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Astrophsyics

PCOS Science Goals

Understand the formation and growth of massive black holes and their role in the evolution of galaxies

The massive black holes (~109 solar masses) ubiquitous in the Universe today are thought to stem from seed black holes formed early in the Reionization era. The origin of these seeds is uncertain. They may have formed from either large stellar mass black holes (~100 solar masses) left over from the first stars or intermediate mass black holes (~104–5 solar masses) formed directly by the collapse of supermassive gas clouds. Whether supermassive black holes grow through mergers or accretion, their host galaxies appear to have co-evolved with them. A strong correlation has become evident between the properties and evolution of galaxies and the growth of their central supermassive black holes. The energetic processes around SMBHs result in huge radiative andmechanical outputs that could potentially have a profound effect on their larger scale environment in galaxies, clusters and the intergalactic medium. But quantitative descriptions of the interaction between massive black hole growth and galaxy growth are lacking. Understanding the formation of galaxies, and their subsequent evolution, will be coupled to intensive study of the evolution of supermassive black holes.


The European Space Agency LISA observatory


PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

21 October 2020
Revised submission date: Applications Sought for PhysPAG Executive Committee. Submissions now due November 6. »  Details.
14 October 2020
Astrophysics Advisory Committee meeting on 19–21 October 2020 »  Details.
14 October 2020
Astrophysics Explorers Announcement of Opportunity Community Announcement »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA announces major revisions in Astrophysics Research and Analysis opportunity. Due dates remain unchanged. »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA releases Citizen Science Seed Funding Program opportunity. Notices of Intent requested by 13 October 2020, with proposals due 11 December 2020. »  Details.
17 September 2020
NASA extends due date for Astrophysics Pioneers opportunity. Proposals are now due 8 October 2020. »  Details.
15 September 2020
Applications Sought for PhysPAG Executive Committee »  Details.
9 September 2020
Swift Cycle 17 Guest Investigator proposals due on 25 September 2020 »  Details.
4 September 2020
SMD Community Town Hall on Thurs 10 September »  Details.
4 September 2020
NuSTAR requests self-nominations for Users' Committee »  Details.
18 August 2020
XMM-Newton Guest Observer Announcement of Opportunity. »  Details.
17 August 2020
New Phase-1 Proposal Due Date for NICER Guest Observer Cycle 3. »  Details.
29 July 2020
Community Announcement: Intention to Amend ROSES-20 via a Future Appendix for Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM). »  Details.
27 July 2020
Snowmass 21 planning underway, with several topical groups on PCOS-related science. »  Details.
23 July 2020
New deadline set for JWST Cycle 1 General Observer proposals. Proposals will be due by 08:00 pm Eastern Time (ET) on Tuesday November 24, 2020. »  Details.
2 July 2020
NASA releases final text for Astrophysics Pioneers opportunity. Notices of Intent due 13 August 2020; proposals due 1 October 2020. »  Details.

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  • NASA Official: Phil Newman
  • Web Curator: Pat Tyler
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