European ARC Newsletter
26 Jan 2023

Welcome to the European ALMA Regional Centre Newsletter!  

This monthly newsletter is a compilation of recent European ALMA Regional Centre news and announcements and showcases an exciting ALMA science result by European colleagues. In the "Meet the ARC" section, the work of ARC personnel and the services and expertise areas of an ARC node are highlighted. Every month, you can learn an incredible ALMA fact in "Did you know" and give your opinion about a particlar ALMA matter in the "Poll of the month". Upcoming ALMA and ALMA-related meetings as well as an entertaining social media post of the past month are highlighted at the end of the newsletter.

News and announcements Science highlight Meet the ARC
I-TRAIN Poll of the month Did you know ALMA (related) meetings Social media highlight


European ARC News and Announcements

OT issue affecting Cycle 10 proposals requiring ACA observations

29 Apr 2023:

An issue has been discovered in the Cycle 10 ALMA Observing Tool (OT) that affects the estimated Atacama Compact Array (ACA) integration times for some 4x4-bit ACA observations (7-m and TP). We have fixed this problem and a patched version of the Cycle 10 OT is now available on the Science Portal. All PIs of projects that include ACA observations should download the updated OT version and submit or resubmit their proposals using this version. The correct version can be identified by checking for the words "Patch 1" in the title bar at the top of the OT window.

Read more

ALMA Band 1 Capabilities at Cycle 10

28 Apr 2023:

As described in the ALMA Cycle 10 Proposer's Guide, both spectral-line and continuum observations in Band 1 will be available only with the 12-m Array at Cycle 10, from March 2024 onwards. The Observing Tool will not prevent the submission of projects containing Band 1 ACA observations, but Band 1 ACA (7m and Total Power) observations are not technically feasible at this Cycle. Proposals requiring Band 1 ACA observations should therefore not be submitted.

Read more

ALMA Cycle 10 Call for Proposals

27 Apr 2023:


On behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory and the partner organizations led by NAOJ in East Asia, ESO in Europe, and NRAO in North America, the ALMA Director, Sean Dougherty, is pleased to announce the ALMA Cycle 10 Call for Proposals for scientific observations to be scheduled from October 2023 to September 2024. 

Proposal submission opens at: Wednesday, 12 April 202315:00 UT
Proposal submission deadline is: Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 15:00 UT  



Read more

ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present and Future

26 Apr 2023:

As announced in the October 2022 EU ARC Newsletter, the ALMA partnership is organizing a conference to commemorate its first decade of science operations. The conference will take a look back at the observatory accomplishments, highlight its latest results and look forward to future technical developments. It will take place from 4 to 8 December 2023 in Puerto Varas, Chile. Abstract submission and registration for the conference is now open at the conference webpage with a deadline for abstract submission on the 31st of May 2023.  

Read more

ALMA memo 624 - Updates to ALMA site properties: using the ESO-Allegro Phase RMS database

24 Apr 2023:

The newly published ALMA memo 624 ( is a re-visit to ALMA site properties and the successor to the Evans 2003 site stringency work (ALMA memo 471 that used only a 300m baseline phase monitor). Importantly, the phase RMS is the main focus of the new memo, and is measured using ALMA data since Cycle 3 (over 17000 Executions blocks). Using the bright bandpass sources, the phase RMS can be measured over various timescales (30s to 240s) and at all baseline lengths observed. Scaling trends are also used to extrapolate short baseline phase RMS (from short baseline configurations) to longer baseline values as to provide a comparable sample for 'summary' baseline lengths of  500, 1000, 5000 and 10000m in all EBs.

Read more

Sixth European ALMA Regional Centre community assembly

23 Mar 2023:

The European ALMA Regional Centre invites European ALMA users to a virtual community assembly on April 17 at 11:00 CEST, in connection with the Cycle 10 call for proposals. At this meeting, we will provide more information on the procedures for Joint Proposals with other facilities, including the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the Space Telescope Science Institute's James Webb Space Telescope, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.

