All posts by almacp

Advertisement for researcher (junior to advanced level) contracts in Portugal

The portuguese national science foundation, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) has issued a call for research contracts, in the context of the Stimulus to Scientific Employment which will be open from 19th January until  the 16th February 2018, 17:00 (Portuguese time). The positions are for up to 6 years. The gross monthly income corresponds to the salary of a Junior Researcher (level 33 – 2.128,34€), Assistant Researcher (index 195 – 3.191,82€), Principal Researcher (index 220 – 3.601,03€) or Coordinating Researcher (index 285 – 4.664,97€), depending on the profile of the candidate. The selection is done by FCT. Each candidate will have to select and have the support from a host institution in Portugal.
The Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) welcomes pre-applications to the FCT – Stimulus to Individual Scientific Employment 2017 call.
IA is the reference institution for this area in Portugal, integrating researchers from the University of Porto and the University of Lisbon, and is responsible for a major fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in this area. The research and development effort at the IA includes most of the topics at the forefront of research in Astrophysics and Space Sciences, complemented by work on instrumentation and systems with potential use in Astronomy and Astrophysics. IA is also the host of the Portuguese ALMA Centre of Expertise.
For more information please check:
PACE is currently looking for strong candidates to support in this call.  If you are interested or know of someone who is, please let PACE knows!

Report from the ALMA Data Processing workshop

The PACE, in collaboration with the ESO, organized an “ALMA Data
Processing Workshop” held in Lisbon on 5th, 6th, and 7th of December and funded by RadioNet consortium (website: The goal of the workshop was to bring together all the community which were planning to use ALMA data in the future, and join them together for different hands-on sessions. The organizers, together with expert invited speakers from the ARC nodes of UK and Netherlands, guided the participants from raw to reduced
data, in two days and half of full work.

Group Photo

A total of 19 astronomers attended the workshop, coming from ten different countries: Pakistan, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, UK, Spain, and of course Portugal. As expected, the most represented communities were Portugal and Spain, for logistics reasons. 37% of the participants were female, and more than half of the participants were PhD or Master students. Beyond the participants, the organizers invited two expert speakers from the ARC node of the UK, Dr. George Bendo, and from Netherlands, Dr. Ciriaco Goddi, which work as ALMA data analysts in their respective ALMA nodes.

An important aspect to underline is that almost 63% of the participants were not experts in interferometry, and approached the topic for the first time. This is very positive, as the main goals of the workshop was exactly to attract young scientists towards the use of interferometric data.

We hope that in the future PACE will continue this  path, organizing other events, with the idea to help the European radio community.


[RadioNet has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 730562]


An ALMA Data Processing Workshop funded by RadioNet in Lisbon

PACE in collaboration with the ESO and the RadioNet consortium, is glad to announce that an “ALMA Data Processing Workshop” will take place in Lisbon on 5th (afternoon), 6th, and 7th of December.

The huge increase of the data available on the archive has improved enormously the possibility for the scientific community to exploit the potential of this fantastic instrument. However, there are still many issues related to the non friendly nature of interferometric data, which need different processes to be transformed in scientifically useful data.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together all the community which is planning to use ALMA data and put them together on an hands on session. We will guide the audience from the raw data towards scientifically exploitable data in 2 and half days of intense work. Furthermore, if someone has already in mind which data to use, the workshop will provide the perfect environment where to start your work.

The program together with logistic details will be soon available through the website.
We also inform the participants that fellowships are available for a small number of students, covering the travel and the accommodation.

Ciro Pappalardo, Jose Afonso, Sandra Homem, Eva Lopes
Ciro Pappalardo, George Bendo, Ciriaco Goddi, Dirk Petry

This event has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730562 [RadioNet]

2017 Call for 5 PhD Fellowships


The fourth call (2017) for 5 PhD Fellowships of the PhD::SPACE Program,

funded by the FCT PD Program initiative is open for applications to be submitted by the ***31st of March 2017***.

The details of the Call are provided at:

This program is offered by the Universities of Porto ( and Lisboa (, having as host the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (, with poles at Porto and Lisboa.

Further details can be found at the PhD::SPACE website at

and in the webpage for applicants

The list of PhD Topics available for selection in the 2017 Call are listed at

For further details, please contact the Program Director:
Mario J. P. F. G. Monteiro (

ALMA Starts Observing the Sun


A strong effort has been necessary to protect the antennas from the heat, but in the end they succeeded: ALMA started the observations of the Sun.

The lesson has been learned in the hard way: the Swedish–ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST) had a fire in its secondary mirror assembly after the telescope was accidentally pointed at the Sun.

The damage that was inflicted by the fire in the 15 m Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope.


However, this time things went very well, and this week have been released by the ESO a series of images that show the power of this new ALMA capability.

Scientists focused their attention into a well known sunspot, which was observed at 1.25 and 3 millimetres.


This ALMA image of an enormous sunspot was taken at a wavelength of 1.25 millimetres. Sunspots are transient features that occur in regions where the Sun’s magnetic field is extremely concentrated and powerful. They have lower temperatures than their surrounding regions, which is why they appear relatively dark. These observations are the first ever made of the Sun with a facility where ESO is a partner. They are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the mysterious physics of our nearest star.

These observations probed different layer of the chromosphere, and opened a new frontier in the study of our precious star. For further details you can read the official press release of the ESO where other interesting images are available.

ALMA Cycle 5 Pre-announcement

On 16 December 2016 the ALMA website released a pre-announcement of the Cycle 5. The proposal deadline will be on 20 April 2016. The observing Cycle will start on October 2017 span 12 months.

The Cycle will offer 4000 hours on 12-m Array time and 3000 hours on the Atacama Compact Array (ACA). Cycle 5 will offer the same proposal types as in Cycle 4.

Some anticipation about the capabilities:

  • At least ten (10) 7-m antennas (for short baselines) and three (3) 12-m antennas (for making single-dish maps) in the ACA;
  • Receiver bands 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (wavelengths of about 3.1, 2.1, 1.6, 1.3, 0.87, 0.74, 0.44 and 0.35 mm, respectively);
  • Maximum baselines for the 12 m antenna configurations will vary from 0.15 km to 16 km;
  • Single field interferometry (all bands) and mosaics (Bands 3 to 9) with the 12-m Array and the 7-m Array;
  • Single dish spectral line observations in Bands 3 to 8

The opportunities offered for the first time are:

1. Band 4 polarization: Proposals will be accepted for Band 4 observations in all available polarization modes.

2. Band 5 observations: Proposals will be accepted for spectral line (12-m, 7-m and Total Power arrays) and continuum (12-m and 7-m arrays) observations in Band 5. Proposals will be accepted for Band 5 observations in all available polarization modes.

Further details available in the ALMA website



The annual European meeting of the ARC nodes and CoE this year will be held in the Costa de Caparica Hotel.

More than 50 scientists from the different ALMA nodes in Europe will attend this meeting to discuss the strategic lines for the future of ALMA, and the technical improvements of the official data reduction pipeline of the instrument.

The Portuguese Alma Center of Expertise (PACE) will guest the event in collaboration with the ESO-ALMA Headquarter of Garching.