NASA's recently created X-ray Science Analysis Group (XRSAG) will provide quantitative metrics and assessments to the PhysPAG in regard to future X-ray observatories. Specifically, the XRSAG will track and analyze evolving science goals and requirements in X-ray astronomy and provide an active communication forum for X-ray astrophysics. It will also support mission studies and concept development for future X-ray observatories, including analysis of technology development and prioritization plans with respect to redefined science goals and the evolution of mission concepts.
In August, the PhysPAG and the XRSAG held a three-day conference in Washington DC. Key topics that were discussed by the XRSAG included the recently-released X-ray community science team report, and the status and future of international participation in X-ray missions. If you were not able to attend, you can find many of the presentations at the PCOS website (http://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/physpag/meeting-2012-presentations.php). On the final day, at the joint session with our fellow SAGs and attended by several NASA HQ personnel, I reported on the results of the XRSAG discussions. The set of slides from this presentation is also available at the PCOS website. Our next two opportunities for face-to-face discussions will both occur at the upcoming AAS meeting in Long Beach in January. On Sunday Jan. 6, the PhysPAG will host a one day meeting, to which you are welcome to attend. As part of this meeting, each of the SAGs will have a short (~hour) time slot for discussions and presentation. The XRSAG will also hold a separate, dedicated, meeting later in the week. This second meeting of NASA's X-ray Science Analysis Group (XRSAG) will be held Thursday January 10th. The meeting agenda and details about the meeting location will be forthcoming, both via the HEAD email exploder and on the PCOS/XRSAG website (http://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/sags/xrsag.php). Please check the PhysPAG and XRSAG site regularly! We hope that you can attend in person, but we will have both a telecon line and webex session established if you can't. Details of how to call in and connect will be on the website, and again via email.
If you have suggestions for topics for discussion there, or any other suggestions for the XRSAG, please contact the XRSAG Chair Jay Bookbinder (email@example.com), or the PCOS Chief Ann Hornschemeier (Ann.Hornschemeier@nasa.gov). In preparation for the Sunday and Thursday meetings at the AAS, we will also host a telecon in late November, and possibly one in mid-December. These are open to the entire XRSAG community, and will provide an opportunity to hear your thoughts about the upcoming meetings.
We're looking forward to seeing you in Long Beach.
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