The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network
The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON) is a program currently under development at The Pennsylvania State University, in collaboration with a growing list of U.S. and international observatories. AMON seeks to perform a real-time correlation analysis of the high-energy signals across all known astronomical messengers – photons, neutrinos, cosmic rays, and gravitational waves – in an effort to: 1) Enhance the combined sensitivity of collaborating observatories to astrophysical transients by searching for coincidences in their sub-threshold data; and 2) Enable rapid follow-up imaging or archival analysis of the putative astrophysical sources. AMON participants can be characterized as “triggering,” “follow-up,” or both. Triggering participants are generally observatories that monitor a large portion of the sky and feed a stream of sub-threshold events into the AMON system. These events are processed to search for temporal and spatial correlations, leading to secondary “AMON alerts.” Follow-up participants generally search for electromagnetic counterparts to the AMON alerts with high-throughput, narrower field-of-view telescopes.
ANtartic Impulsive Transient Antenna
The primary objective of the ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) mission is to extend the reach of NASA observatories into the realm of high energy neutrino astronomy to test the fundamental laws of high energy physics and astrophysics. Neutrinos and gravity waves are the only direct astrophysical messengers which reach earth unattenuated through space at all energies. ANITA will probe both the nature of the sources of these extreme particles, and the fundamental interactions of high energy physics at extreme scales. ANITA, as an Antarctic long-duration balloon ﬂight, observes the Antarctic ice sheet out to a horizon approaching 700 km, giving a neutrino detection volume of near one million cubic kilometers. [Text and image from https://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~anita/]
Askaryan Radio Array
The Askaryan Radio Array searches for ultrahigh energy neutrinos with energies above 30 PeV using antennas buried 200 m below the surface of the ice in Antarctica.
Beamforming Elevated Array for COsmic Neutrinos
The Beamforming Array for COsmic Neutrinos can search for tau neutrinos with energies above 100 PeV. The concept places a compact radio inferometer on top of a high-elevation mountain to look for radio emission indicating tau neutrino interactions in the rock. Antennas in the array are trained on the horizon to search for radio emission from air showers.
CMB-S4 is the next-generation ground-based cosmic microwave background experiment. With 21 telescopes at the South Pole and in the Chilean Atacama desert surveying the sky with over 500,000 cryogenically-cooled superconducting detectors for 7 years, CMB-S4 will deliver transformative discoveries in fundamental physics, cosmology, astrophysics, and astronomy. CMB-S4 is supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.
Cherenkov Telescope Array
Building on the technology of current generation ground-based gamma-ray detectors (H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS), CTA will be ten times more sensitive and have unprecedented accuracy in its detection of high-energy gamma rays. Current gamma-ray telescope arrays host up to five individual telescopes, but CTA is designed to detect gamma rays over a larger area and a wider range of views with more than 100 telescopes located in the northern and southern hemispheres. [Text from https://www.cta-observatory.org/ ; Image credit: Gabriel Pérez Diaz, IAC]
Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment is an international flagship experiment to unlock the mysteries of neutrinos. DUNE will be installed in the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, under construction in the United States. DUNE scientists will paint a clearer picture of the universe and how it works. Their research may even give us the key to understanding why we live in a matter-dominated universe — in other words, why we are here at all. DUNE will pursue three major science goals: find out whether neutrinos could be the reason the universe is made of matter; look for subatomic phenomena that could help realize Einstein’s dream of the unification of forces; and watch for neutrinos emerging from an exploding star, perhaps witnessing the birth of a neutron star or a black hole. [Text and image from https://lbnf-dune.fnal.gov/]
Fermi Large Area Telescope
The Large Area Telescope (LAT) is the principal scientific instrument on the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope spacecraft. The LAT is an imaging high-energy gamma-ray telescope covering the energy range from about 20 MeV to more than 300 GeV. Such gamma rays are emitted only in the most extreme conditions, by particles moving very nearly at the speed of light. The LAT's field of view covers about 20% of the sky at any time, and it scans continuously, covering the whole sky every three hours. [Text and image from https://glast.sites.stanford.edu/. Illustration Credit: NASA, DOE, International Fermi LAT Collaboration, Jay Friedlander (Goddard Space Flight Center).]
