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Working Group on Time Domain Astronomy (WGTDA)

History: Established at the 223rd meeting, January 2014 in Washington, in response to a recommendation from the 2012 Workshop on Developing a Plan for Preserving Astronomy’s Archival Records sponsored by the Working Group on the Preservation of Astronomical Heritage. That Workshop identified a growing need for coordination and cooperation in the rapidly developing field of time-domain astronomy (TDA).

Members: (1) an Executive Committee (EC) consisting of 10 AAS members appointed by the AAS Council.  The EC will collectively have representation that covers, but is not restricted to, the following areas of time domain astronomy:

  • Current and planned TDA surveys, and their data analysis needs
  • Impact of TDA follow-up observation needs, particularly spectroscopy
  • TDA data mining and data management
  • Providing prompt access to TDA data for newly discovered objects and phenomena
  • Providing access to longer-term TDA data, particularly photographic observations
  • Integration of time-domain data into virtual observatory projects

Term: Members of the Executive Committee serve three-year staggered terms that commence at the close of the Summer AAS meeting.  Members may not serve more than two consecutive full terms.

Chair: The chair is elected by the Executive Committee from among the Committee members but subject to acceptance by the AAS Council.  The Chair’s term is three years.

Charge: The WGTDA is charged with encouraging and promoting activities and cooperation in areas that relate to time-domain astronomy.  Those include the scientific application of time-domain data and its integration with other information, such as observations in different wavelength domains, in order to enhance effective astrophysical research.  The WGTDA also concerns itself with the preservation of, and access to, archived photographic TDA data.  It organizes and sponsors meetings, workshops and conference sessions on TDA and associated topics, and it promotes interaction between the Society, as well as its individual members, and those national and international organizations and groups having similar interests. Given the present and projected rapid increase in TDA data and analyses, and its impact on current and planned facilities, the WGTDA is active in prioritizing needs and resources including for Decadal Survey planning.

Committee members