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Astrophsyics

PCOS Science Goals

Expand our knowledge of dark energy

The discovery that the expansion of space is accelerating presents one of the most important scientific problems of our time. The implication that the universe is dominated by an unknown entity, now called "dark energy," that counters the attractive force of gravity, may revolutionize our understanding of cosmology and fundamental physics. Although observations with ground-based and orbital assets—including HST, Chandra, and WMAP—have confirmed the acceleration, we know very little about the most basic properties of dark energy. There is currently no theory based on known physics that can quantitatively explain dark energy. Quantum physics over-predicts the amount of observed dark energy by a factor of 10120. Empirical observations are critical to distinguishing whether dark energy is consistent with Einstein's Cosmological Constant, whether it is due to a dynamic quintessence field that changes over space and time, or whether it is simply a failure of Einstein's General theory of Relativity at cosmic scales. Because it seems to control the expansion of the Universe, we cannot predict the fate of the Universe—Will the Universe last forever?—without understanding the physical nature of dark energy.


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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