Panel recommends budget cuts for observatories


  • Mohi Kumar


US. National Science Foundation funding for observatories that monitor the ionosphere, Sun, and solar system could be reduced substantially if recent recommendations from a panel of senior scientists are heeded.

The senior review committee, commissioned by NSF to provide outside guidance to the agency, attempted to balance current federal budget outlooks with the ambitious astronomy programs proposed earlier this decade by the U.S. National Research Council. The committee was asked to propose cuts of roughly $30 million in annual spending from the current program—representing 15% of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) annual budget for astronomy—to accommodate NSF plans for developing and operating new facilities.