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The National Academies of Science are doing their Decadal Review of astronomy and astrophysics. (external link) The Review generally influences which major projects will get funding over the next decade.

I thought it would be interesting to collect the titles of the white papers that have been posted to (external link) over the past few months. It should provide a good overview of what topics are of the most interest to astronomers. I have made a cursory attempt at sorting them.


  1. The Synoptic All-Sky Infrared (SASIR) Survey (external link), Bloom et al.
  2. The Dynamic Radio Sky: An Opportunity for Discovery (external link), Lazio et al.
  3. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade (external link), Strauss et al.
  4. Photometric Calibrations for 21st Century Science (external link), Kent et al.
  5. Transients in the Local Universe  (external link), Kulkarni et al.
  6. New Astrophysical Opportunities Exploiting Spatio-Temporal Optical Correlations (external link), Barbieri et al.
  7. The Impact of the Astro2010 Recommendations on Variable Star Science (external link), Walkowicz et al.
  8. SEGUE-2 and APOGEE: Revealing the History of the Milky Way (external link), Rockosi et al.
  9. Wide Field Imager in Space for Dark Energy and Planets (external link), Gould


  1. Fundamental Stellar Astrophysics Revealed at Very High Angular Resolution (external link), Aufdenberg et al
  2. Structure and Evolution of Pre-Main Sequence Stars (external link), Schulz et al.
  3. Million Degree Plasmas in Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Astrophysics (external link), Kowalski et al.
  4. Astrometry - Challenging our Understanding of Stellar Structure and Evolution (external link), Benedict et al.
  5. Understanding Mass-Loss and the late Evolution of Intermediate Mass Stars: Jets, Disks, Binarity, Dust and Magnetic Fields (external link), Sahai et al.
  6. New Discoveries in Stars and Stellar Evolution through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA: Brickhouse et al.
  7. Magnetic Fields in Stellar Astrophysics (external link), Uzdensky et al.
  8. Life Cycles of Magnetic Fields in Stellar Evolution (external link), Uzdensky et al.
  9. Nuclei in the Cosmos (external link), Brown et al.
  10. Quantifying Stellar Mass Loss with High Angular Resolution Imaging (external link), Ridgway et al.
  11. Temporal Variability of Stars and Stellar Systems (external link), Lister et al.
  12. The astrophysics of ultra-compact binaries (external link), Nelemans et al.
  13. Toward the End of Stars: Discovering the Galaxy's Coldest Brown Dwarfs (external link), Burgasser et al.
  14. Bridging the Gap Between Stars and Planets: The Formation and Early Evolution of Brown Dwarfs (external link), Mohanty et al.
  15. From Protostars to Planetary Systems : FUV Spectroscopy of YSOs, Protoplanetary Disks, and Extrasolar Giant Planets (external link), Scowen et al.

Star Formation

  1. The space distribution of nearby star-forming regions (external link), Loinard et al.
  2. Young stellar clusters and star formation throughout the Galaxy (external link), Feigelson et al.
  3. Plasma Astrophysics Problems in Star and Planet Formation (external link), Zweibel et al.
  4. Understanding Global Galactic Star Formation (external link), Scowen et al.


  1. The Magellanic Clouds Survey: a Bridge to Nearby Galaxies (external link), Scowen et al.
  2. The Galactic Center: A Laboratory for Fundamental Astrophysics and Galactic Nuclei (external link), Ghez et al.
  3. New Discoveries in the Galactic Neighborhood through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA, Brickhouse et al.
  4. Structure and Dynamics of the Milky Way: an Astro2010 Science White Paper (external link), Reid et al.
  5. Understanding of the role of magnetic fields: Galactic perspective (external link), Lazarian et al.
  6. An Era of Precision Astrophysics: Connecting Stars, Galaxies and the Universe, (external link), Olling et al.
  7. Plasma Physics Processes of the Interstellar Medium (external link), Spangler et al.
  8. The Missing Baryons in the Milky Way and Local Group (external link), Bregman


