17 January 2023

Call for Input into the Definition of Roman’s Core Community Surveys

Karoline Gilbert Space Telescope Science Institute

Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, NASA's next flagship observatory, is planned for launch in late 2026. The Roman Mission requests the astronomical community's input for the purpose of initiating the community-led definition of the Roman Space Telescope's Core Community Surveys. Combined, these surveys are anticipated to use the majority of the observing time during Roman’s first five years. The cosmology and exoplanet science requirements for these surveys leave significant parameter space available to define the observational strategies (filters, depth, cadence, etc.) in a way that will enable a broad range of other astrophysical investigations. We are offering two avenues for members of the community to provide information on science drivers and the requirements they place on the design of the Core Community Surveys: a short, one-to-two-paragraph 'science pitch' (including a questionnaire) requested by 17 February 2023, and/or submission of a more technical-focused white paper, to be due in late spring 2023.

All members of the community are encouraged to submit their science investigation ideas. The Roman Mission wants to hear from scientists worldwide across all career stages, positions, and types of institutions. All input will be passed to the committees that will be formed of community members and tasked with defining the Core Community Surveys.

The Roman Mission will be holding several Information and Q&A sessions, including two fully virtual sessions on 20 January (11:00 am ET) and 25 January (4:00 pm ET). All sessions will present the same information.

For full details on this Request for Information, as well as details on the information sessions, please visit the website.

For specific questions related to submission, email both [email protected] and [email protected], with the subject line: “Roman question about community input for core survey definition.”

FAQ: Does this apply to me?

The Core Community Surveys will be defined by the astronomical community and will include a High Latitude Wide Area survey, a High Latitude Time Domain survey, and a Galactic Bulge Time Domain survey. The data from the Core Community Surveys will enable a host of general astrophysical investigations in addition to addressing the Roman Mission's science objectives related to cosmology and exoplanet demographics.

As one specific example, in order to meet Roman's dark energy goals, a requirement on the design of the imaging component of the High Latitude Wide Area Survey is to enable precision measurements of the shapes of hundreds of millions of galaxies. This leaves open significant parameter space for the survey data to be relevant for other science areas. Depending on the choice of filters, the data may be more (or less) useful for studies of galaxy evolution. Depending on the chosen balance of area versus depth, there may be more (or less) opportunity for discovering new celestial objects that are rare per unit area. Moreover, all of these choices may affect how useful the survey data are for studies of more nearby objects, such as those belonging to the Milky Way halo or solar system. There will be many other such trades to consider, for all three Core Community Surveys.

The preceding example lists only a small subset of the science investigations that could be enabled by Roman’s survey data. By receiving input from the community on as wide a range of science use cases as possible, the committees tasked with defining each of the Core Community Surveys will be able to better understand what trade studies to conduct and identify what additional community input is needed, in order to design surveys that best meet the needs of the entire astronomical community.