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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

 

Scope


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) to operate as an ad-hoc committee. The overarching purpose of the committee is to support scientific progress in astronomy and astrophysics and to assist the federal government in planning programs in these fields by providing advice on the implementation of decadal survey recommendations. 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 issue reports that will provide guidance to federal agencies that support astronomy and astrophysics research. The CAA’s 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 and consideration of budget and programmatic aspects of the implementation of the decadal survey.
 

The Committee will build on the current decadal survey of the field, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics," (NWNH) and monitor the progress of its recommended priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities in that report and recommendations in the mid-decadal review report issued in June 2016.
 

The committee will carry out its charge by undertaking the following tasks:

1. At each of its in-person meetings, the committee may prepare concise assessments of progress on the implementation of the decadal survey's recommended scientific and technical activities. The assessments will be based on evidence gathered by the committee at its in-person and virtual meetings. The committee’s assessment reports may include findings and conclusions on key strategies being pursued by the agencies and the status of agency actions that relate to the state of implementation. The reports may also highlight scientific discoveries and engineering and technical advances relevant to progress on the science objectives identified in NWNH and in addition will focus on one or more of the following types of issues:

 

          • The scientific impact of a change in the technical and engineering design, cost estimate, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more of the survey-recommended activities;

          • The impact of a scientific advance on the technical and engineering design, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more survey-recommended activities;

          • The scientific impact of a course of action at a decision point described in the survey report and recommended therein as being suitable for consultation with an independent decadal survey implementation committee;

          • The scientific impact of implementing recommendations from the mid-decadal review and other relevant Academies' reports.
 

2. At an in-person meeting, the committee may prepare a concise report with advice on the preparation for future decadal and mid-decadal studies. These reports will be based on evidence gathered by the committee at its in-person and virtual meetings. Future decadal and mid-decadal studies will be carried out by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Academies under a separate task.
 

3. For advisory activities assessed to require a more in-depth review than is possible through the normal operation of the CAA, the committee will assist the Academies in formulating the task and committee membership for such studies which will be designed as separate tasks.
 

Meetings and Events

 

March 26-28, 2019
Washington, DC

View Agenda and Presentations
 

View Information About Past Meetings and Events

 

Committee Membership

 View Member Bios 

Steven M. Ritz, Co-Chair, University of Santa Cruz
Vassiliki (Vicky) Kalogera; NAS, Co-Chair, Northwestern University 
Megan Donahue, Michigan State University
Tom Greene, NASA Ames Research Center
Shaul Hanany, University of Minnesota
Lee W. Hartmann, University of Michigan
Elizabeth Hays, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Jason Kalirai, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Bruce Macintosh, Stanford University
Christopher McKee, University of California Berkeley
Scott Ransom, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Alexey Vikhlinin, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Eric M. Wilcots, University of Wisconsin, Madison 
A. Thomas Young, NAE, Lockheed Martin (Ret.)
 

Staff

Gregory Mack, Study Director, BPA
Mia Brown, Research Associate, SSB
Dionna Williams, Program Coordinator, SSB

 

Past Meetings and Events

 

October 29-30, 2018
Irvine, CA

View Agenda and Presentations

 

March 27-29, 2018
Washington, DC

View Agenda and Presentations I Space Science Week 2018

 

February 26, 2018
Telecon with NASA SMD - Paul Hertz
Presentation on Decadal Survey Preparation

 

AAS Town Hall Meeting
January 10, 2018
Decadal Survey Planning  

 

October 24-25, 2017
Irvine, CA

View Agenda and Presentations 

 

March 28-30, 2017
Washington, D.C.

View Agenda and Presentations I Space Science Week 2017

 

March 29-31, 2016
Washington, D.C.

View Agenda and Presentations I Space Science Week

October 31-November 1, 2016
Irvine, CA

View Agenda and Presentations

 

 

March 31- April 2, 2015
Washington, DC

View Agenda and Presentations I Space Science Week

 

November 3-4, 2014
Irvine, CA

View Agenda and Presentations

 

March 3-5, 2014
Washington, DC

View Agenda and PresentationsNRC Space Science Week 2014
& CAA Meeting

 

Related Report-writing Activities

 

Reports of the Committee

Report Series: Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics: Mission Concept Studies

Report Series: Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics: Small Explorer Missions

 

Related report writing 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.