  1. The Next Generation of Photo-Detectors for Particle Astrophysics (external link), Wagner et al.
  2. The Star Formation Camera (external link), Scowen et al.
  3. Large Focal Plane Arrays for Future Missions (external link), Scowen et al.
  4. Planetary system, star formation, and black hole science with non-redundant masking on space telescopes (external link), Sivaramakrishnan et al.
  5. Digital Instrumentation for the Radio Astronomy Community (external link), Parsons et al.
  6. Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST): A Technology Roadmap for the Next Decade (external link), Postman et al.
  7. Fully Automated Approaches to Analyze Large-Scale Astronomy Survey Data (external link), Prsa et al.
  8. Roles and Needs of Laboratory Astrophysics in NASA's Space and Earth Science Mission (external link), AAS WGLA: Brickhouse et al.
  9. Training of Instrumentalists and Development of New Technologies on SOFIA (external link), Erickson et al.
  10. Astronomical Software Wants To Be Free: A Manifesto (external link), Weiner et al.
  11. Laboratory Astrophysics and the State of Astronomy and Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA: Brickhouse et al.
  12. O/IR Polarimetry for the 2010 Decade (CGT): Science at the Edge, Sharp Tools for All (external link), Hines et al.
  13. O/IR Polarimetry for the 2010 Decade (SSE): Science at the Edge, Sharp Tools for All (external link), Hoffman et al.
  14. O/IR Polarimetry for the 2010 Decade (PSF): Science at the Edge, Sharp Tools for All (external link), Clemens et al.
  15. O/IR Polarimetry for the 2010 Decade (GAN): Science at the Edge, Sharp Tools for All (external link), Clemens et al.
  16. Ground-Based Astrometry 2010-2020 (external link), Henry et al.
  17. Nuclear Resonances: The quest for large column densities and a new tool (external link), Greiner et al.
  18. 21 cm Intensity Mapping (external link), Peterson et al.
  19. Satellite-Mounted Light Sources as Photometric Calibration Standards (external link), Albert et al.

Galaxy Evolution

  1. Distribution and Structure of Matter in and around Galaxies (external link), Schulz et al.
  2. Galaxy Assembly and SMBH/AGN-growth from Cosmic Dawn to the End of Reionization (external link), Jansen et al.
  3. A Systematic Study of the Stellar Populations and ISM in Galaxies out to the Virgo Cluster (external link), Jansen et al.
  4. The growth and evolution of super massive black holes (external link), Murray et al.
  5. Cosmic Feedback from Supermassive Black Holes (external link), Fabian et al.
  6. Understanding the Astrophysics of Galaxy Evolution: the role of spectroscopic surveys in the next decade (external link), Bell et al.
  7. A complete view of galaxy evolution: panchromatic luminosity functions and the generation of metals (external link), Blain et al.
  8. The Growth of Supermassive Black Holes Across Cosmic Time (external link), Nandra et al.
  9. Massive Black Holes Across Cosmic Time (external link), Madau et al.
  10. How do Galaxies Accrete Gas and Form Stars? (external link), Putman et al.
  11. The Star Formation Histories of Disk and E/S0 Galaxies from Resolved Stars (external link), Olsen et al.
  12. Nearby Galaxies: Templates for Galaxies Across Cosmic Time (external link), Lockman & Ott
  13. Motions of Galaxies in the Local Group and Beyond: an Astro2010 Science White Paper (external link), Reid et al.
  14. Dwarf Galaxies in 2010: Revealing Galaxy Formation's Threshold and Testing the Nature of Dark Matter (external link), Bullock et al.
  15. The Need for Plasma Astrophysics in Understanding Life Cycles of Active Galaxies (external link), Li et al.
  16. Structure and Substructure of Galactic Spheroids (external link), Romanowsky et al.
  17. The History of Star Formation in Galaxies (external link), Brown et al.
  18. Starburst Galaxies: Outflows of Metals and Energy into the IGM (external link), Strickland et al.
  19. The Role of Dwarf Galaxies in Building Large Stellar Halos (external link), Kirby et al.
  20. Kinematics and Formation Mechanisms of High-Redshift Galaxies (external link), Law et al.
  21. A New Era in Extragalactic Background Light Measurements: The Cosmic History of Accretion, Nucleosynthesis and Reionization (external link), Cooray et al.


  1. Great Surveys of the Universe (external link), Myers
  2. Training the Next Generation of Astronomers (external link), Williams et al.
  3. Research Science and Education: The NSF's Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship (external link), Norman et al.
  4. Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy at the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral Levels (Paper I) (external link), Norman et al.
  5. Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy Through K-12 Education and Public Outreach (Paper II) (external link), Norman et al.
  6. Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy: Executive Summary (external link), Norman et al.
  7. The Importance of Hands-on Experience with Telescopes for Students (external link), Privon et al.
  8. Low-Energy Astrophysics: Stimulating the Reduction of Energy Consumption in the Next Decade (external link), Marshall et al.
  9. Educating the Next Generation of Leading Scientists: Turning Ideas into Action (external link), Wood-Vasey? et al.