Giant Radio Array for Neutrino Detection
GRAND is a next-generation detector designed to collect ultra-high energy cosmic particles as cosmic rays, neutrinos and photons, in order to solve the long-standing mystery of their origin. It will consist in an array of 200,000 radio antennas deployed over 200,000 square kilometers, about the size of Great Britain, in favorable mountainous locations in the world. It will be the largest ground detector ever built. [Text and image from https://grand.cnrs.fr/]
The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory
HAWC is a facility designed to observe gamma rays and cosmic rays between 100 GeV and 100 TeV. TeV gamma rays are the highest energy photons ever observed — 1 TeV is 1 trillion electron volts (eV), about 1 trillion times more energetic than visible light! These photons are born in the most extreme environments in the known universe: supernova explosions, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts. Cosmic rays are charged particles which achieve energies far beyond what we can create in man-made particle accelerators. (The highest energy cosmic ray ever observed was 300 million TeV.) The origin of such particles has been a mystery for over 100 years. Gamma rays are though to be correlated with the acceleration sites of charged cosmic rays, so we observe them to help answer this and other cosmic questions. [Text and image from https://www.hawc-observatory.org/]
High Energy Light Isotope eXperiment
A new NASA-supported payload to study high-energy isotopes of Beryllium cosmic-ray nuclei, as well as other light isotopes. They inform the creation and propagation history of cosmic rays through our Milky Way Galaxy. The instrument is planned to fly by high-altitude balloon in Antarctica in late 2023, or perhaps on an Arctic polar route from Sweden to Canada.
Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment
During three years of observations, HETDEX will collect data on at least one million galaxies that are 9 billion to 11 billion light-years away, yielding the largest map of the universe ever produced. The map will allow HETDEX astronomers to measure how fast the universe was expanding at different times in its history. Changes in the expansion rate will reveal the role of dark energy at different epochs. Various explanations for dark energy predict different changes in the expansion rate, so by providing exact measurements of the expansion, the HETDEX map will eliminate some of the competing ideas.
IceCube Neutrino Observatory
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is the first detector of its kind, designed to observe the cosmos from deep within the South Pole ice. An international group of scientists responsible for the scientific research makes up the IceCube Collaboration. Encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice, IceCube searches for nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos. These high-energy astronomical messengers provide information to probe the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. [Text and image from https://icecube.wisc.edu/]
The LIGO Scientific Collaboration
The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is a group of scientists focused on the direct detection of gravitational waves, using them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and developing the emerging field of gravitational wave science as a tool of astronomical discovery. The LSC works toward this goal through research on, and development of techniques for, gravitational wave detection; and the development, commissioning and exploitation of gravitational wave detectors. The LSC carries out the science of the LIGO Observatories, located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana as well as that of the GEO600 detector in Hannover, Germany. Our collaboration is organized around three general areas of research: analysis of LIGO and GEO data searching for gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, detector operations and characterization, and development of future large scale gravitational wave detectors. Founded in 1997, the LSC is currently made up of more than 1000 scientists from over 100 institutions and 18 countries worldwide. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two widely separated installations within the United States -- one in Hanford Washington and the other in Livingston, Louisiana -- operated in unison as a single observatory. LIGO is operated by the LIGO Laboratory, a consortium of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Funded by the National Science Foundation, LIGO is an international resource for both physics and astrophysics. [ Taken from www.ligo.org ]:
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna
LISA will be a large-scale space mission designed to detect one of the most elusive phenomena in astronomy - gravitational waves. With LISA we will be able to observe the entire universe directly with gravitational waves, learning about the formation of structure and galaxies, stellar evolution, the early universe, and the structure and nature of spacetime itself. [Text and image from https://www.elisascience.org/. Image © NASA/JPL-Caltech/NASAEA/ESA/CXC/STScl/GSFCSVS/S.Barke (CC BY 4.0)]
Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time
The goal of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory project is to conduct the 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). LSST will deliver a 500 petabyte set of images and data products that will address some of the most pressing questions about the structure and evolution of the universe and the objects in it. The Rubin Observatory LSST is designed to address four science areas: • Probing dark energy and dark matter. • Taking an inventory of the solar system. • Exploring the transient optical sky. • Mapping the Milky Way. [Text and image from https://www.lsst.org]
LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) is a next generation dark matter experiment, selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as one of the three ‘G2’ (for Generation 2) dark matter experiments. Located at the 4850′ level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, SD, the experiment utilizes a two-phase time projection chamber (TPC), containing seven active tonnes of liquid xenon, to search for dark matter particles. Auxiliary veto detectors, including a liquid scintillator outer detector, improve rejection of unwanted background events in the central region of the detector. LZ has been designed to improve on the sensitivity of the prior generation of experiment by a factor of 50 or more. [Text and image from https://lz.lbl.gov/]
Network for Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries (N3AS)
The Network for Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries (N3AS) is a multi-institutional collaboration dedicated to recruiting and training postdoctoral researchers interested in neutrino physics and astrophysics, nuclear astrophysics topics ranging from supernova and neutron star modeling to dark matter, and fundamental symmetries. The collaboration is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation. Our network fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion. We welcome scientists of all identities and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for individuals of underrepresented backgrounds.
