Dark Energy and Exoplanets Top Nation's Astronomy Agenda

By Alexis C. Madrigal

That nation's astronomers have hashed out where the government should put its space science over the coming years. Two of our favorite topics -- dark energy and the hunt for exoplanets -- got top billing. David Harris reports:

Dark energy and extra-solar planet studies received strong endorsement today in a once-a-decade astronomy and astrophysics prioritization report. The National Research Council recommended that the highest priority large-scale projects for the next decade should be the $1.6-billion Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and the $465-million Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

The report, titled "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics," provides recommendations to US funding agencies on the most important astronomy and astrophysics program that are currently being proposed while accounting for their risks, readiness, and costs. Two years in the making, it considered input from a large proportion of the US astronomy community.

Read the full story at Wired Science.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/dark-energy-and-exoplanets-top-nations-astronomy-agenda/61446/