European ARC Newsletter
29 Apr 2022

Welcome to the European ALMA Regional Centre Newsletter!  

This Newsletter, which appears on a monthly basis, is a compilation of recent European ALMA Regional Centre announcements. In addition to these, the Newsletter provides an inside look into ALMA operations, showcases some of the exciting science carried out with ALMA by our European colleagues, and informs you about ALMA or ALMA-related meetings.

European ARC Announcements

Webinar on the distributed peer review process

26 Apr 2022:

The Proposal Handling Team is organising a series of online sessions in which they will present the Cycle 9 distributed peer review process and guidelines for reviewing proposals. The sessions will consist of a presentation followed by a live question and answer session. Sessions targeted to the European community will take place:

Thursday May 05, 13:00 UTC   and  Tuesday May 10, 15:00 UTC.

Read more

CalMS Service approaching the 2000 MOUS mark with new features

26 Apr 2022:

Since Oct 2019, the EU ARC is offering its users the "CalMS" service which has so far provided 155 unique users with more than 1750 calibrated MeasurementSets (MSs). As its popularity increases, further features are added to the system. Users can now:

  • immediately produce line images and cubes making use of the continuum subtraction performed by the pipeline,
  • request the calibrated data for particular calibrator targets,
  • identify MOUSs which belong to the same Group OUS.

Read more

New development study to investigate the potential of ALMA Advanced Data Products

26 Apr 2022:

Current ALMA products can be characterized as "science-ready calibration, informative imaging". This means that PIs and archive users may need to repeat the imaging process to obtain products that are optimised for their specific scientific analysis. The purpose of this new development study is to investigate the potential interest of generating "science-optimised" products. These Advanced Data Products may include:

  • science-grade products for every ALMA observing project;
  • high-level science products based on, e.g., the combination of different observations of the same object;
  • derived products such as catalogues, spectra, SEDs, etc.

Read more

ALMA poll of the month



Yes, but further measures are needed

At times




Join the online ALMA training events!

The European ARC Network invites you to the next appointment of the online training series I-TRAIN, which will be:

  •  Using ALMA archival data - A Primer - 20th May 2022

You can find further details on this session below. You can access or subscribe to the calendar of sessions at [calendar URL][iCal address]. 

Please contact us by submitting a ticket to the ALMA Helpdesk (Department "General Queries") if you wish to provide your feedback on I-TRAIN. Information on the I-TRAIN sessions, including legacy materials and links to YouTube videos from previous sessions, are available in the Science Portal.


I-TRAIN #14: Using ALMA archival data - A Primer

28 Apr 2022:

The European ARC Network invites users to an online training on Using ALMA archival data - A Primer on May 20th, 11:00 CEST [Zoom link].

Read more


Talk series: ALMA Recounts of Cosmic Conundrums

The European ARC network is presenting the virtual talk series "ALMA recounts of Cosmic Conundrums". In every talk of this series a major astronomical question is discussed. The invited speaker will describe the context of the question and then focuses on the ALMA contribution to the field, past and future. The aim of the series is to highlight the unparalleled contribution of ALMA to the broader astronomical landscape and to provide an outlook towards the future. 

The sixth talk of this series will take place on 4 May at 14:00 CEST. The talks are broadcast through the Youtube channel of the European ALMA Regional Centre network and will remain available on the same channel afterwards.


ALMA recounts of cosmic conundrums: How and when does planet-formation happen in disks?

10 Apr 2022:

The next talk of the series will be presented by Davide Fedele (INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri), on May 4th at 14:00 CEST, who will address the question: How and when does planet-formation happen in disks? The talk will be broadcast on the Youtube channel of the European ALMA Regional Centre network.


Read more


Meet the ARC

Dr. Dirk Petry

Dirk joined ESO in 2008 as member of the CASA development team and in 2009 the ESO ARC as operations scientist. He has contributed to many parts of CASA and helped build up the European ALMA community with data analysis training events. With the beginning of science observations, Dirk became involved in the ALMA Data Quality Assurance (QA) effort and starting with Cycle 1, he became the lead data reduction manager for Europe. In early 2020, he moved on to take over the lead of a development study on ALMA beam assessment, shaping, and scheduling. He continues to work on the development of the software items needed for the "manual" data reduction in ALMA QA as the responsible ALMA subsystem scientist. Furthermore he works on improving data combination methods (also in collaboration with the University of Vienna) and the EU ARC's CalMS service. He remains a member of the CASA team and CASA cognizant lead for Europe.

Dirk's scientific interests include radio-interferometry and observational high-energy astrophysics.


ALMA science highlight

Molecular gas in a born-again star seen for the first time with ALMA

Left: ALMA CO(3-2) line velocity-integrated emission around the born-again star V605 Aql. The blue and red colours indicate emission with radial velocities higher than 100 km/s, and the green colour indicates emission with radial velocities lower than 100 km/s. Right: Artistic impression of the interacting binary system producing an expanding disk and a high-velocity bipolar outflow.

Thanks to its exquisite combination of high angular resolution and sensitivity, ALMA has provided the first images of the molecular material ejected by a white dwarf during an abrupt eruption, known as a very late thermal pulse, that makes the star to be born again.  

The Band 7 observations, presented by Tafoya et al. 2022, revealed an expanding disk-like structure traced by the dust emission, as well as by line emission of CO, HCN and HCO+. Although previous optical observations hinted at the presence of such an equatorial structure, these are the first direct images of it. Surprisingly, apart from the disk, the team also discovered a pair of high-velocity lobes whose kinematical ages is less than 20 years. This result is remarkable because researchers had thought that the system was not currently losing mass, but that all the circumstellar material had been expelled a hundred years ago during the very late thermal pulse. One likely scenario proposed to explain the observations is that V605 Aql consists of a binary system that is undergoing a common envelope phase. The engulfed companion would be providing the energy and momentum necessary to create the expanding disk and bipolar outflow. 

Since born-again stars re-transit the late stages of stellar evolution in just decades, they allow us to witness in human timescales phenomena that otherwise would have taken thousands or tens of thousands of years. In order to have a more comprehensive understanding of these evolutionary phase, which about a quarter of all white dwarfs are thought to undergo, the team is planning to carry out high angular resolution observations of an even younger born-again star.


Upcoming ALMA or ALMA-related Meetings


Building bridges: The lifecycle of dust and gas in the Milky Way with ALMA and SKA

The in-person Symposium 7 at the EAS Meeting 2022 in Valencia (Spain) will take place on 30 June and 1 July. The aim of this meeting is to build bridges between groups studying events of similar nature in the life cycle of dust and gas, but at different astronomical scales and in different environments. More information can be found at

Registrations to the EAS 2022 are open and abstract submission can be done using this link. The full conference program can be found at this link.