PRIMA workshop March, 22nd Virtual

The first community PRIMA (PRobe far-Infrared Mission for Astrophysics) workshop will be held virtually on March, 22nd.

All information and registration details can be found at this link: https://workshop.ipac.caltech.edu/farirprobe/

To prepare for the workshop, the PRIMA collaboration has created a survey to gather inputs from the community:

“What science would you love to pursue with a sensitive, ultra-cold probe-class observatory operating at Far-Infrared wavelengths?”

An attempt at making an Inventory of the Scientific and Instrumental Needs for Infrared Astrophysics and Cosmology in Space

Dear colleagues interested by infrared Astrophysics and Cosmology,


This place will contain information about Space Infrared Astrophysics and Cosmology.

  • The first important information is related to the poll that we sent in December to try and understand what are the main scientific objectives and what could be the top level requirements for a space-borne Infrared facility. The slides have been presented during a telecon by Laure Ciesla, Carlotta Gruppioni and Denis Burgarella on 15 December 2020. After the presentation of the slides, a short (1/2h) discussion was organised to discuss the results of the poll and what could be the next actions.


  • The infrared (IR) window is a key wavelength range. It allows to collect a crucial information on cold bodies, gas, and dust from the Solar System to the very first structures that appeared in the Universe. France and Europe have a very strong expertise in IR to mm astrophysics and Cosmology based on a series of ground-based and space facilities including ALMA, IRAM/NIKA2, IRAM/NOEMA, ISO, Herschel, Planck and collaborations based on IRAS, Spitzer, and AKARI. However, the selection of the next ESA missions and the cancellation of the SPICA application result in the total absence of new IR science for the next decades. In last November, the US National Academies published their decadal report highlighting this large gap in astrophysics that the lack of IR spatial instrument represents. Following this report, NASA has released an announcement asking for one of the mission themes recommended by the Decadal Survey: A far-IR imaging or spectroscopy mission, or an X-ray probe to complement ESA’s Athena Observatory, explicitly stating that “Contributions, including contributions from foreign partners, are welcome and will not be counted against the US cost.” Two possible ways to participate (money-wise) will be through 1) ESA (ESA’s SPC will discuss this possibility during their November 2022 meeting) and/or ii) via national contributions. We plan to hold a conference in person (tentatively in May 2022 or later in September 2022) in Marseille, France, if Covid-19 allows it. The main objective of this conference will be to discuss the Astro2020 reports and more specifically how to participate to the US IR probe. More information will be posted soon about this conference.