An ALMA image of the gravitational lens SPT0418-47.   Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Rizzo et al.
An ALMA image of the gravitational lens SPT0418-47. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Rizzo et al.

 

ALMA Cycle 8 2021 Pre-announcement

The Joint ALMA Observatory has made a pre-announcement for the next ALMA observing Cycle, which is expected to start in October 2021. Because of the postponement of Cycle 8, the next observing call will be named "Cycle 8 2021". The formal Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information for observing in Cycle 8 is expected in March 2021 with a deadline in April 2021. The information provided in the pre-announcement is published to highlight features of the upcoming CfP to assist with early proposal planning.

The full pre-announcement includes details on new ALMA capabilities for Cycle 8, expected array configurations and important information on the updated Proposal Review Process, which will differ from previous ALMA Cycles.

The UK ARC Node is available to help all UK based astronomers with their ALMA proposal planning and submission. If you have any questions related to a proposal for Cycle 8 2021, please get in touch with us.

 

ALMA Science Operation Status

Progress continues to be made in returning ALMA to science operations. ALMA Staff are actively inspecting key systems such as the correlator electronics and the antennas themselves. Power, water and fibre connections have all been re-established with both the Operations Support Facility and the Array Operations Site. Following successful inspections, the next step will be to systematically power-on the systems. The return to science operations is anticipated for March 2021. The intended resumption of science observations in March would see the restart of Cycle 7 observations almost exactly a year after they were halted.

Timeframes for returning to science and how the remaining Cycle 7 programs are completed are, of course, subject to the changing status of the global pandemic and the results of work and inspections currently being carried out at the ALMA site. More information will be available via the ALMA Portal as the situation becomes clearer.

 

ALMA 2021 Virtual Workshop

22-26 March 2021

Website

The UK ARC Node are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the ALMA 2021 Virtual Workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to help new ALMA users get started with their research, with a particular emphasis on proposal preparation for Cycle 8. The workshop will be conducted virtually using Zoom by staff from the UK ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) Node. Although the workshop is aimed at UK researchers, participants from other countries are welcome to join.

The workshop will be scheduled as a series of half-day sessions running an entire week and will cover the following topics:

  • Introductions to ALMA and radio interferometry
  • ALMA proposal preparation
  • Using the ALMA Archive
  • Calibrating and imaging ALMA data

At the end of the workshop, UK ARC Node staff will be available to help with any questions related to participants' specific research or to provide further assistance with proposal preparation.

To participate in the workshop, please register by the 17th of March using the registration form.

 

I-TRAIN Session 4: ALMA WebLog inspection

19 February 2021

10:00 GMT

Zoom Link

The I-TRAIN session in February will serve as a tutorial on the inspection of ALMA WebLogs. The session will be held online on Friday February 19, 2021, 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET). WebLogs are produced by the ALMA pipeline and contain diagnostic information on data calibration and imaging. This session will teach users how to interpret the WebLog information and how to use it to guide re-imaging ALMA data.

Some preparations will be needed to follow this tutorial in full. Attendees are requested to download this WebLog example before the session. Presentation slides will be made available in the ALMA Science Portal the day before the session.

The duration of this training session, hosted by the UK ARC node, will be about one hour and will include a live demo and an interactive Q&A session. For questions do not hesitate to contact the UK ARC node.

The presentation will be recorded, and an edited version of the recording will be posted in the Science Portal after the session. The interactive Q&A will not be recorded.

 

I-TRAIN #5: Simulating ALMA Observations with the OST

11 March

10:00 GMT

Zoom Link

The European ARC Network is offering an online training on simulating observations with the ALMA Observation Support Tool (OST) on Thursday March 11, 2021, 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET). The OST allows users to test the effect of differing array configurations, frequency tunings, pointing strategies and weather conditions on imaging (2D or 3D) a sky-model of their choosing. The output images can be used to support the scientific and technical justifications of their ALMA proposals or for comparing model data to existing ALMA observations. In this training session participants will learn how to work with the OST to ensure robust and meaningful ALMA simulations.

No specific preparations will be needed to follow this tutorial in full, the OST is available online at http://almaost.jb.man.ac.uk/. If attendees wish to simulate a sky-model of their favourite target these should be prepared in FITS format following the instructuions in the help documentation). Presentation slides will be shared in the Science Portal the day before the session.

The duration of this training session will be about one hour and will include a live demo and an interactive Q&A session. For questions do not hesitate to contact the UK ARC node.

The presentation will be recorded, and an edited version of the recording will be posted in the Science Portal after the session. The interactive Q&A will not be recorded.