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1 Pathways to Discovery: From Foundations to Frontiers
Pages 10-30

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From page 10...
... Six Nobel Prizes for discoveries made using astronomical data have been awarded over the past decade alone (dark energy, gravitational waves, neutrino oscillations, the discovery of exoplanets, cosmology, supermassive black holes)
From page 11...
... As a result, many of the questions at the forefront of the survey's themes could not have been framed even a decade ago. The richness of these three themes demands that a broad and varied suite of capabilities be sustained over the full electromagnetic spectrum and in the new windows of gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos.
From page 12...
... This decadal survey's science theme of Worlds and Suns in Context encompasses the interlinked studies of stars, planetary systems, and the solar system. Within this broader science theme, the survey has identified the priority science area of Pathways to Habitable Worlds with the goal of trying to discover worlds that could resemble Earth and answer the fundamental question: "Are we alone?
From page 13...
... The planets around more placid Sun-like stars are essentially inaccessible to the transit technique and beyond the reach of ELTs, which must observe PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 1-4
From page 14...
... The unknown physical natures of dark matter and dark energy, both discovered through astronomical measurements, remain outstanding grand challenges in both physics and astronomy, and great observational progress will be made in the coming decade. Addressing these profound mysteries were prime motivations for the Roman Space Telescope, with a field of view 100 times that of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
From page 15...
... Priority Area: New Windows on the Dynamic Universe This report's science theme of New Messengers and New Physics captures the broad array of science made possible by observing the sky in new ways. Within this theme, the decadal survey has identified the priority science area of "New Windows on the Dynamic Universe" -- the study of neutron stars, white dwarfs, collisions of black holes, and stellar explosions using the complementary perspectives provided by the wide range of messengers from light in all its forms from radio to gamma rays, gravitational waves, neutrinos, and high-energy particles.
From page 16...
... to detect the jets of relativistic gas produced by neutron stars and black holes, including those in mergers observed by ground and space-based gravitational wave facilities.  Next-generation CMB telescopes to search for the polarization signatures of gravitational waves produced in the infant universe.
From page 18...
... The broad science laid out in this report requires a wide variety of space-based techniques and capabilities spanning not just the electromagnetic spectrum, but, with the launch of ESA's LISA mission, in which the United States is a significant partner, the gravitational wave spectrum as well. While, as noted above, sustaining broad observational capabilities is crucially dependent on international partnerships and missions, essential capabilities, such as very highcontrast imaging and spectroscopy in the IR/O/UV bands, far-IR imaging and spectroscopy, and highresolution X-ray imaging and spectroscopy, are not planned in ESA's Voyage 2050 program,4 or by other international agencies.
From page 19...
... Changing the defaults under which astronomy is practiced will only happen with energetic engagement and a diversity-, equity-, and inclusion-focused lens. 1.3 FRAMEWORK FOR THE SURVEY'S RECOMMENDATIONS In the context described above, the decadal survey committee weighed many considerations in designing its recommended program (Figure 1.2)
From page 20...
... Projects that build the foundations consist in large part of competed grants to individual investigators and programs that support modest scale activities, and sustaining projects consist PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 1-11
From page 21...
... In addition, adding a competed probe mission line that spans the large gap between Explorers and ambitious strategic missions, with science foci identified by decadal surveys will be a further move toward a capable, panchromatic mission fleet. The greatest challenge for NSF going forward is its need to develop the appropriate programmatic balance of projects spanning the needed range of budgetary levels required to optimize the return on federal investments.
From page 22...
... Ambitious and transformative large-scale efforts often take multiple decades to realize, and all of those scheduled for completion in the coming decade will provide essential capabilities upon which the Survey's scientific goals rely. Further, programs resulting from decadal recommendations, such as NASA's expanded Explorer program and NSF's Mid-Scale Innovations Program, play essential roles in sustaining scientific breadth and ensuring timely response to new opportunities.
From page 24...
... This program is not currently at a healthy level, and the recommendation for an augmentation over 5 years is designed to restore success rates PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION 1-15
From page 26...
... Exploring the cosmos in the multi-messenger and time domains is a key scientific priority for the coming decade, with new capabilities for discovery on the horizon with the Rubin Observatory, Roman, LIGO/Virgo and the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector (KAGRA)
From page 27...
... The survey committee strongly endorses gravitational wave observations as central to many crucial science objectives. Because the technology development for future upgrades and observatories is funded by NSF Physics, it is beyond the survey's charge to formally recommend this investment.
From page 28...
... These observatories will create enormous opportunities for scientific progress over the coming decades and well beyond, and they will address nearly every important science question across all three priority science themes. Both projects are essential for keeping the U.S.
From page 29...
... Solar physics is directly relevant to astronomy, as it is the study of our nearest star, and interacts with stellar astrophysics; is input to studying the Earth-Sun connection and expanding to stellarplanetary interactions; and is vital to understanding Earth's climate and space weather. The survey committee concluded that an appropriate role for astronomy and astrophysics decadal surveys is to comment on the value of ground-based solar physics projects for astronomy and astrophysics priorities, with the solar and space physics decadal survey being the more appropriate body to prioritize and rank ground-based solar physics projects within the context of the full range of multi-agency activities in solar physics.
From page 30...
... NASA's upcoming Roman Space Telescope, and ESA's Athena X-ray Observatory and LISA mission, in which NASA is a significant partner, are essential to the survey's science program. Advice on how to optimize the science return includes: holding a non-advocate review of Roman Space Telescope's science program to set the appropriate mix of survey time to guest investigator-led observing programs; and at the appropriate time, establishing funding for LISA science at a level that ensures U.S.


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