European ARC Newsletter
09 Jul 2020

Welcome to the European ALMA Regional Centre Newsletter!  

This Newsletter is a compilation of recent European ALMA Regional Centre Announcement items. The newsletter appears on a monthly basis. In addition to these Announcements the Newsletter provides an inside look into ALMA operations, showcases some of the exciting science carried out with ALMA by our European colleagues, as well as informs you about ALMA or ALMA-related meetings.

Up-to-date information about weather, configuration and scheduling can be found on the ALMA Status page.


European ARC Announcements


2020 July Status of ALMA

09 Jul 2020:

Dear colleagues,

At this time, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of ALMA staff and users around the world. Although in some of the ALMA regions the situation is slowly improving, in other regions, including Chile, the evolution of the outbreak remains highly uncertain.

Because of the on-going situation in Chile, ALMA operations unfortunately remain suspended. ALMA staff continue to monitor the situation very carefully and work on the development of detailed plans for the return to operations, which will be initiated when the situation allows. We will keep updating the user community on the developments. 

Northern Chile was recently hit by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake. Fortunately this caused no injuries to ALMA staff and no serious damage at the ALMA site. This was followed by extremely high winds, that led to some minor damage at the OSF.

As always, the ALMA Regional Centres provide support to their respective communities, and can assist in the analysis of your data and help with archive research projects. If you have any questions on this, or comments or concerns related to the situation at ALMA, please contact the ALMA Helpdesk at https://help.almascience.org

We wish you, your families and colleagues continued good health and safety.

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Continued support in the European ARC Network during the COVID-19 pandemic

07 Jul 2020:

During the COVID-19 pandemic all ALMA staff within the European ARC Network have been working from home. As the situation in Europe is now slowly improving, staff at some of the different nodes and centre of expertise are slowly starting to work from the office again.

While visitors are not yet allowed to enter the premises of the respective nodes, the nodes continue to offer face-to-face user support through virtual means. Users that require assistance with data calibration and imaging or archival research projects may contact the ALMA Helpdesk at https://help.almascience.org to schedule a virtual meeting with their node.

The European ARC Network wishes you, your family, friends and colleagues the very best of health and stay safe!

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ARI-L images are now available in the ALMA Archive

29 Jun 2020:

The first ARI-L continuum images and data cubes generated by the Additional Representative Images for Legacy (ARI-L) ALMA development project are now available for download in the ALMA Science Archive (ASA).

The project aims to increase the legacy value of the ASA by bringing the reduction level of ALMA data from Cycles 2-4 close to the level of the more recent Cycles processed with the ALMA Imaging Pipeline. In three years, the ARI-L project will produce and ingest into the ASA a uniform set of full data cubes and continuum images covering at least 70% of the data from Cycles 2-4. These cubes will complement the much smaller QA2-generated image products, which cover only a small fraction (< 10%) of the observed data for those cycles. The complete set of ARI-L imaging products will be highly relevant for many science-cases and enhance the possibilities of exploitation of archival data.

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Job Advertisement at the UK node in Manchester: postdoctoral research associate position

17 Jun 2020:

The UK ARC Node at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics invites applications for a postdoctoral research associate position to work as a support astronomer for UK users of the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA). The application is open till the 13th of July.

The UK ARC Node is funded by STFC to support the UK astronomical community to exploit the UK's investment in ALMA and is a member of the European ALMA Regional Centre network coordinated by the ESO. You will spend 75% of your time as part of the ARC Node team supporting astronomers planning ALMA observations, acquiring and processing data as well as contributing to the continued development of ALMA. You will undertake your own independent research program focused on ALMA science for the remaining 25% of their time.

For more information please follow this link.

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ALMA science highlight


Moment 1 map of CO J=2-1 emission from the tadpole-shaped globule with moment 0 contours overplotted. The bow-shaped contours in the middle of the globule trace the molecular outflow associated with HH 900.
Feedback from high-mass stars sculpts molecular clouds and may alter the physical conditions in the gas where low-mass star formation is still ongoing. Reiter et al. (2020) present new ALMA observations of a small star-forming globule subject to intense feedback in an HII region. With angular resolution comparable to HST, these data provide the first look inside the opaque globule, revealing the molecular component of the HH 900 jet+outflow system and the young stellar object that drives it. Material near the young star remains cold and shows evidence for grain growth while gas on the surface of the globule is hot, clearly heated by the harsh environment. The estimated lifetime of the globule is a few Myr, suggesting that the embedded star/planet-forming system will be shielded from the environment for much of the planet-formation timescale. The study has recently been accepted for publication in MNRAS.

Upcoming ALMA or ALMA-related Meetings

Our understanding of planet formation has been significantly challenged by recent observations during the last years. Recent high-resolution observations by ALMA and SPHERE/VLT have found compelling evidence of planet signatures much earlier than what was typically assumed, questioning the time at which planet formation takes place. This ESO/NRAO workshop aims to discuss the emerging new paradigm of planet formation. The program will offer a broad view of the field, covering from the early stages of disks still embedded in their parental envelope to the times when full planetary systems are formed and only a few remnants of the progenitor disk are left. The conference will take place virtually.

  • 11th IRAM millimeter Interferometry school and YERAC 2020 postponed

Given the uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the 11th IRAM millimeter Interferometry school and YERAC 2020 are postponed by one year. New dates will be announced in 2021.