Nuclear Physics from Multi-Messenger Mergers (NP3M)
The Nuclear Physics from Multi-Messenger Mergers (NP3M) Focused Research Hub is a national nuclear physics effort which aims to systematically probe the properties of hot and dense strongly interacting matter with multi-messenger observations of neutron star mergers.
Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
The NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission has deployed the first orbiting telescopes to focus light in the high energy X-ray (3 - 79 keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our view of the universe in this spectral window has been limited because previous orbiting telescopes have not employed true focusing optics, but rather have used coded apertures that have intrinsically high backgrounds and limited sensitivity. During a two-year primary mission phase, NuSTAR maped selected regions of the sky in order to: (1) Take a census of collapsed stars and black holes of different sizes by surveying regions surrounding the center of own Milky Way Galaxy and performing deep observations of the extragalactic sky; (2) Map recently-synthesized material in young supernova remnants to understand how stars explode and how elements are created; (3) Understand what powers relativistic jets of particles from the most extreme active galaxies hosting supermassive black holes. [Text and image from https://www.nustar.caltech.edu/]
Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph
"How did the Universe start?" ... "Will it end at some point?" ... "How did we come to exist?" These have been fundamental questions about the universe since the dawn of humankind. Surprisingly, we recently found that we know only about 4% of the universe composition. Remaining parts are made of "dark matter", which has never been detected directly, and "dark energy", which is much more mysterious negative pressure accelerating the expansion of the universe. What on earth are these "dark" things? How do they exist around us? How have they been acting on the visible entities in the universe such as stars and galaxies? The Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph project squarely aims at addressing these long-standing questions. The innovative instrument under development enables us to take exposures of 2,400 astronomical objects simultaneously on such a large patch of sky as several times bigger than the full Moon. Moreover, PFS is a spectrometer. Namely, the lights from stars and galaxies are dispersed and recorded as spectra simultaneously covering a wide range of wavelengths ranging from the near-ultraviolet, through the visible, and up to the near-infrared regime. [Text and image from https://pfs.ipmu.jp/ ]
Payload for Ultrahigh Energy Observations
The Payload for Ultrahigh Energy Observations (PUEO) is a NASA Pioneers Mission planned to fly on a long-duration balloon launched from McMurdo in 2024. PUEO is designed to have world-leading sensitivity to ultrahigh energy neutrinos at energies above 1 EeV.
Pierre Auger Observatory
On the vast plain known as the Pampa Amarilla (yellow prairie) in western Argentina, the Pierre Auger Observatory is studying the highest-energy particles in the Universe, which hit the Earth from all directions, so-called cosmic rays. Cosmic rays with low to moderate energies are well understood, while those with extremely high energies remain highly mysterious. By detecting and studying these rare particles, the Pierre Auger Observatory is tackling the enigmas of their origin and existence. [Image and text from https://www.auger.org/]
Project 8 Experiment
The goal of Project 8 is to measure the mass of the neutrino, which is a fundamental particle (that is, a basic building block of the universe). Neutrinos are incredibly abundant - for every atom in the universe, there are about a billion neutrinos. However, our experience with them is minimal because they barely interact with ordinary matter. In fact, trillions of neutrinos produced by nuclear processes in the sun pass through your body every second, like tiny ghosts. Instead of trying to capture the neutrino itself, we look at the decay of tritium, which is an isotope of hydrogen. Tritium undergoes beta decay, emitting an electron and a neutrino which have to share the energy released in the decay. Using a new method based radio-frequency detection, we measure the energy of the electron very precisely. Whatever is "missing" must belong to the neutrino. For the highest electron energies, the missing energy amounts to the neutrino's mass. [Text and image from https://www.project8.org/]
Radio Neutrino Observatory in Greenland
The Radio Neutrino Observatory in Greenland (RNO-G) is the first and largest neutrino telescope in the Northern hemisphere sensitive to the highest energy neutrinos. The experiment uses the antennas embedded at the surface and at 150 m below the surface of the ice to search for radio emission that occurs when neutrinos interact in the ice.
