Letters of Intent received in 2017

LoI 2019-1987
The New Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics

Date: 18 February 2019 to 22 February 2019
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact: Giuseppe Cimo (cimo@jive.eu)
Coordinating division: Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
Other divisions:
Co-Chairs of SOC: Carole Jackson (ASTRON)
Fabio (Pasian)
Chair of LOC: ()



1. Astrophysics of transients
2. Current and future instrumentation
3. Algorithms and methods for automated and/or real-time detection
4. Software and data management approaches
5. Multi-wavelength/multi-messenger observations
6. Gravitational waves
7. New observing strategies
9. Virtual observatory
10. Data dissemination
11. Public engagement



The recent discoveries of gravitational waves and very high-energy neutrinos have opened new windows in the exploration to the Universe. Furthermore, the new generation of sensitive, wide-field instrumentation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum (SKA, CTA, KM3NeT, ELT, Athena) are set to radically change the way we perceive the Universe. In the next decade, Gravitational Waves instruments, space and ground-based detectors will jointly explore the Universe through all its messengers. The new field of multi-messenger astrophysics will also investigate the astrophysics of transient events, representing the only way to obtain the complete picture of these enigmatic astrophysical phenomena.

Pathfinders of next generation facilities are already designed with transient event detection in mind (e.g., LOFAR, ASKAP, LSST, Fermi). The scientific drive towards combining and aligning data from different facilities in order to comprehensively study multi-messenger and transient events requires interoperability between hybrid data streams with unprecedented time synchronization across locations distributed across the Earth. We have already seen an example of this effort with the quick multi-messenger response that followed the first gravitational wave detection.

Multi-messenger astronomy requires to coordinate a global network of multi-wavelength/multi-messenger instruments. It is necessary to develop multi-messenger observational strategies, to refine our approach to data analysis, and to start an interdisciplinary effort to interpret observations and constrain models. Aligned with this vision, the European Commission approved (in the framework Horizon 2020) the ASTERICS initiative -ASTronomy ESFRI and Research Infrastructure CluSter- to collect knowledge and experiences from astronomy, astrophysics and particle physics and foster synergies among existing research infrastructures and scientific communities, with the ambition of seeing them interoperate as an integrated, multi-wavelength and multi-messenger facility.

The new era of multi-messenger astrophysics has dawned. The time is right to convene a meeting of international researchers to review recent scientific and technological progress, and to continue planning the future of multi-messenger astrophysics.