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PhysPAG Science Gaps List

The Physics of the Cosmos (PhysCOS) program is asking the PhysCOS community to think about science gaps, research areas where additional work is needed, that are relevant to future great observatories as well as general science gaps that are not considered strategic at this time.

Science Gaps can be divided into several categories:

  • Follow-up science: Investigations that enhance the PhysCOS science return of any currently operating strategic mission. This includes major theoretical modeling efforts, laboratory astrophysics, major changes in observing strategy (e.g., altering the sky survey of Fermi), and observations with other telescopes (ground-based or in space). Right now this includes follow-up science for HST, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Fermi, JWST, and any TDAMM mission.

  • Preparatory science: Investigations that enhance the PhysCOS science return and helps plan operations for an upcoming strategic mission that has been designed. Right now this includes Roman and upcoming TDAMM missions.

  • Precursor science: Investigations that provide information needed to quantify a future strategic mission’s ability to meet its goals relevant to PhysCOS science, and to assess mission design options. This includes HWO, X-ray and far-IR Great Observatories, X-ray and far-IR probes, and any future TDAMM-related mission.

  • Non-strategic science gaps include:
    • Investigations that enhance the science return for a currently operating non-strategic mission (e.g., NuSTAR);

    • Investigations that enhance the PhysCOS science return and helps plan operations for an upcoming non-strategic mission that has been designed (e.g., COSI);

    • Investigations that provide information needed to quantify a future non-strategic mission’s ability to meet its PhysCOS-related goals and assess mission design options (e.g., LISA).

    • Investigations that are relevant to future unplanned missions (e.g., Inflation Probe, Gamma-ray mission, etc).

This is the first effort for the PhysCOS community to put together this list that will be eventually published, maintained, and updated on this website in the years to come.

We are soliciting contributions from the Physics of the Cosmos community for science gaps in the last 3 categories (Preparatory, Precursor, Non-strategic science gaps). Gaps can be submitted via this Google Form.

You are welcome to submit more than one gap, but please submit one gap per form. It is not necessary to complete every field in the form.

Note that this effort is separate from the request for technology gaps as inputs to the ABTR, which will be issued separately.

The PhysCOS Program Analysis Group (PhysPAG) Executive Committee and the PhysCOS chief scientists will collect and edit the submitted gaps, posting a draft document for community feedback. We anticipate repeating this process every one to two years.

Precursor science gaps were discussed during the NASA’s Precursor Science Workshops in 2022 and precursor science gap lists were started by the community. Some of the Science Gaps were highlighted in the 2022 ROSES Proposal Call for Precursor Science Studies . Additional input or refinement for those precursor science gaps that were not included in the 2022 Call (and those that were!) is very welcome.

NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration (ExEp) Program has been maintaining and updating a list of science gaps relevant to their science and it can be found here on their website. This list and the way it was built during the years was presented by the ExEp Chief Scientists at the above workshop [PDF].

JAXA, NASA XRISM Mission Ready for Liftoff

XRISM launched successfully on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, at 7:42 p.m. EDT (Thursday, Sept. 7, 8:42 a.m. in Japan). The spacecraft separated from the rocket at 7:56 p.m. EDT.Read more.

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  • 21 September 2023
    AWESOM SAG Meeting 22 September 2023 »  Details.
    21 September 2023
    Open Source Science Data Repositories Workshop 27-29 September 2023 »  Details.
    21 September 2023
    Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting 19-20 October 2023 »  Details.
    13 September 2023
    2023 Astrophysics Probe Explorer Announcement of Opportunity: Revisions »  Details.
    13 September 2023
    IXPE General Observer Cycle 1 Notice of Intent Due 18 September 2023 »  Details.
    13 September 2023
    INTEGRAL's Final Call for Guest Observing Time, AO-21, is Open »  Details.
    13 September 2023
    JWST Calibration Workshop: November 14 – 17, 2023 »  Details.
    6 September 2023
    Special Announcement About the Habitable Worlds Observatory START and TAG Teams »  Details.
    5 September 2023
    XRISM Launch Rescheduled for This Week »  Details.
    5 September 2023
    SMD Bridge Program Seed Funding Announcement of Opportunity Still Open »  Details.
    5 September 2023
    ROSES-23: D.13 Astrophysics Pioneers Not Solicited This Year »  Details.
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