AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 100 Origins Probes
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[100.04] The Baryonic Structure Probe: Characterizing the Cosmic Web of Matter Through Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

K. R. Sembach (Space Telescope Science Institute), D. Ebbets (Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp.), R. Cen (Princeton University), T. Cook (Boston University), R. Dave (University of Arizona), M. Donahue (Michigan State University), J. C. Green (University of Colorado - Boulder), E. B. Jenkins (Princeton University), W. R. Oegerle (NASA/GSFC), J. P. Ostriker (Princeton University), J. X. Prochaska (University of California - Santa Cruz), B. D. Savage (University of Wisconsin - Madison), J. M. Shull (University of Colorado - Boulder), H. P. Stahl (NASA/MSFC), T. M. Tripp (University of Massachusetts - Amherst)

Hydrodynamical simulations of the evolution of the intergalactic medium provide valuable insights into the probable evolution of baryons in the presence of cold dark matter as a function of redshift. A primary prediction of these simulations is that much of the baryonic mass in the low-redshift universe is in the form of a warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM). Progressing beyond simple detections of the WHIM to a robust set of observationally testable predictions and a more complete description of the evolution of the WHIM would have profound implications for understanding the growth of large scale structure, the formation of galaxies, and the distribution of dark matter.

The Baryonic Structure Probe will strengthen the foundations of observational cosmology by directly detecting, mapping, and characterizing the cosmic web of intergalactic material, its inflow into galaxies, and its enrichment with the products of stellar and galactic evolution. This Origins Probe Concept Study will provide a clear articulation of the scientific priority of these investigations, refine expectations of the absorption and emission properties of the WHIM, describe a mission concept capable of making major advances to our knowledge of cosmic structure, and define a roadmap for investments in enabling technologies. These will serve as inputs into NASA's strategic planning process.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.