Co-Leads: Claudia Scarlata (Minnesota) and Steven Finkelstein (UT Austin)
Charter for SAG 11 [PDF]
Cosmic Dawn, when the first galaxies grew to fruition and began to affect the universe around them, has only recently begun to be studied observationally. The advent of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has allowed large samples of galaxies to be discovered at 6 < z < 10, spanning a time 0.5–1 Gyr after the Big Bang. While HST does not allow us to go to higher redshifts, the imminent arrival of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will probe galaxy populations at z =10–15 (and perhaps higher), placing the first direct constraints on the formation era of the first galaxies. However, JWST will have a limited lifespan, has a limited aperture size, and a limited wavelength range, which, for example, cannot directly detect the ionizing radiation that drives the reionization process during this epoch. It is imperative to begin planning now for how studies of Cosmic Dawn and associated processes will continue into the 2030s. The goal of the Cosmic Dawn SAG is to address the following points:
The Cosmic Dawn Science Analysis Group (SAG) will include representatives from the COPAG and PhysPAG as well as solicit participation from the broader scientific community, with the goal to analyze the above questions and compose and publish a report, delivered to NASA HQ, by the end of 2020. For these purposes, we define Cosmic Dawn as inclusive of the physical processes relevant to the formation of the first stars and galaxies, and the reionization of the Universe, without a specific constraint on redshift. This group is for analysis only, and will not be making recommendations to NASA.
Webb Unveils Dark Side of
Pre-stellar Ice Chemistry
An international team of astronomers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has obtained an in-depth inventory of the deepest, coldest ices measured to date in a molecular cloud. Read more.
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