Category Archives: Announcements

A 50m telescope with PACE participation approved for design study

A design study for a ground-breaking radio telescope has been recently approved by The European Commission, through the Horizon 2020 program. The international consortium is led by the University of Oslo, with scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh

The Atacama Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope or AtLAST, for short, could provide astronomers with everything from a comprehensive catalogue of the chemicals constituents of galaxies in the earliest Universe – taking a ‘molecular fingerprint’ of primaeval galaxies.

It could be operational in the 2030s and will be a single dish submillimeter telescope, measuring 50m in diameter – enabling new discoveries that cannot be achieved with any current or planned astronomical facilities. It will complement the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and for this reason, since the beginning of the project, PACE scientists have been involved in different activities aiming to raise the attention of the international community on such a project.

Six working groups will now consider different aspects of the design requirements, making a long-term plan for the financial and governmental structure of AtLAST.

ALMA Cycles 7 and 8

On behalf of the ALMA Director, with support from all Executives and the ALMA Board, the recent decisions taken regarding the status of Cycle 7 and Cycle 8 are as follows:

  • The start of ALMA Cycle 8 has been postponed until 2021 October. It is anticipated that the Cycle 8 Call for Proposals will open again in 2021 March.
  • ALMA Cycle 7 will continue through 2021 September, with currently non-completed projects ranked A, B and C remaining in the observing queue.

PACE continues to provide support to the Portuguese community and is available for any clarification needed.

Take care

ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals Suspended due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has continued to affect the global community, including ALMA users and staff. ALMA operations remain suspended, as announced on March 20. Under these difficult and unprecedented circumstances, the ALMA Director, with support from all Executives, has decided to suspend the submission of Cycle 8 proposals until further notice.

We appreciate the community has worked hard on new science ideas for Cycle 8, even under such difficult conditions. We also realize the work the community has done in generating an exciting Cycle 7 observing program. At this time, our first priority is the health and well-being of the global community.
New timelines for Cycle 7 and Cycle 8 will be announced on the Science Portal in the coming weeks as the global situation evolves.

These times offer unprecedented stress and challenges for our community members and their families. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the current situation. The PACE will continue to provide support to the Portuguese community. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Delay of the ALMA Cycle 8 Proposal Submission Deadline

As everyone is aware, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to impact the global community.  As such, the ALMA Director, along with the regional partners, has decided to delay the proposal deadline for the ALMA Cycle 8 Call for Proposals to NO EARLIER than 15 UT on 19 May 2020.

PACE is prepared for the Cycle 8 Call and, as of now, can provide support to the Portuguese community.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding the ALMA Cycle 8 Call or any other issues.
As we continue to monitor the conditions worldwide, we will assess the feasibility of this deadline and provide additional updates to the community as needed.  The next update to the community will be provided NO LATER than 21 April 2020 on the status of the call and the support for the scientific community at the ARCs.
We realize these are challenging and uncertain times.  We want to continue to hear your concerns (please submit Helpdesk tickets) and will take the appropriate action to address them.  It’s important now to consider the health and well-being of yourself and those around you – that should be the primary focus as we navigate through these stressful times.
Take care.

First Results from the Event Horizon Telescope. Press Conference on 10th of April

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration will present the groundbreaking results on 10 April 2019 in simultaneous press conferences worldwide.

The EU conference will be streamed online on the ESO website, by the ERC, and on social media. Questions will also be taken from social media using the hashtag #AskEHTeu.

A total of six major press conferences will be held simultaneously around the globe in Belgium (Brussels, English), Chile (Santiago, Spanish), Shanghai (Mandarin), Japan (Tokyo, Japanese), Taipei (Mandarin), and USA (Washington, D.C., English).

The goal of the observations was to image, for the very first time, the shadow of the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, as well as to study the properties of the accretion and outflow around the Galactic Centre. The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array the world’s most sensitive facility for millimeter/submillimeter astronomical observations, and plays a key role in the EHT network.

More details in the ESO dedicated page.

This infographic illustrates how ALMA contributes to the EHT observations. With its shorter baseline, ALMA is sensitive to larger scales than the EHT and so ALMA can fill in the lower-resolution, larger-scale structures that the EHT misses.
Credit: NRAO