Read more

ALMA Cycle 10 Pre-Announcement

30 Jan 2023:

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) will start Cycle 10 observations in October 2023. A Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information on Cycle 10 is anticipated to be issued in April 2023 and the deadline for proposal submission is anticipated to be on 10 May 2023.  The purpose of this pre-announcement is to highlight aspects of the CfP to assist with early planning.

Read more

Early deadline for GMVA+ALMA proposals

29 Jan 2023:

The ALMA Cycle 10 Pre-Announcement was recently released. As a reminder, Principal Investigators who wish to submit a proposal to ALMA for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations in ALMA Bands 1 or 3 made in concert with the Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA) at 7mm and 3 mm must also submit a proposal to the GMVA by its 1 February 2023 deadline. More information can be found here.

Read more

I-TRAIN #18: Running the Single Dish pipeline

27 Jan 2023:

The European ARC Network invites users to an online training on Running the Single Dish pipeline on January 27th, 11:00 CET [Zoom link].

Read more

VLTI and ALMA Synthesis Imaging Workshop

The VLTI and ALMA Synthesis Imaging Workshop was held at the European Southern Observatory, Garching, on January 9-12, 2023. The purposes of this international science meeting are to build awareness of the complexities the two regimes are covering in image analysis, to strengthen the synergies between the two communities and to find a common ground to advance imaging algorithms. All these components are essential also in view of the Joint VLT-ALMA Proposals to be offered during ALMA Cycle 10. With a total of 100 participants, the hybrid format allowed talk contributions on a global basis and constructive discussions. This event has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. A number of invited speakers and young researchers were supported to attend the event. 

Group picture of VLTI-ALMA workshop

Group picture taken during one of the coffee breaks on day 3. The associated institutions from the above participants are: CRAL, ESO, Excellence Cluster ORIGINS, IPAG, IRAM, KU Leuven, Leiden Observatory, LMU, MPA, MPE, NAOJ, North-West University, OCA, ORIGINS Data Science Lab, UNAM, University of Naples Federico II, University of Trieste.


ALMA science highlight

ALMA reveals secrets of turbulence in Carina's Western Wall

12CO, 13CO, and C18O observations of the Western Wall of Eta Carina
ALMA images of the Western Wall of Eta Carina in 12CO (left), 13CO (middle) and C18O (right) at a velocity of -25.27 km/s. The Western Wall is clearly visible, and the C18O emission is more localised to the irradiated surface of the cloud despite it being optically thin.

Spectacular ALMA observations of the Western Wall of eta Carina have been used to infer the underlying structure of the distribution of material in this molecular cloud. Downes et al (2023) developed a new analysis technique to use the ALMA observations of 12CO, 13CO and C18O to find any particular important length-scales for the distribution of the material. The data was also analysed using two other, independent and more standard, techniques. All the analyses show that, somewhat surprisingly, there is indeed a dominant length-scale of around 0.02 pc – 0.03 pc.  Structures on this length-scale are likely to be formed by the complex interplay between turbulence and self-gravity. Results such as this are crucial for understanding the origin of the Initial Mass Function and for star formation in general. The analyses also demonstrated that, in this cloud, the intense radiation from nearby OB associations does not have a significant impact on the dynamics of the material interior to the cloud.

Even more excitingly, by combining this ALMA data with observations using the Gemini telescopes Downes and his collaborators, Dr Hartigan and Dr Isella of Rice University, have demonstrated that the existence and size of this dominant length-scale can be detected by only observing the highly irradiated surface of this molecular cloud.


Meet the ARC

Photo of Ana López Sepulcre

Dr. Ana López Sepulcre

Ana joined the IRAM ARC node in 2016, first as a post-doc, and since 2017 as a permanent Astronomer. She is involved in contact scientist support and testing software tools, as well as in the European ARC visibility working group. In parallel, she carries out support activities related to the operations of the IRAM NOEMA interferometer and its user community. As a staff member of the University of Grenoble-Alpes (France), Ana also spends 20% of her time teaching at the University and participating in a variety of outreach activities related to (sub)-millimetre-wavelength science.

Ana's research interests are centred on astrochemistry of the early stages of star formation, with a particular emphasis on the chemical diversity existent among solar-mass protostars in terms of their organic molecular budget. She is a co-I of the ALMA Large Programs FAUST (P.I. S. Yamamoto) and ALMA-IMF (P.I. F. Motte). Ana's favourite job is supervising master and PhD students!

