Nordic ALMA Day 2024

Published: 05 Jun 2024

Since the start of ALMA operations, the Nordic ARC node has enthusiastically organised annual events to support the ALMA user community with their proposal preparations. Over the past couple of years, the node has also arranged an annual event to foster collaboration and engagement among ALMA users in Sweden and other Nordic countries, which has now started to be called "The Nordic ALMA Day". One of the main aims of this event is to bring together astronomers and researchers to share insights and discuss topics relevant to the ALMA user community.

This year, approximately 40 participants joined the event. Most attendees were affiliated with Chalmers University, including staff, students, and postdoctoral researchers. Additionally, there were participants from other parts of the world who visited Gothenburg to attend the kick-off meeting for a European ALMA Development Study led by a group of researchers at Chalmers University/Onsala Space Observatory.

As part of the program, recognised astronomers are invited to give the "ASTRO seminar". On this occasion, the ASTRO seminar was given by Pavel Jáchym from the Czech ARC node, who presented the ALMA JELLY Large Program. Pavel offered an interesting insight into the life cycle of an ALMA large program, from proposal preparation to data analysis and the presentation of results. His presentation was highly informative and well-received by the audience. Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the facilities at the Onsala Space Observatory and enjoy fika, the traditional Swedish coffee break, and lunch.

The second half of the event took place at the recently built visitor center - a few metres away from the sea - where Gergö Popping from ESO provided updates on ALMA science operations and the WSU. Additionally, Alexey Pavolotsky of the Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) at Chalmers gave a talk providing updates and details on GARD's development activities connected to ALMA and the Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU). Both the morning and afternoon sessions included many useful discussions and interactions related to the WSU and supporting the receiver development community by citing their work in astronomical scientific papers.

The event concluded with attendees receiving a small gift from the Nordic ARC node. The event has consistently received very positive feedback, highlighting its significant benefits for the ALMA user community and beyond. Therefore, it is hoped that the event can continue to be celebrated in the future.