Board on Physics and Astronomy The National Academies

NAS NAE IOM NRC April 24, 2014



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E-mail: bpa@nas.edu

 

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Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics

A joint committee of the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy.

Project Information

Committee Statement of Task

The overarching purpose of the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) is to support scientific progress in astronomy and astrophysics and assist the federal government in integrating and planning programs in these fields. The CAA scope spans the full range of astronomy and astrophysics research, including space- and ground-based observations. The committee's domain encompasses stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy, particle astrophysics, cosmology, the search for extra-solar planets, and aspects of fundamental physics relating to astronomical objects. The CAA's scope also includes appropriate cross-disciplinary areas. The CAA provides an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in astronomy and astrophysics between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.

The CAA will also monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the New Worlds New Horizons (NWNH) decadal survey--building on the survey that was tasked with "surveying the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics and recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010-2020" and with formulating a decadal research strategy with recommendations for initiatives in priority order within different categories related to size of activities and their home agencies--and the consequences to NWNH and the research community of the changes in budget structure anticipated in the near future. The need for careful monitoring is underscored by the fact that some of the survey's recommendations are associated with a set of triggers and decision rules. Other developments that trigger the need for reassessment include cost growth and/or changes of scope in the project baseline.

In fulfilling these responsibilities, the committee may formulate and oversee ad-hoc studies related to the implementation of the NWNH survey and on issues in astronomy and astrophysics more broadly, including:

  • The scientific quality and the potential for discovery in the field; 
  • The scientific impact of a change in the technical design, cost estimate, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more of the decadal survey recommended activities; 
  • The impact of scientific advances on the technical design, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more decadal survey recommended activities; 
  • The impact of changing budget priorities, especially those that challenge the fundamental assumptions of NWNH, on the implementation of decadal survey priorities and on astronomy and astrophysics research more broadly; and 
  • The potential impact on a recommended course of action at a decision point described in the decadal survey.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Fall 2014 Meeting (Date & Location TBD)

Past Meetings and Events

NRC Space Science Week 2014
& CAA Meeting

March 3-5, 2014
Washington, DC
   Download the Meeting Agenda   
   Download Presentations from the Meeting

November 4-5, 2013
Keck Center of the National Academies
Washington, DC
   Download the Meeting Agenda
   Download Presentations from the Meeting

NRC Space Science Week 2013
& CAA Meeting
March 6-8, 2013
Washington, DC
   Download the Meeting Agenda
   Download Presentations from the Meeting

June 4-6, 2012
Keck Center of the National Academies
Room 101
Washington, DC
   Download the Meeting Agenda
   Download Presentations from the Meeting

Committee Membership

David N. Spergel (NAS), Co-Chair, Princeton University
Paul L. Schechter (NAS), Co-Chair, Massachusetts institute of Technology
Jeremiah K. Darling, University of Colorado, Boulder
Megan Donahue, Michigan State University
Debra Fischer, Yale University
Joshua A. Frieman, Fermilab and University of Chicago
Charles F. Gammie, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Timothy M. Heckman, Johns Hopkins University
Lynne Hillenbrand, California Institute of Technology
Robert P. Kirshner (NAS), Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Christopher F. McKee (NAS), University of California, Berkeley
Rene A. Ong, University of California, Los Angeles
Eve C. Ostriker, Princeton University
Marcia J. Rieke (NAS), University of Arizona
J. Craig Wheeler, University of Texas, Austin
Eric M. Wilcots, University of Wisconsin, Madison
A. Thomas Young (NAE), Lockheed Martin (Ret.)

View Member Bios 

NRC Staff

David Lang, Program Officer
Lewis Groswald, Associate Program Officer
Dionna Williams, Program Associate

Past Meeting Presentations

March 3-5, 2014
Washington, DC

November 4-5, 2013
Washington, DC

March 6-8, 2013*
Washington, DC

*CAPS-CAA-CSSP-CESAS Plenary Session presentations will be posted on the Space Science Week page

June 4-6, 2012
Washington, DC

Related Report-writing Activities

Related report-writting activities are listed below.  Complete information on past astronomy and astrophysics decadal surveys can be found on the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Surveys web page.  

Sponsor

The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.

 

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