ASTRO2020 – Preparations
As you are aware, we are preparing a long-term plan for the scientific program of the Green Bank Observatory and the GBT for the period 2020 – 2030. Over the past four months we have solicited both ideas and interest from the scientific community.
We are now forming a number of scientific working groups to better define the long-term scientific goals for the Green Bank Observatory, with the ultimate aim of these groups to produce one or more white papers. Based on your interest in the Observatory, we would like to invite you to join one (or more!) of the groups and help us as we plan for the future of Green Bank.
If you are interested, please send an email to email@example.com indicating which of the science discussions you would like to join. If none of the categories adequately describes your interests, please let us know that (and your interests) as well. Finally, of course, if you wish to be removed from these mailings, please let us know.
Scientific Discussion Categories:
- Fundamental Physics (e.g. gravitational waves, general relativity, equivalence principle)
- The Transient Sky (e.g. FRBs, SETI, Pulsars )
- Stars & Star Formation (e.g. turbulence, magnetic fields, multi-scale molecular clouds, diffuse environments, ISM)
- Galaxies & Galaxy Clusters (Milky Way and beyond) (e.g. cosmic web, HI extent of galaxies, galaxy structure, galaxy clusters)
- Astrobiology & Astrochemistry (also could include comets, SETI)
- Planetary Systems (e.g. sun, stars, asteroid, comets, exoplanets, planetary weather/atmosphere)
- Cosmology & Large Scale Structure
Transformative Science Workshop
The workshop Big Questions. Large Problems, and New Instruments is now over, but the work is continuing. Presentations from the workshop are available on our archived page.
The Argus+ Project at the GBT
The GBT is now into its second winter season with Argus, the 16-pixel camera for spectroscopy in the molecule-rich 3mm atmospheric window between 74 – 116 GHz. Argus is the brainchild of Sarah Church of Stanford University and collaborators, who received an NSF ATI grant to design a modular receiver system for the GBT that could be replicated and expanded in a straightforward way. With the unique combination of angular resolution (6.5 – 9 arcseconds), sensitivity, and field of view of the GBT, Argus is being used for ground-breaking surveys of dense gas in galaxies and nearby star-forming regions. Recent Argus results were highlighted at the American Astronomical Society 2018 Winter Meeting in Washington D.C.
The Green Bank Observatory and the original Argus team are now collaborating on an Argus+ project, which would take advantage of the technical development afforded by Argus to produce a camera with ten times the mapping speed and includes a new spectrometer. Argus+ has the capability to routinely produce spectral line maps of key species such as CO, HCN, and HCO+ with a spatial dynamic range (map area / pixel size) of 104 to 105.
As part of the Argus+ project the community will be invited to participate in legacy surveys with the new instrument. There will be a spectroscopic survey of the Gould Belt molecular clouds, and a survey of dense gas tracers in nearby star-forming galaxies. The legacy surveys will produce unique data of lasting value. Argus+ data will also be displayed in exhibits at the GBO Science Center, and will be incorporated into a range of programs in STEM education throughout the region.
The project leverages the NSF’s investment in the prototype Argus to produce a uniquely powerful scientific instrument accessible to the U.S. scientific community. A proposal was submitted to the NSF MSIP program in early 2018 and was well reviewed, but ultimately not funded in this round. The Argus+ team has taken the reviewer comments to create an even stronger proposal for the next funding call and discussion during the upcoming Astro2020 Decadal Review.
Below is a quick comparison of the original Argus and Argus+.
|IF Bandwidth||1.5 GHz||7 GHz|
16 pix x 2 win x 23.4 MHz x 4096 ch
144 pix x 600 MHz x 131k ch
40 – 80K
30 – 60K
|Usable 3mm hours/year||
74 – 116 GHz
74 – 116 GHz
|Map time 6’x6′