SV Proposal Call SEPIA Band 9

SEPIA (Swedish ESO PI receiver for Apex) is a new instrument at APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment. SEPIA is offered in Band 9 (conditional on the anticipated successful commissioning) for a Science Verification (SV) phase. First light has been successfully achieved (Feb 2016) and commissioning will start in April 2016.

The purpose of the Science Verification observations for SEPIA Band 9 is to execute programmes testing a various number of science cases for which the instrument was designed. Those programmes will be chosen also to test the various modes of operation.

The deadline for submission is Friday 11 March 2016, 12:00 CET.

More information in the call webpage.

Portuguese ALMA Community Days 2016

We are glad to announce the Portuguese ALMA Community Days to be held on 14th and 15th March 2016 at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Science in Oporto.

— 14th March
11h00—11h30 – “The observatory ALMA” (Hugo Messias)
11h30—12h30 – “From our solar system to the Galactic centre” (Elizabeth Humphreys, ESO)
12h30—14h00 – [Lunch]
14h00—15h00 – “The Extra-galactic Universe and its Cosmology” (Israel Matute)
15h00—15h30 – “Proposing for time and the ALMA Observing Tool
” (Ciro Pappalardo)
15h30—16h00 – “Observation simulations” (Hugo Messias)
16h00—16h20 – [coffee break]
16h20—18h00 – Science discussion — bring your own science case
— 15th March
09h30—11h00 – Face-to-face hands-on: ALMA Observing Tool
11h00—12h30 – Face-to-face hands-on: Observation simulations
12h30—14h00 – [Lunch]
14h00—16h00 – Face-to-face hands-on (general)

FEE: No fee is required.


REQUIREMENTS: If the user is interested to participate in the hands-on sessions, please bring a laptop with the ALMA Observing Tool and the latest CASA version (4.5.2) installed.


Previous to PACD16, had you thought about ALMA to address your science goals?

After PACD15, do you now think ALMA can address your science goals?

Do you feel the presentations were clear and helpful?

Do you feel the science discussion was helpful?

Do you feel the hands-on sessions were clear and helpful?

Are you planing to contact PACE to obtain training with the ALMA Observational Tool (AOT) or CASA simulations (CASAsim)?

Please, write below any comment regarding the above questionnaire or any other issue you feel it should be mentioned about PACD16.

ALMA Cycle 4 pre-announcement

Exciting news for ALMA Cycle 4, which has just been pre-announced. Many new capabilities are now anticipated, such as the use of the Atacama Compact Array alone or ALMA as a VLBI station. Breakthrough science will definitely arise as a result.

On 22nd March 2016, a call will be released, as well as the latest version of the ALMA Observing Tool, with which one will submit proposals until the deadline on 21st April 2016.

More detailed preliminary information on anticipated array capabilities and key dates for Cycle 4 are available here.

For any further information, do not hesitate to contact us by any of the provided contacts.

Good luck!

ALMA Fellowships

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is now offering postdoctoral fellowship positions to join the ALMA science operations group. Fellows will be based in the Santiago Central Office in Chile, with eventual shifts to the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) near San Pedro de Atacama for real-time interaction with the telescope. Full details here.

Resolving Planet Formation in the Era of ALMA and Extreme AO

Results from ALMA Long Baseline observations and from SPHERE, Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and other high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) instruments have given a taste of what to expect over the next few years in the fields of protoplanetary and debris disks, and planet formation. For the first time observations of the regions where planets form are achievable. The workshop will discuss the state-of-the-art results, offering a panchromatic view, with a balance between observations and theory. Discussions will be scheduled on how facilities, such as JWST, E-ELT and TMT, and advances in modeling, will advance the field of planetary formation.

Details are available from the workshop webpage.

Water in the Universe – from clouds to oceans

A conference to be held at ESA/ESTEC on 12—15 April 2016, which will cover all astrophysical aspects of water, including the water trail, from the formation of water in molecular clouds to water on planetary bodies, including in our own solar system; water as a probe of physics and and chemistry; and water in nearby to water in extra-galactic and high redshift sources.

More information at the conference website. Abstract submission deadline on 11th December.

ALMA Cycle-3 outcome

After the communication in August of the ALMA Cycle-3 proposal review outcome to the PIs, the ALMA consortium has recently made available the list of high priority projects and a report on the proposal review process. While the former lists the A- and B-graded projects, along with the respective PI, co-Is, and abstract, the latter describes the review process along with interesting statistics (such as requested facility specifications, science categories interest, …).

We would like to highlight a milestone achieved by the Portuguese community via the acceptance (A-grade) of the proposal PI’ed by David Sobral (based at IA), focused on the recently discovered high-redshift galaxy with PopIII-like stellar populations. In addition, the Portuguese community is involved (in co-authorship) in six other high-priority and two filler (C-graded) proposals. We also highlight the proposal PI’ed by Elisabete da Cunha (based at Swinburne University, Australia) which was also considered to be of high priority via the very over-subscripted Open-Skies time.

We take the chance to call your attention to the recent ALMA status report and the results of the ALMA Cycle-3 user survey.

We hope these very successful results make you even more eager to apply for ALMA time in Cycle 4! We will be here to help you!

FCT Investigator Programme 2015

The FCT Investigator programme aims to support the recruitment of outstanding researchers into Portugal’s R&D centres. Open to scientists of all nationalities, and across research fields, this highly competitive programme targets scientists with exceptional track-records and clear potential to develop innovative research. Close to 600 new FCT Investigators have been selected in the three previous calls. The 2015 call is expected to fund 200 new FCT Investigator grants. Deadline on 15th September 2015. Please, read further in the call webpage.

Also, note the  deadline 2nd September 2015 to associate your project to our host institution, IA. More information regarding this here.

Good luck!

Portuguese ALMA Centre of Expertise