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Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG)

SAG #11: Cosmic Dawn

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:

  1. Identify questions that will likely remain unanswered after the conclusion of the JWST mission. This includes not only those questions which JWST is not suited to study, but also an exploration of those questions which might form based on likely JWST observations, and complementary observations to the full SKA surveys of the 2030s.
  2. Assess the potential for the proposed NASA flagship missions (LUVOIR, Origins, Lynx and HabEx) to answer these questions.
  3. Identify observational gaps that are not covered by the proposed NASA flagship missions and describe the capabilities that potential probe-class missions would require to close these gaps.
  4. Examine the potential for panchromatic observations that can be done now with existing telescopes and data archives in support of these ideas.
  5. Identify the need for coordinated programs between multiple observatories (including ground based), archives and/or numerical simulations.

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.

Congratulations, OSIRIS-Rex!

OSIRIS-REx TAGs Surface of Asteroid Bennu

Successful TAG with asteroid Bennu

COR News

Program News and Announcements

16 December 2020
The 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Virtually Anywhere, 11–15 January 2021, will include Cosmic Origins events. The COR AAS2021 Meeting page lists currently scheduled sessions, presentations, chats, and displays. »  Details.
16 December 2020
The Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has announced a call for nominations, including self-nominations, to serve on the Executive Committee (EC) of NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group, or COPAG. »  Full details.
5 November 2020
ROSES Amendment 68: New Opportunity in ROSES: E.11 Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) »  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.
4 September 2020
Call for nominations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG) Executive Committee. »  Details.
26 June 2020
Based on extensive feedback from the community, including the recent COPAG survey and APAC discussion, the Astrophysics Data Analysis Program will be solicited in ROSES-2021. »  Details.

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