Physics of the Cosmos
Exploring fundamental questions regarding the physical forces of the universe

Time Domain and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics Science Interest Group


Image: Time Domain and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics Science Interest Group

The Astro2020 Decadal Survey recommended an investment in Time Domain and Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (TDAMM) as the top-priority sustaining activity in space for the coming decade. This relatively new field burst onto the scene with the detection of neutrinos and photons from SN 1987A, and entered a new era in 2017, with the first detection of a binary neutron star merger, GW 170817 / GRB 170817A, in both gravitational waves and across the electromagnetic spectrum, and the second strong association between an astrophysical neutrino, IceCube-170922A, and a known source, the blazar TXS 0506+056. The field’s potential continues to grow as searches for electromagnetic counterparts to GW events continue and with the high-significance detection of neutrino emission from the galaxy NGC 1068.

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TDAMM observations cover a wide range of time-varying and multi-messenger phenomena that, expanding on the examples mentioned above, include characterization of exoplanet host stars, variable stars, fast radio bursts, and the regions closely surrounding supermassive black holes, to mention just a few.

  • TDAMM SIG Terms of Reference [PDF]

Tasks for the TDAMM SIG may include any of the following:

  1. Provide analysis and feedback to NASA on the impact of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey on the subfield.
  2. Identify and articulate “science gaps”: gaps between the current state of knowledge in the subfield and the goals outlined by the Decadal Survey that require new data in order to fully define new missions (precursor gaps), prepare for approved missions that are in development (preparatory gaps), and maximize the science return from current missions (follow-up gaps).
  3. Serve as ambassadors to facilitate communications between NASA and the science community. In particular, act as the interface to relevant TDAMM communities outside NASA’s immediate sphere, e.g., ground-based observers, physics facilities.
  4. Engage in scientific discussions and exchange of ideas through meetings and seminars to make best use of NASA assets for current research and to assist NASA in strategic planning in TDAMM activities.
  5. Propose and organize TDAMM sessions at conferences and arrange other public meetings as appropriate.
  6. Establish and disseminate best practices for conducting TDAMM science, for missions both in development and in operations, and for observers and investigators, including in regards to sharing and citing data in an era of open data.

TDAMM SIG Membership

Membership in the TDAMM SIG is open to the national and international scientific community without regard to institutional affiliation, education, or career status. The SIG values a community that is diverse and inclusive, consistent with NASA’s core value of inclusion and the NASA Science Mission Directorate Science Strategy. Membership is identified by subscription to a dedicated email distribution list for the SIG.

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