BOX 1.1 Some Highlights of Discoveries of the 1990s in Astronomy and Astrophysics
SOURCE: Adapted from National Research Council, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001, pp. 18–19. For nearly every discovery, both NSF and NASA supported the U.S. researchers who used both ground- and space-based facilities, and for some the Department of Energy provided key support as well.
nos. One remarkable aspect of the major discoveries listed in Box 1.1 is the fact that both ground- and space-based observations played important roles in practically every breakthrough, and this trend is expected to increase. The process of identifying the likely sources of cosmic gamma-ray bursts (Box 1.2) provides a good example of the synergy and interdependence between space and ground observing techniques.
Similarly, contemporary astronomy and astrophysics cannot be parsed by wavelength, by the location of the observing instruments, or by nationality. For example, Box 1.3 describes some of the science that will be enabled by the complementary nature of three future international facilities—the Next Generation Space Telescope, the Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array—that will observe the universe at different wavelengths and from the ground and in