European ARC Newsletter
27 Feb 2024

Welcome to the European ALMA Regional Centre Newsletter!  

This monthly newsletter is a compilation of recent European ALMA Regional Centre news and announcements, showcases an exciting ALMA science result by European colleagues and announces upcoming ALMA and ALMA-related meetings. 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 interesting ALMA fact in "Did you know" and give your opinion about a particular ALMA matter in the "Poll of the month". You can also connect with the European ALMA Regional Centre via social media!

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

European ARC News and Announcements

Upcoming workshop "The promises and challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade" - Deadline for abstract submission: 1 March 2024

27 Feb 2024:

This is a reminder that the deadline for abstract submission [] for contributed talks on the 1st of March 2024 is approaching.  

As previously announced, the workshop 'The promise and challenges of the ALMA Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade' will take place at ESO - Garching from the 24th to the 28th of June, 2024. This upgrade constitutes the top priority of the ALMA 2030 roadmap. It consists of an increase of the instantaneous spectral bandwidth by as much as a factor of four, while retaining full spectral resolution over the entire bandwidth, thus resulting in increases of the spectral scan speed up to a factor of 50 for the highest spectral resolution. In addition, an upgrade of the full signal chain of ALMA — from the receivers and digitizers, all the way through to the correlated data — will result in increases in sensitivity for all observations. A description of the WSU technical capabilities and the science case motivating the upgrade and is available at Carpenter et al. 2022 [].

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German ALMA Community Day 2024

26 Feb 2024:

The next Call for Proposals for observing time with ALMA (Cycle 11) will be issued in late March 2023. The deadline for proposals is expected to be on 25 April 2024, with observations starting in October 2024. As a kick-off into the proposal preparation season, the German ARC node cordially invites its community to gather for the German ALMA Community Day in Bonn on 25 March 2024.

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Over one third of all ALMA publications now make use of data from the ALMA Science Archive

26 Feb 2024:

Over the past 10 observational cycles, the ALMA Science Archive (ASA) has amassed an enormous volume of data. This extensive collection stands as a promising resource to the continual growth of archival science. With over 1.8PB of accumulated data and nearly 70,000 observations, the ASA now boasts extensive sky coverage in capturing a vast number of research topics (Fig. 1), offering researchers unparalleled opportunities for archival science. The worldwide astronomy community has an ever-growing opportunity to leverage ALMA's extensive archive for their research. Notably, 13% of all publications in Nature involve the use of archival data, with 9% relying exclusively on such data.

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Job Advertisement: Head of the European ALMA Regional Centre

25 Feb 2024:

As we celebrate 10 years since the inauguration of ALMA we are looking for the next Head of the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) to build upon our catalogue of success. You will be the face of ALMA Science Operations in Europe and be an active member of the ALMA global middle management team. With significant challenges in 2024 and beyond you will also play an integral role in the planning for the Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU) and helping to drive the strategy for the ESO ALMA Support Centre Division. You will be key in ALMA's continuing success.

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Job Advertisement: Positions at IRAM

25 Feb 2024:

IRAM would like to draw your attention to the three open positions of the astronomy group amongst which two are fixed-term to permanent & permanent.

All three astronomy job offers are on-line on the IRAM web and AAS Job Register.

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ALMA science highlights

Protonated acetylene in the z=0.89 molecular absorber toward PKS1830-211
Absorption spectrum towards quasar PKS1830-211
View of protonated acetylene (C2H3+, created with MolView) and an absorption spectrum observed with ALMA in the line of sight of the quasar PKS1830-211. The quasar (here observed with the MERLIN interferometer at radio wavelengths) is lensed by a foreground spiral galaxy at z=0.89 (optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope).

The line of sight to the lensed blazar PKS1830-211 intercepts the disk of a foreground spiral galaxy at z=0.89 where absorption has been detected for more than 60 molecular species (out of the more than 300 molecules already detected in space), mostly at millimeter wavelengths.

Muller et al. 2024 report the detection of a new interstellar molecule, protonated acetylene C2H3+, based on ALMA observations of this absorber. The molecule has been suspected to be present in the interstellar medium for a long time, but it has eluded detection so far due to the unfavorable frequencies of its rotational spectrum. Thanks to the redshift of the absorber, the ground-state transitions of both ortho and para forms could be detected in ALMA high-sensitivity spectra. As one of the initial hydrocarbon building blocks, C2H3+ is thought to play an important role in astrochemistry, in particular in the formation of more complex organic molecules.




Meet the ARC


Photo of Megan Lewis

Dr. Megan Lewis

Megan Lewis joined the Allegro ARC node in Leiden as a postdoc in February 2024. She will support the ALMA user community via serving as a contact scientist for PIs with ALMA time and offering general services including the face-to-face support for the Dutch ALMA community such as in proposal preparation and data handling.

Megan received her Bachelor's degree from Vassar College and her Master's and PhD degrees from the University of New Mexico in the US. While in New Mexico she was also a Reber predoctoral fellow with the NRAO. She then joined the international Araucaria group working at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests include evolved stars, the circumstellar environment, and astrophysical masers. She studies period-luminosity relations, the connections between maser properties and physical properties, and is heavily involved in the BAaDE Galactic SiO maser survey.


Did you know...

that ALMA will restart observations on 29 February after a month-long maintenance period? The 12-m Array will be in the most compact configuration, C-1.


Upcoming ALMA or ALMA-related meetings

ALMABO logo (Credit: C. Gruppioni)

Views on the multi-phase interstellar medium in galaxies

Over the last 10 years, the ALMA interferometer operating in the sub-mm/mm regime has opened a new window on the baryon cycle, allowing to study the cold inter-stellar medium (ISM) phase, the fuel of star-formation, to unprecedented levels of sensitivity and spatial resolution. The recent launch of JWST has a similarly transformational impact, as it pierces through dense dusty clouds and exposes the warm ISM phase in the near-IR and mid-IR regime and at virtually any cosmic time. These new observational opportunities will capitalize on the extraordinary progress achieved by models and numerical simulations predicting the properties of the multi-phase ISM to unprecedented accuracy.

The aim of this conference is to review the latest results on extragalactic studies of the baryon cycle, obtained thanks to IR/(sub-)mm facilities, and in particular with ALMA and JWST, and to state-of-the-art theoretical and numerical models. We will discuss their impact and consequences on our understanding of galaxy evolution from nearby galaxies up to the early Universe.

The conference will take place 09 - 13 September 2024 in Bologna, Italy. More information can be found on the conference website.


Galaxies at crossroads: Outflows and IMF in the VLT/ELT/ALMA/JWST era

Join us at the forefront of unravelling the mysteries of galaxy evolution at our upcoming workshop, where we delve into the dynamic processes shaping galaxies and especially their gas outflows across the universe. This event is a unique opportunity to merge theoretical insights and observational breakthroughs, sparked by the latest data from cutting-edge astronomical instruments. Our focus is on dissecting the complex interplay between galactic outflows, the Initial Mass Function (IMF), and the intricate mass-metallicity relationship, all of which are key to understanding the cosmic tapestry of galaxy formation and evolution.

The workshop will take place 16 - 20 September 2024 in Brno, Czech Republic. More information can be found on the workshop website.

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