Overview

Announcement: 13 November 2014, NASA has issued a second Dear Colleague Letter asking for community participation in the Athena Science Study Team Working Groups. DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST.


The Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program lies at the intersection of physics and astronomy. Its purpose is to explore some of the most fundamental questions regarding the physical forces and laws of the universe: the validity of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the nature of spacetime; the behavior of matter and energy in extreme environments; the cosmological parameters governing inflation and the evolution of the universe; and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. PCOS takes us beyond Einstein and beyond the Standard Model.

The PCOS Program consists of a suite of operating science missions and possible future missions that focus on specific aspects of these questions. The Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories probe the universe in X-rays using detailed images and spectroscopy to study matter under a broad range of physical conditions. INTEGRAL and now Fermi study the phenomena with the highest energy emission looking for new physics in the gamma-ray regime. Planck provides an order of magnitude increase in the precision with which we measure the Cosmic Microwave Background. The next generation of PCOS missions will build on the discoveries of these missions and take us to the next stages of discovery.

Program News

13 Nov 2014
NASA issues second Dear Colleague Letter for community participation in the Athena Science Study Team Working Groups DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST »  [PDF]
1 Oct 2014
2014 Program Annual Technology Report (PATR) now available »  [PDF]

Project News

Chandra News
27 Oct 2014
NASA's Chandra Observatory Identifies Impact of Cosmic Chaos on Star Birth » Details
Fermi News
21 Oct 2014
NASA's Fermi Satellite Finds Hints of Starquakes in Magnetar 'Storm' » Details
Planck News
23 Oct 2013
Last Command Sent to ESA's Planck Space Telescope
» Details
XMM-Newton News
1 Sep 2014
Magnetar discovered close to supernova remnant Kesteven 79 » Details

Related News

NuSTAR News
13 Nov 2014
NASA X-ray Telescopes Find Black Hole May Be a Neutrino Factory » Details
Suzaku News
2 Jul 2014
Iron 'Fingerprints' Point Astronomers to Supernova Suspects » Details
Swift News
30 Sep 2014
NASA's Swift Mission Observes Mega Flares from a Mini Star » Details