  1. Astrometric Detection of Earthlike Planets (external link), Shao et al.
  2. Investigations of the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (external link), Wootten et al.
  3. Science-Operational Metrics and Issues for the "Are We Alone?" Movement (external link), Brown
  4. The Demographics of Extrasolar Planets Beyond the Snow Line with Ground-based Microlensing Surveys (external link), Gaudi et al.
  5. Magnetospheric Emission from Extrasolar Planets (external link), Lazio et al.
  6. X-ray Studies of Planetary Systems: An Astro2010 Decadal Survey White Paper (external link), Feigelson et al.
  7. MARVELS: Revealing the Formation and Dynamical Evolution of Giant Planet Systems (external link), Ge et al.
  8. New Discoveries in Planetary Systems and Star Formation through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA, Brickhouse et al.
  9. Discovering and Characterizing the Planetary Systems of Nearby Stars: The scientific need for medium aperture space coronagraph observations (external link), Greene et al.
  10. Seeing another Earth: Detecting and Characterizing Rocky Planets with Extremely Large Telescopes (external link), Hinz et al.
  11. A Census of Exoplanets in Orbits Beyond 0.5 AU via Space-based Microlensing (external link), Bennett et al.
  12. The Formation and Architecture of Young Planetary Systems (external link), Kraus et al.
  13. The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: The Search for and Characterization of Young Planets (external link), Beichman et al.
  14. New Worlds: Evaluating terrestrial planets as astrophysical objects (external link), Scharf et al.
  15. How and When do Planets Form? The Inner Regions of Planet Forming Disks at High Spatial and Spectral Resolution (external link), Millan-Gabet? & Monnier

High Energy and Particle

  1. Particle Physics and Astrophysics  (external link), Shipsey et al.
  2. The Behavior of Matter under Extreme Conditions (external link), Paerels et al.
  3. Cosmic Accelerators (external link), Arons
  4. Scientific Productivity with X-ray All-Sky Monitors (external link), Remillard et al.
  5. Probing neutron stars with gravitational waves (external link), Owen
  6. Detection of Dark Matter Decay in the X-ray (external link), Abazajian
  7. Probing Quiescent Massive Black Holes: Insights from Tidal Disruption Events (external link), Gezari et al.
  8. Type Ia supernova science 2010-2020 (external link), Howell et al.
  9. White Paper on Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (external link), Olinto et al.
  10. The Promise of Low-Frequency Gravitational Wave Astronomy (external link), Prince et al.
  11. Finding and Using Electromagnetic Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Sources (external link), Phinney
  12. Spin and Relativistic Phenomena Around Black Holes (external link), Brenneman et al.
  13. Fundamental Accretion and Ejection Astrophysics (external link), Miller et al.
  14. Stellar-Mass Black Holes and Their Progenitors (external link), Miller et al.
  15. Solid State Astrophysics: Probing Interstellar Dust and Gas Properties with X-rays (external link), Lee et al.
  16. The Very Local Universe in X-rays (external link), Ptak et al.
  17. X-ray Timing of Stellar Mass Black Holes (external link), Tomsick et al.
  18. Optical Astrometry of Accreting Black Holes and Neutron Stars: Scientific Opportunities (external link), Tomsick et al.
  19. Radio Supernovae: Circum-Stellar Investigation (C.S.I.) of Supernova Progenitor Stars (external link), Stockdale et al.
  20. Extreme Astrophysics with Neutron Stars (external link), Lai et al.
  21. The Dynamic X-ray Sky of the Local Universe (external link), Soderberg et al.
  22. Measuring the Spins of Stellar-Mass Black Holes (external link), McClintock? & Remillard
  23. What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts -- The Unique Role of Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Observations (external link), Williams et al.
  24. Origin and evolution of cosmic accelerators - the unique discovery potential of an UHE neutrino telescope (external link), Chen et al.
  25. X-ray Timing of Neutron Stars, Astrophysical Probes of Extreme Physics (external link), Arzoumanian et al.
  26. Multi-Messenger Astronomy with GRBs: A White Paper for the Astro2010 Decadal Survey (external link), Stamatikos et al.
  27. Gravitational Wave Astronomy Using Pulsars: Massive Black Hole Mergers & the Early Universe (external link), Demorest et al.
  28. Constraining the Bulk Properties of Dense Matter by Measuring Millisecond Pulsar Masses  (external link), Freire et al.
  29. Astrophysics with Radioactive Atomic Nuclei (external link), Diehl et al.
  30. Coordinated Science in the Gravitational and Electromagnetic Skies (external link), Bloom et al.
  31. Imaging an Event Horizon: submm-VLBI of a Super Massive Black Hole (external link), Doeleman et al.
  32. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (external link), Jenet et al.


