European ARC Newsletter
31 Jan 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

QA0+ results now available from SnooPI

31 Jan 2022:

QA0+ results are now available for PIs from SnooPI in the QA0 report, which can be found in the Scheduling Blocks (SB) detailed view.

QA0+ is one of the stages of Quality Assurance (QA) which runs a simplified and rapid scripted calibration and imaging pipeline of the channel-averaged data, producing continuum-only images of the science target, phase calibrator, and check source.

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Early deadline for GMVA+ALMA proposals

24 Jan 2022:

The phased ALMA array is expected to participate in Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA) observations during ALMA Cycle 9 (October 2022 - September 2023). An introduction to the GMVA+ALMA observing mode including a link to all current capabilities and restrictions is available here

Any GMVA+ALMA proposal must be submitted to the GMVA before the GMVA deadline on 01 February 2022. In addition, a separate proposal must be submitted to ALMA by the deadline on 21 April 2022.

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Improved Image Visualization and Analysis with CARTA 2.0

19 Jan 2022:

The Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy (CARTA), is the next generation image visualization and analysis tool designed for ALMA, VLA, and SKA pathfinders. As of January 2022, the improved version CARTA 2.0 is available on the ALMA Science Archive.

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Vacancy Notice: ALMA Regional Centre Astronomer

09 Dec 2021:

For its ALMA Regional Centre at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is opening the position of:

ALMA Regional Centre Astronomer

The closing date for receipt of applications to be considered for the position is 6 February, 2022. For more information, please see the full vacancy announcement on the ESO Recruitment Portal website.

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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 third talk of this series will take place February 2nd at 14:00 CET. 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 does the dynamics of galaxies evolve over cosmic time?

17 Jan 2022:

The third talk of the series "ALMA recounts of cosmic conundrums" will take place February 2nd at 14:00 CET and will be presented by Francesca Rizzo (Dawn), who will address the question: How does the dynamics of galaxies evolve over cosmic time? The talk will be broadcast live on the youtube channel of the European ARC network.

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Join the online ALMA training events!

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

  •  CARTA, Cube Analysis and Rendering Tool for Astronomy - 18th February 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 #12: Image visualization and analysis with CARTA

10 Jan 2022:

The European ARC Network invites users to an online training on image visualization and analysis with CARTA on February 18, 11:00 CET [Zoom link].

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Meet the ARC

Dr. MCarmen Toribio

After working for the LOFAR telescope, Carmen joined the EU ARC Network in 2015. For four years she was support scientist and coordinator of user support at Allegro, the Dutch ARC node. Since 2019 she is the head of the Nordic ARC Node in the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden. Among her several roles in the Nordic node and in the ARC Network, the past year you might have known her as the main organizer of the online training series I-TRAIN.

Carmen likes supporting radio telescopes and the unique combination of scientific, technical and human aspects at work. Her research is mainly focused on the study of cold gas in galaxies from observations in the radio wavelengths, and so she is looking forward SKA too.

Dr. Romana Grossova - Newcomer!

Romana has just joined the Czech ARC Node on a postdoc position in January 2022. She is involved in different activities: user support activities as a Contact Scientist, SW testing, educational activities, such as preparation of workshops and seminars for students and young astronomers, as well as in ALMA data processing.

Romana’s main research interests are radio observations of early-type galaxies and the evolution of ram pressure stripped galaxies in galaxy clusters, mainly through millimeter observations within the Large Programme ALMA JELLY.


Kirsty Butler - Newcomer!

Kirsty has recently joined the IRAM ARC Node in Grenoble as an IRAM fellow in January 2022, after obtaining her PhD at the Leiden Observatory. At the IRAM ARC Node she will participate in the Science Operations Group activities to support the operation of the NOEMA observatory as well as carrying out duties in the local Grenoble ALMA ARC node. 

Kirsty’s research focuses on the role and impact of massive neutral and molecular galaxy outflows on the evolution of their host galaxies. To do this work, Kirsty has predominantly made use of of absorption line observations with ALMA and has exploited the benefits of strong gravitational lensing in her studies of high-redshift sources.


ALMA science highlight

ALMA High Resolution Imaging of One of the Most Extreme Environments in Our Universe

Left - The velocity field of the ISM of J2348-3054. The emission is very compact, ~1kpc, but the velocity field shows a velocity gradient that can be modeled using a simple, high velocity dispersion disk model. Middle - The continuum emission profile converted to total infrared luminosity and star-formation rate indicating that the central region has both high dust temperature and an extremely high star formation surface density. Right - The enclosed mass profile for different galaxy constituents. The gas mass (yellow curve) is consistent with the total mass (blue curve) and dominant over the black hole mass (black curve) at all radii.

High redshift quasars are unique tracers of massive galaxies well into the epoch of reionization. Because of the high sensitivity and resolution, ALMA is uniquely suited to explore the interstellar medium (ISM) within these galaxies through high resolution observations of the rest-frame far infrared emission. Besides providing an understanding of the internal structure of the earliest, most massive galaxies when the Universe was less than a billion years old, these high resolution observations provide the exciting prospect of resolving the region around the supermassive black hole that powers the quasar. In addition, by relating the properties of the black hole to those of the quasar host galaxies, it is possible to start to constrain the evolutionary process of the growth of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies across cosmic time.

As part of a continuing effort to resolve the ISM of high redshift quasars, ALMA observed the quasar J2348-3054 at a resolution of 0.035" (200 pc at z=6.9; Walter et al. 2022). These observations reveal that the far-infrared emission is extremely compact yet bright, resulting in an unprecedented star-formation rate surface density of greater than 104 Msun yr-1 kpc2, which is much higher than seen in low redshift starburst galaxies. The compact far-infrared emission also indicates high dust temperatures and a high concentration of gas in the center, resulting in a gas mass of almost 4 x 109 Msun within the central 200 pc. This gas mass is twice the mass of the supermassive black hole and therefore obscures any kinematic signature of the black hole. Despite such extreme conditions, the kinematics of the ISM are relatively straightforward and can easily be reproduced with a simple rotating disk model albeit with relatively large velocity dispersion. This suggests that whatever powers the compact emission, it does not affect the global kinematics of the ISM. These observations highlight ALMA's unique ability to explore high redshift quasar host galaxies and showcases that in many ways these galaxies are much different than the galaxies that host supermassive black holes in the local Universe. Future, larger samples are needed to understand how common these observations are among the high redshift quasar population.


Upcoming ALMA or ALMA-related Meetings


MAYA: Meeting of ALMA Young Astronomers

14 Dec 2021:

The European ALMA Regional Centre Network is happy to announce a new series of events targeted toward early career astronomers interested in ALMA: the Meeting for ALMA Young Astronomers (MAYA). The first MAYA will take place on 2022 March 2nd to 4th and it will be fully on-line. Deadline for abstract submission is 2022 January 31st.

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