SPHEREx workshop, day 2

I got up at 0530 and looked at the participants and schedule for the SPHEREx workshop. I realized that I had prepared precisely the wrong talk yesterday! So I threw away my slides and made completely new slides. It was rushed. I forgot things. But it was still an improvement. I switched from saying things about scientific goals to saying things about technical improvements or extensions that could make the project more capable in respects that would serve the needs of (among other things) stellar science.

I then headed in to the workshop; I could only make it to the second day. I learned so much today. I can't do it justice. Here are some random facts: A lot could be learned about exoplanets if we could get bolometric fluxes for the stars.
I knew this already, I guess, but the prospects for SPHEREx here are excellent, if the project can deliver absolutely calibrated flux densities. There is a mass–metallicity relationship inside the Solar System! The Solar System contains Trojan satellites/asteroids around Neptune, not just Jupiter! There is no model for the zodiacal light in the Solar System that matches the observations to the level of precision that an infrared survey would need to remove or avoid it. The zodiacal light is consistent with being made up of ground up asteroids and evaporated comets! ALMA has observed many debris disks around nearby stars; some of these are angularly huge. The poster child is Fomalhaut, which has a thin, elliptical ring. It's a crazy thing. I learned these things from a combination of Dan Stevens (OSU), Jennifer Burt (MIT), Carey Lisse (JHU), and Meredith MacGregor (Harvard), but that's just a tiny sampling.

At the end of the day there was discussion of calibration, led by Doug Finkbeiner (CfA) and me. I very much enjoy the technical challenges for SPHEREx and the enthusiasm of the team taking them on.

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