  1. Understanding Polarized Foreground from Dust: Towards Reliable Measurements of CMB Polarization (external link), Lazarian et al.
  2. X-ray Cluster Cosmology (external link), Vikhlinin et al.
  3. Cosmological Studies With A Large-Area X-ray Telescope (external link), Vikhlinin et al.
  4. The Dark Side of Reionization: Probing Cooling in the Early Universe (external link), Appleton et al.
  5. Observing the Evolution of the Universe (external link), Aguirre et al.
  6. Clusters and Large-Scale Structure: the Synchrotron Keys (external link), Rudnick et al.
  7. The Billion Galaxy Cosmological HI Large Deep Survey (external link), Myers et al.
  8. Galaxy Cluster Astrophysics and Cosmology: Questions and Opportunities for the Coming Decade (external link), Myers et al.
  9. Towards the 2020 vision of the baryon content of galaxy groups and clusters (external link), Kravtsov
  10. The Evolution of Galaxy Clusters Across Cosmic Time (external link), Arnaud et al.
  11. Galaxy clusters and the cosmic cycle of baryons across cosmic times (external link), Giacconi et al.
  12. Non-Gaussianity as a Probe of the Physics of the Primordial Universe and the Astrophysics of the Low Redshift Universe (external link), Komatsu et al.
  13. New Discoveries in Galaxies across Cosmic Time through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA: Brickhouse et al.
  14. The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey: Precision measurements of the absolute cosmic distance scale (external link), Schlegel et al.
  15. New Discoveries in Cosmology and Fundamental Physics through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics (external link), AAS WGLA: Brickhouse et al.
  16. First Light Sources at the End of the Dark Ages: Direct Observations of Population III Stars, Proto-Galaxies, and Supernovae During the Reionization Epoch (external link), Cooke et al.
  17. Estimation of the Hubble Constant and Constraint on Descriptions of Dark Energy (external link), Greenhill et al.
  18. The Origin of the Universe as Revealed Through the Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (external link), Dodelson
  19. Diffuse baryonic matter beyond 2020 (external link), Markevitch et al.
  20. High Redshift Radio Galaxies: Laboratories for Massive Galaxy and Cluster Formation in the early Universe (external link), Miley et al.
  21. Imaging the cool gas, dust, star formation, and AGN in the first galaxies (external link), Carilli et al.
  22. Detailed dark matter maps of galaxy cluster substructure and direct comparison to simulations (external link), Coe
  23. In Situ Probes of the First Galaxies and Reionization: Gamma-ray Bursts (external link), McQuinn? et al.
  24. Cosmology from the Highly-Redshifted 21 cm Line (external link), Furlanetto et al.
  25. Strong gravitational lensing probes of the particle nature of dark matter (external link), Moustakas et al.
  26. Strong Gravitational Lensing as a Probe of Gravity, Dark-Matter and Super-Massive Black Holes (external link), Koopmans et al.
  27. Type II Supernovae as Probes of Cosmology (external link), Poznanski et al.
  28. Astrophysics from the Highly-Redshifted 21 cm Line (external link), Furlanetto et al.
  29. Dark Matter Structures in the Universe: Prospects for Optical Astronomy in the Next Decade (external link), Marshall et al.
  30. Properties of Dark Matter Revealed by Astrometric Measurements of the Milky Way and Local Galaxies (external link), Shaya et al.
  31. Exploring Dark Energy with Next-Generation Photometric Redshift Surveys (external link), Zhan et al.
  32. The Case for Deep, Wide-Field Cosmology (external link), Scranton et al.
  33. The Cosmic Web of Baryons (external link), Bregman


  1. A Proposal for a Renewed Research Emphasis in Astrophysical and Celestial Dynamics (external link), Scheeres et al.
  2. Probing Stellar Dynamics in Galactic Nuclei (external link), Miller et al.

Created by: MikeMuno. Last Modification: Thursday 10 of September, 2009 20:28:02 CDT by MikeMuno.