European ARC Newsletter
24 Mar 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

ALMA Cycle 9 Call for Proposals

24 Mar 2022:

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce the ALMA Cycle 9 Call for Proposals (CfP) for scientific observations to be scheduled from October 2022 to September 2023.

Proposal submission will open at: 24 March 2022, 15:00 UT
Proposal submission deadline is: 21 April 2022, 15:00 UT  

More information can be found on the ALMA Science Portal.

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Using ALMA archival data - A Primer

18 Mar 2022:

ALMA has released a new document for Cycle 9 called Using ALMA archival data - A Primer.  This document provides basic introductory information of how to use the ALMA data available through the ALMA Science Archive (ASA), including how to query, extract and scientifically exploit the content of the ASA. The aim is to assist readers with the exploitation of archived ALMA data by providing a concise summary of the data and practical examples that include CASA tasks.

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Training opportunity: ALMA data reduction

15 Mar 2022:

The German ARC node offers hands-on training in the reduction and analysis of ALMA data in their online Master-level course Radio Interferometry 2022 in the months of April to July 2022.

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Join the Cycle 9 proposal preparation workshops

In the context of the upcoming Cycle 9 Call for Proposals, the European ARC Nodes are organising a series of events in order to support ALMA users in their proposal preparation.

Allegro ARC Node - Proposal Preparation Day

The Allegro ARC node will host an ALMA Cycle 9 proposal preparation workshop on Monday 28 March 2022. The purpose of the workshop is to give an overview of the Cycle 9 capabilities, to give support to new and more experienced users on their proposals, to demonstrate how to run archive searches, simulations, etc. We will also showcase some typical galactic and extragalactic science cases.  

The workshop is aimed at the Netherlands ALMA user community and will be held in person at Leiden Observatory. Remote participation will be possible online for those who are not able to travel to Leiden. More information and registration can be found here.

Nordic ARC Node - Proposal Preparation Events

The Nordic ARC node is organising a series of upcoming online events:

  • 28 March 2022, 15:00 CET: Nordic ARC proposal preparation event I (overview of Cycle 9 updates, proposal writing & reviewing aspects) [Zoom link]
  • 30 March 2022, 10:30 CET: Nordic ARC proposal preparation event II (overview of Cycle 9 updates, proposal writing & reviewing aspects) [Zoom link]

All the events will be hosted online and are listed in the public calendar [URL][iCal]. The duration of the events will be about one hour and Nordic ARC staff will remain available online for further questions. Beside these specific events, the Nordic ARC will remain available anytime during this proposal preparation period, for help and support. Please contact us at your earliest convenience. Sign up for the Nordic ARC mailing list to not to miss our news and announcements.

German ARC Node - Proposal Preparation Support

In view of the ongoing pandemic, the traditional all-day community event will be replaced by a series of pre-recorded video tutorials that can be watched conveniently at any time and location of choice. The tutorials will cater to astronomers with different levels of expertise, from introductory tutorials for scientists new to ALMA to a concise update for experienced ALMA users.

The video tutorials will be complemented by an online community meeting on 7 April 2022, and by individual one-on-one help. For details on the tutorials and the one-on-one support, please refer to the Proposal Preparation homepage.

Italian ARC Node - Proposal Preparation Day

In preparation for the ALMA Cycle9 deadline the Italian ARC node organises an online community meeting on Monday 4 April 2022, 10:00-12:00 CET (Meet link)

Programme of the meeting:

  • Status of the array and of the ARC network
  • New capabilities and observing modes
  • Proposal writing (anonymous) and reviewing (double-blind)
  • ALMA simulations
  • ALMA Science Archive news

This activity is in addition to the usual "face-to-face" support that you can request at any time (but preferentially before 15 April) from the Italian ARC node via e-mail to, or through the ALMA help-desk. Financial support for in-person visits ican be requested through the Opticon Radionet Pilot (ORP) by filling in this form.


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 fifth talk of this series will take place on 6 April 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: What is the role of filaments in star formation and how are they shaped?

10 Mar 2022:

The next talk of the series will be presented by Alaro Hacar (University of Vienna), on April 6 at 14:00 CEST, who will address the question: What is the role of filaments in star formation and how are they shaped? The talk will be broadcast on the Youtube channel of the European ALMA Regional Centre network.

Read more


Meet the ARC

Dr. Martin Zwaan

Martin joined ESO in 2003 as a fellow and joined the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) in 2006. As ARC astronomer he had various roles, including involvement in commission, constructing the very first ALMA images, quality assurance and the coordination of the ARC network. In 2016 he was appointed ARC manager, took up the role of European member in the integrated science operations team, and later also deputy head of the European ALMA Support Centre.

Martin's research interests are mostly related to the evolution of cold gas in galaxies, the relation with quasar absorption lines and the circumgalactic medium, as well as galaxy surveys in the radio and millimetre. He also plays a key role in the ALMACAL, a survey based on ALMA calibrator data, which is managed and hosted at ESO.


ALMA science highlight

Two Circumstellar Disks and a Spiraling Circumbinary Disk in the Making

ALMA Band 7 (0.99 mm) continuum observations of the SVS 13 Protobinary System

Using ALMA and the Very Large Array (VLA), Díaz-Rodríguez et al. (2021) have recently published one of the most comprehensive study of a close binary system in formation up to date, SVS 13, making it an excellent testbed for numerical simulations of the earliest stages in the formation of binary and multiple stellar systems.

The team detected two small circumstellar disks (radii ~12 au and ~9 au in dust, and ∼30 au in gas) with masses of around 0.004-0.009 solar masses for VLA 4A (the western component) and around 0.009-0.030 solar masses for VLA 4B (the eastern component). A circumbinary disk with prominent spiral arms extending roughly 500 au and as massive as 0.052 solar masses appears to be in the earliest stages of its formation. Clear velocity gradients are observed, indicating infall and rotation of the circumbinary disk, and purely rotation of the circumstellar disk of VLA 4A.The dust emission is more compact and more optically thick toward VLA 4B, while toward VLA 4A the dust column density is lower, allowing the detection of stronger molecular transitions. Inferred rotational temperatures are  around 140 K, on scales of ~ ]30 au, across the whole source, and a rich chemistry is evident. Molecular transitions typical of hot corinos are detected toward both protostars, being stronger toward VLA 4A, with several ethylene glycol transitions detected only toward this source.Using observations over a period of 30yrs, the team measured orbital proper motions and determined a total stellar mass of 1 Msun. From the molecular kinematics, the geometry and orientation of the system was inferred, and stellar masses of ~0.26 Msun for VLA 4A and ~0.60 Msun for VLA 4B were found.


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.