Ondřejov node

Group photo of the Ondřejov node

The Czech node of the EU ARC is hosted by the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. It is based in Ondřejov, about 35 km south-east of Prague, but visitors can also come to Prague, where the Institute has one of its departments. The node supports the local community of ALMA users, primarily from the Czech Republic but is open to all users from the region of central Europe. Its main areas of expertise are solar astrophysics and extra-galactic/galactic astrophysics. The Czech node serves all European PIs regarding solar observations with ALMA, since it is the only place in the EU ARC network with expertise in this area. The node's international team composed of post-docs and senior members provides face-2-face support in basically all stages of ALMA observations – from preparations of observing projects in Phases 1 and 2, to reduction and processing of the acquired data. They also perform quality checks of the data as part of the observatory quality assurance process. The community can make use of a high-performance computer cluster in Ondřejov for their ALMA data processing as well as numerical modelling and simulations of the observational results

An important part of the Czech node's activities is education. It organizes workshops and hands-on schools focused on ALMA capabilities and the preparation of proposals (typically in March prior to ALMA Calls for proposals), as well as interferometry data processing. The node team members support university students by delivering courses and seminars on the topic of radioastronomy, and supervising theses. In 2023 the node plans to participate in the IAU-International Visegrad Fund Mobility Awards for hosting international students. The node has also been involved in the EU ARC training series I-TRAIN and other network activities.

The Czech node is further active in ALMA development, mainly by means of the ESO ALMA Development Studies. In the past it participated in the preparation and introduction of the special regime for ALMA observations of the Sun, that has been available since the Cycle 4. Currently, the node leads another Study, called "High-resolution solar ALMA imaging", to investigate how to make more extended ALMA baselines accessible also for solar observations. The node further participates in the development of solar CASA calibration and imaging scripts, as well as the development of solar-specific routines that are shared world-wide by the other ARC centers.

The Czech EU ARC node team is happy to welcome all interested users, both physically and virtually, in Ondřejov and Prague!


Join the online ALMA training events!

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

  •  Running the Single Dish Pipeline - 27th January 2023

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 #18: Running the Single Dish pipeline

27 Jan 2023:

The European ARC Network invites users to an online training on Running the Single Dish pipeline on January 27th, 11:00 CET [Zoom link].

Read more

ALMA poll of the month


Will you submit a joint proposal this cycle?




Yes, ALMA+several partner observatories



Click here for more information about joint proposals!


Did you know...

that you can request calibrated measurement sets via the CalMS service of the EU ARC which will then be made available for download? The service is open both for ALMA PIs or Delegees with proprietary ALMA data and for archival users wanting to use datasets for which the proprietary time has expired.


Upcoming ALMA or ALMA-related Meetings

Meeting of ALMA Young Astronomers (2023)

MAYA 2023 is a conference targeted toward early career astronomers interested in ALMA, which will take place online from 6th to 10th March 2023

The goals of the meeting are to allow the participants to present their scientific work, interact with other participants and staff working in the ARC nodes, and potentially trigger new collaborations and new projects. The meeting is open to astronomers from all over the world. The final program selection will incorporate diversity of topics and speakers. For details and registration, please visit this page.

Infrared Fine-Structure Line Workshop

The Department of Physics at Winona State University (WSU) is happy to announce a workshop on infrared fine-structure lines. This 4-day conference will take place from 26th to 29th of June 2023 in the Science Laboratory Center at WSU in Winona, Minnesota, USA.

The meeting will cover all topics related to the use of the infrared fine-structure lines as probes of the interstellar medium and properties of galaxies. This will include observational results as well as theoretical models and simulations. We aim to assemble a diverse group of astronomers including observers, theoreticians, and instrumentalists whose interests span from the earliest epochs to the present day, and galactic ecosystems to our own Milky Way. For details and registration, please visit this page.


Social media highlight

Follow us on social media:


Facebook: ALMA Europe Twitter: @ALMA_Europe Instagram: alma_europe