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Informational Email 2008-17

Sent 23 December 2008

Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer


The following information is being sent to the AAS membership as a service to the National Academy of Sciences Astro 2010 decadal survey committee.


The NRC's Committee on Astro2010 (the current Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey) is announcing two requests for community input.

1) A CALL FOR WHITE PAPERS on science topics.

2) An opportunity for groups working on an activity to submit a NOTICE OF INTEREST in proposing an activity for consideration by the survey.

These announcements are contained in full on the NRC's Astro2010 website (

* CALL FOR SCIENCE WHITE PAPERS: The Committee on Astro2010 invites interested parties from the broad community to submit white papers focusing on how our understanding of the scientific frontiers in astronomy may be advanced in the future. White papers should be submitted to one or more of the five thematic Science Frontier Panels, and should specifically and succinctly address their charges to identify new science opportunities and compelling science themes, to place those in the broader scientific context, and to describe the key advances in observation, experiment and theory necessary to realize those scientific opportunities within the decade 2010-2020. Submissions in response to this call MUST BE MADE between 12:01 a.m. EST, Monday, February 9 and11:59 p.m., Sunday, February 15, 2009. ALL SUBMITTED WHITE PAPERS WILL BE MADE PUBLIC.

* NOTICE OF INTEREST: The Committee on Astro2010 has been tasked to "survey the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010-2020." Activities include both projects such as NASA missions and ground-based telescopes but also initiatives such as development of a major astrophysics laboratory (e.g. the NVO). If you are the leader of a team that is planning on advocating for an activity in the decadal survey's prioritization process, please fill out the web form on the Astro2010 website by NO LATER THAN JANUARY 14th, 2009. (As necessitated by the committee's charge, the survey reserves the right to consider and prioritize activities that do not respond to this call.) This Notice is being used for planning purposes, and there will be subsequent requests for more detailed information.

In addition, the Astro2010 website now includes a detailed description of the organizational structure of the Decadal Survey committee and process. Please continue to check the website ( throughout the survey for new and updated information.