The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently begun choosing candidates for the next large mission launch slots. The first step was the submission of white papers advocating science themes. Out of many candidates, ESA now selected two.
"We had a difficult task in deciding which scientific themes to choose from all of the excellent candidates, but we believe that missions to study the hot, energetic Universe and gravitational waves will result in discoveries of the greatest importance to cosmology, astrophysics, and physics in general," says Catherine Cesarsky, chair of the Senior Survey Committee of the European Space Agency.
The two selected since themes are:
The Hot and Energetic Universe, addressed by the Athena mission
The Gravitational Universe, addressed by the eLISA mission
Gravitational wave observations will enable studies of: the formation and growth of massive black holes and their co-evolving host galaxies; structure formation; stellar populations and dynamics in galactic nuclei; compact stars; the structure of our Galaxy; General Relativity in extreme conditions; cosmology; and searches for new physics. Information from LISA sources will provide unique insight into extraordinary astrophysical objects. Combined with electromagnetic observations, these insights will advance the broader scientific understanding. LISA Project Office