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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Fri 19 Jul 2019

Marsfield lecture theatre

Tony Beasley

(National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO))

Tony Beasley Colloquium: US Astronomy in the 2020s: Decadal Survey & ngVLA

As the US ASTRO2020 Decadal Survey gets underway, key science goals and instrument opportunities are being considered. Major US science-funding agencies (NSF, NASA, DOE) use the Survey to inform long-term strategic and budget plans, attempting to place new facilities alongside existing investments and capabilities.
This talk will provide an overview of the major ground and space-based initiatives visible at this point in the Survey process, and describe the significant changes to federal process and policy required to reach the ambitious programs being brought forward by the scientific community. Competition and collaboration between the teams bringing forward US-ELT, ngVLA and other ground-based concepts in this Survey may shape the outcome of US astronomy for decades, and considerable efforts are underway to align and coordinate the initiatives.
NRAO’s key proposal to the Survey is a large centimeter radio array: the Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA). ngVLA will open a new window on the Universe through ultra-sensitive imaging of thermal line and continuum emission down to milliarcsecond resolutions, and broadband continuum polarimetric imaging of non-thermal processes. With this array, many new frontiers in modern astronomy can be reached, including direct imaging and chemical analysis of planet formation in the terrestrial-zone of nearby stars, studies of dust-obscured star formation and the cosmic baryon cycle down to pc-scales in the local Universe, detailed imaging of molecular gas and galaxy formation out to high redshifts, and high-resolution polarimetric observations of jets and other phenomena arising from interactions between stellar-mass/supermassive black holes and their environments.
Scientific collaboration between ngVLA and ALMA/SKA1 is anticipated in coming decades, and discussions with international project partners are underway. NSF support of design & development activities are ongoing, and configuration and site selection activities throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Western Texas and Mexico are in progress. An update of ngVLA development status will be given.


Shivani Bhandari

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