for community collaboration focused on maximizing the science achieved with the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope's Wide Field Instrument. It is also a place where to find frequent Roman news to keep up to date with the Roman mission.

To sign up for the WFI science working groups, please use the form Roman Science Working Groups sign-up form

Roman Technical Reports

SOC Roman Help Desk Portal

The Roman Help Desk at STScI has introduced a new web portal for the Roman community, mirroring the support structure for other flagship missions. This portal streamlines the process of directing inquiries to the appropriate groups for prompt assistance. While email submissions will still be accepted, we ask users to transition to the new portal interface to receive a prompt response. Users submitting questions via email will receive a reminder about the portal. The STScI Help Desk handles questions related to the Wide Field Instrument (WFI) design, WFI imaging mode, Roman science platform, Roman Archive, Roman imaging mode simulation tools, exposure time calculations, and the Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT) for WFI program design. For inquiries about the Roman proposal process, Coronograph Instrument, WFI spectroscopy mode, Galactic Bulge Time Domain Survey, Roman exoplanet science, and grants, please contact the Roman Help Desk at IPAC through their portal or by emailing roman-help@ipac.caltech.edu. If you're uncertain where to send your questions, choose the most fitting option, and rest assured they will be directed to the correct place.

View all Roman News at STScI > 

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The NASA Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is managed by NASA/GSFC with participation of STScI, Caltech/IPAC, and NASA/JPL.

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