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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASTRO2020)
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Panels

Click the panel link for information about its membership and meetings.


Science Panels

 

Panel on Cosmology

  • The Panel on Cosmology will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in cosmology research in the 2022-2032 decade. Its scope will include the early universe, the cosmic microwave background, the epoch of reionization, large scale structure, dark energy, dark matter (excluding direct detection), and gravitational lensing and microlensing as applied to cosmology, as well as astrophysical tests of fundamental physics.

 

Panel on Galaxies

  • The Panel on Galaxies will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in galaxy research in the 2022-2032 decade. Its scope will include observations, theory, and simulations of galaxy formation and evolution, galactic structure and dynamics, galaxy clusters, stellar populations in galaxies, the intergalactic medium, chemical evolution of galaxies, gravitational lensing as applied to galaxy structure, supermassive black holes, relevant aspects of Milky Way science, and related phenomena associated with active galactic nuclei.

 

Panel on the Interstellar Medium and Star and Planet Formation

  • The Panel on the Interstellar Medium and Star and Planet Formation will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in research of the interstellar medium and the formation of stars and planets in the 2022-2032 decade. Its scope will include the interstellar medium in the Milky Way, other relevant aspects of Milky Way science, star formation, astrochemistry, interstellar plasmas and magnetohydrodynamic phenomena, protoplanetary disks and debris disks, and planet formation as well as the interstellar medium and star formation in nearby galaxies.

 

Panel on Stars, the Sun, and Stellar Populations

  • The Panel on Stars, the Sun, and Stellar Populations will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in research of stars, stellar populations, and the Sun in the 2020-2030 decade. Its scope will include stellar structure and evolution, stellar activity and variability, brown dwarfs, solar astronomy, resolved stellar populations and star clusters in the Milky Way, and stellar nucleosynthesis and chemical evolution, as well as stellar activity and properties as revealed by exoplanet observations.

 

Panel on Compact Objects and Energetic Phenomena

  • The Panel on Compact Objects and Energetic Phenomena will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in research of compact objects and energetic phenomena in the 2022-2032 decade. Its scope will include white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, magnetars, stellar mass black holes, compact binary systems, novae, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, fast radio bursts, gravitational radiation and high-energy particles from astrophysical sources, supermassive black holes, and related phenomena associated with active galactic nuclei.

 

Panel on Exoplanets, Astrobiology, and the Solar System

  • The Panel on Exoplanets, Astrobiology, and the Solar System will identify and articulate the scientific themes that will define the frontier in research of exoplanets, astrobiology, and the solar system in the 2022-2032 decade. Its scope will include the detection, demographics, and physical characteristics of exoplanets, solar system observations, and astrobiology, as well as stellar activity and properties as revealed by exoplanet observations. The panel will consider as inputs the congressionally mandated reports Exoplanet Science Strategy and An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe.

 

Program Panels


Panel on Electromagnetic Observations from Space 1

  • The Panel on Electromagnetic Observations from Space 1 (EOS1) will identify and suggest to the decadal survey committee a prioritized program of federal investment in research activities that involve observations of astrophysical phenomena primarily by means of optical and near-infrared electromagnetic measurements from space. The EOS1 panel will also consider technology development needs to support the prioritized program. In formulating its conclusions, the EOS1 panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2020 science panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost, risk, and technical readiness evaluations. The EOS1 panel's suggestions will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Astro2020 Committee.


Panel on Electromagnetic Observations from Space 2

  • The Panel on Electromagnetic Observations from Space 2 (EOS2) will identify and suggest to the decadal survey committee a prioritized program of federal investment in research activities that involve observations of astrophysical phenomena primarily by means of radio, far-infrared, and high-energy electromagnetic observations from space. The EOS2 panel will also consider technology development needs to support the prioritized program. In formulating its conclusions, the EOS2 panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2020 science panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost, risk, and technical readiness evaluations. The EOS2 panel's suggestions will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Astro2020 Committee.


Panel on Optical and Infrared Observations from the Ground

  • The Panel on Optical and Infrared Observations from the Ground (OIR) will identify and suggest to the decadal survey committee a prioritized program of federal investment in research activities that involve observations of astrophysical phenomena primarily by means of optical and infrared measurements from the ground. The OIR panel will also consider technology development needs to support the prioritized program. In formulating its conclusions, the OIR panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2020 science panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost, risk, and technical readiness evaluations. The OIR panel's suggestions will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Astro2020 Committee.


Panel on Radio, Millimeter, and Submillimeter Observations from the Ground

  • The Panel on Radio, Millimeter and Submillimeter (RMS) Observations from the Ground will identify and suggest to the decadal survey committee a prioritized program of federal investment in ground-based research activities that primarily operate in the radio, millimeter, and submillimeter portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The RMS panel will also consider technology development needs to support the prioritized program. In formulating its conclusions, the RMS panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2020 science panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost, risk, and technical readiness evaluations. The RMS panel's suggestions will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Committee on Astro2020.


Panel on Particle Astrophysics and Gravitation

  • The Panel on Particle Astrophysics and Gravitation (PAG) will identify and suggest to the decadal survey committee a prioritized program of federal investment in research activities exploring areas at the interface of physics and astronomy such as gravitational radiation, TeV gamma-ray astronomy, and free-flying space missions testing fundamental gravitational physics. The PAG panel will also consider technology development needs to support the prioritized program. In formulating its conclusions, the PAG panel will draw on several sources of information: (1) the science forefronts identified by the Astro2020 science panels, (2) input from the proponents of research activities, and (3) independent cost, risk, and technical readiness evaluations. The PAG panel's suggestions will be integrated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Astro2020 Committee.


Panel on An Enabling Foundation for Research

  • The Panel on An Enabling Foundation for Research will summarize the current state of resources and support, identify major challenges, and make suggestions to the Astro2020 committee on the topics of computation, simulation, and data handling; facilities, funding, and programs; laboratory astrophysics; general technology development programs; international and private partnerships; and relevant areas of astronomy and public policy. The Panel’s suggestions will be incorporated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Committee on Astro2020.

 

State of the Profession


Panel on State of the Profession and Societal Impacts

  •  The Panel on State of the Profession and Societal Impacts will gather information from existing and new sources on the health and demographics of the astronomy and astrophysics community and make actionable suggestions to the Astro 2020 committee on the topics of demographics, diversity and inclusion, workplace climate, workforce development, education, public outreach, and relevant areas of astronomy and public policy. The Panel’s suggestions will be incorporated into a program for all of astronomy and astrophysics by the Committee on Astro2020.