Scalable CyberInfrastructure for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics
The promise of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics can be realized only if sufficient cyberinfrastructure is available to rapidly handle, combine, and analyze the very large-scale distributed data from all the types of astronomical measurements. This project is to carry out community planning for scalable cyberinfrastructure to support MMA. The primary goal is to identify the key questions and cyberinfrastructure projects required by the community to take full advantage of current facilities and imminent next-generation projects for MMA. Two products of the project will be: 1) a community white paper that presents an in-depth analysis of the cyberinfrastructure needs and the opportunities for collaborations among astronomers, computer scientists, and data scientists; and 2) a strategic plan for a scalable cyberinfrastructure institute for multi-messenger astrophysics laying out its proposed mission, identifying the highest priority areas for cyberinfrastructure research and development for the US-based multi-messenger astrophysics community, and presenting a strategy for managing and evolving a set of services that benefits and engages the entire community.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey V
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has been working for more than 20 years to make a map of the Universe, and will continue for many years to come. The scientific goals of SDSS-V span the inner workings of our Sun’s nearest stellar neighbors to the growth of black holes from the earliest days of the Universe. [Text and image from https://www.sdss5.org/]
STAR-X is a MIDEX mission proposed to NASA in December 2021. Comprising an X-ray telescope (XRT) provided by GSFC and MIT, a UV telescope (UVT) provided by the University of Colorado, and a spacecraft (SC) provided by Ball Aerospace, STAR-X is designed to conduct time-domain surveys and to respond rapidly to transient events discovered by other observatories such as LIGO, Rubin LSST, Roman WFIRST, and SKA.
Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory
Gamma-ray bursts are fleeting events, lasting only a few milliseconds to a few minutes, never to appear in the same spot again. They occur from our vantage point about once a day. Some bursts appear to be from massive star explosions that form black holes. The Swift observatory comprises three telescopes, which work in tandem to provide rapid identification and multi-wavelength follow-up of GRBs and their afterglows. Within 20 to 75 seconds of a detected GRB, the observatory will rotate autonomously, so the onboard X-ray and optical telescopes can view the burst. The afterglows will be monitored over their durations, and the data will be rapidly released to the public. The X-ray Telescope (XRT) and the UV/Optical Telescope (UVOT) were built by Penn State and collaborators at Leicester University and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (both in England) and at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (in Italy). In addition, Penn State is responsible leads Mission Operations Center, which operates the satellite. [Text and image from https://www.swift.psu.edu/ and https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/swift/main]
Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder for the International Space Station
Instrument to detect ultraheavy cosmic rays beyond iron (up to lead) in cosmic rays, to be deployed to the ISS around 2026.
Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System
VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) is a ground-based gamma-ray instrument operating at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) in southern Arizona, USA. It is an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV - TeV energy range. These imaging Cherenkov telescopes are deployed such that they have the highest sensitivity in the VHE energy band (50 GeV - 50 TeV), with maximum sensitivity from 100 GeV to 10 TeV. This VHE observatory effectively complements the NASA Fermi mission. [Text and image from https://veritas.sao.arizona.edu/]
The European Space Agency's (ESA) X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) was launched by an Ariane 504 on December 10th 1999. XMM-Newton is ESA's second cornerstone of the Horizon 2000 Science Programme. It carries 3 high throughput X-ray telescopes with an unprecedented effective area, and an optical monitor, the first flown on a X-ray observatory. The large collecting area and ability to make long uninterrupted exposures provide highly sensitive observations. Since Earth's atmosphere blocks out all X-rays, only a telescope in space can detect and study celestial X-ray sources. The XMM-Newton mission is helping scientists to solve a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from the enigmatic black holes to the origins of the Universe itself. Observing time on XMM-Newton is being made available to the scientific community, applying for observational periods on a competitive basis. [Text and image from https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/xmm-newton. Image courtesy of ESA.]