Half of ALMA Antennas Delivered to Chajnantor
- Array Photo:
Commissioning and science verification began on the array early in the month, though summer weather caused some delays. By the end of March Early Science observations had commenced again.
During March the 33rd and 34th ALMA antennas to emerge from the assembly, integration and verification process arrived at the AOS. These antennas marked the halfway point in construction of the final complement of 66 antennas. At month's end there were 30 antennas at the AOS--23 twelve meter telescopes and 7 seven meter telescopes. Some of the full complement of antennas have returned to the lower level for maintenance or upgrades. There are now 58 antennas in various states on the site. Forty-three front ends have been delivered to the site from the three Front End Integration Centers.
The array at the AOS has been changed into its Cycle 0 extended configuration. Observations have begun in this configuration. Data has been reduced in Chile through the 'Quality Assurance 2' stage, at which the rms noise from processed images may be compared to that sought in the proposal, along with other checks. After passing QA2, data are packaged, transferred to the ARCs and delivered to the Principal Investigators. At the end of March, all data taken thus far in the compact array has been processed through the QA2 stage. As additional antennas are delivered, the foundations comprising both the extended and compact arrays in Cycle 0 can be populated; further compact array observations should be possible late in the austral winter.
Pre-Announcement (April 3rd)
ALMA Cycle 1 Early Science Observations
The North American ALMA Science Center is pleased to announce that the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) expects to start the next cycle of Early Science observations (Cycle 1) in January 2013. A Call for Proposals for Early Science Cycle 1 will be issued at the end of May 2012, with an anticipated deadline for proposal submission in mid-July. ALMA Early Science Cycle 1 observations will start in January 2013 and span 10 months. It is anticipated that approximately 800 hours of array time will be available for Cycle 1 projects. Any astronomer may submit a proposal in response to the ALMA Early Science Cycle 1 Call for Proposals. Cycle 1 operations will be conducted on a best efforts basis, similar to the current Cycle 0 observations.
The full Cycle 1 announcement is available at (link). Detailed information on Cycle 1 will be published in the Call for Proposals.
The announcement includes a call for Notices of Intent to submit an ALMA proposal, due by May 15.
The ALMA Early Science Cycle 1 anticipated capabilities will comprise:
Thirty two 12-m antennas in the main array, nine 7-m antennas (for short baselines) and two 12-m antennas (for making single-dish maps) in the Atacama Compact Array (ACA)
Receiver bands 3, 6, 7 & 9 (wavelengths of about 3, 1.3, 0.8 and 0.45 mm)
Baselines up to 1km
Both single field interferometry and mosaics
Mixed correlator modes (both high and low frequency resolution in the same observation)
Use of the ACA for short baseline interferometry and single-dish observations will only be offered to complement observations with the main array, and not as a stand-alone capability. Single dish use will be limited to spectral line observations. More details will be provided in the Call for Proposals.
Splatalogue (Remijan, Pulliam, Kim)
Since 2006, Splatalogue has attempted to collate, rationalize and extend existing spectroscopic resources for use by the astronomical community. Splatalogue is a transition-resolved compilation of the JPL, CDMS, Lovas/NIST, Frank Lovas' own Spectral Line Atlas of Interstellar Molecules (SLAIM), H, He and C recombination lines, data from the Toyama Microwave Atlas for spectroscopists and astronomers, data from Frank De Lucia's lab at The Ohio State University and and new 13C1-methyl formate data, provided by a group of spectroscopist working on internal rotors (which can be found under the "TopModel" Line List selection). Currently, Splatalogue contains over 5.8 million lines in 1038 individual entries. Online access to Splatalogue is available at www.splatalogue.net and is also available through the ALMA Observing Tool.
Over the past several years, there has been an active effort to improve the overall functionality and useability of Splatalogue. The NAASC
developing the Splatalogue interface have worked closely with the developers of the ALMA OT and CASA. For example, users of the ALMA OT can access the online version of Splatalogue through standard VAO SLAP protocols. Information on configuring your tools to access Splatalogue online can be found at: http://www.cv.nrao.edu/php/splat/SLAPNotes.html
. Also, users of both the ALMA OT and CASA have "offline" versions of Splatalogue and CASA users can load their own line catalogs using the "Dump to CASA" feature off the Splatalogue homepage.
We are now offering two new options to navigate the nearly 6 million spectral lines available through the Splatalogue homepage. The user community has spoken and has suggested a simpler, more efficient way of obtaining the more common spectral line features from the radio to submillimeter wavelength.
The basic page has several new and quick search features including:
- The Quick Picker: Located on the far left. Popular species are included. Click on your favorite, hit search and the results will pop up. You can also limit the frequency by entering in your preferred range in GHz.
- Search Bar: Located in the center of the page. Type in the name (or in some cases, the formula) of your favorite molecule and all species with that molecule name, including isotopologues of that species, will be displayed. Again, you can limit the frequency displayed by entering in your preferred range in GHz.
- Telescope Band Search: Located at the center of the page. This feature allows users to search molecules by telescope bands of the GBT, eVLA, and ALMA. Instead of limiting your search by typing in a specific frequency range, you can choose your favorite telescope band of interest. NOTE: the current version only allows searching one band at a time!
- Astronomical Filters: Located on the far right. This option allows you to limit your search to the species currently known within certain astronomical environments. Also available is the "Top 20 list" which is the same as in the ALMA OT. When selected, the Top 20 species will be displayed. You can also choose your own desired frequency range here as well to limit the output.
A screenshot of this new basic search page is shown below:
* The new Splatalogue Basic Search Page:
However, you can always return to the original Splatalogue homepage but clicking on the "Advanced" tab from the basic page.
This view will become the new Splatalogue home page. Finally, if you just need a frequency of a select few molecules and you don't have full access to your computer, www.splatalogue.net now has a mobile version for use on smartphones. This limited view gives selected Quick Picker molecules, allows a frequency range search and has access to all the astronomical filters of the basic search page. The display is limited to only the molecular name, formula and recommended NRAO rest frequency and the resolved quantum numbers for the selected interstellar molecule. A screenshot of this page is shown below and can be accessed by:
* QR code for access to the mobile version of Splatalogue:
Do you have questions, comments, suggestions or concerns about Splatalogue? We would love to hear from you! Please submit a Helpdesk ticket through the ALMA Science Portal. To reach the Helpdesk, head to the ALMA Science Portal at www.almascience.org and select your preferred ALMA Regional Center (ARC) on the map. You can then reach the Helpdesk by clicking on the link "Helpdesk" that is located on the left panel under "User Services at ARCs." You must first register with the ALMA Science Portal to submit a Helpdesk ticket (it's free!). Once you are registered, log in to the Helpdesk and submit a new ticket. A direct link to the Helpdesk has also been placed under "Navigate" in the top left menu of the advanced Splatalogue search page.
Recycle the NRAO CDE article from last month
New NAASC postdoc
Following up on the last NRAO news articles (Volume 5, Issue 3) on 2012 Jansky Fellows and NRAO Postdoctoral Fellows in Socorro, we are pleased to introduce two postdocs who will be joining us in Charlottesville in the next academic year.
In addition to the Jansky Fellowship program NRAO also offers a Postdoctoral Fellow program that provides the opportunity for hands-on training in areas of technical expertise and observatory operations, in addition to offering exciting research opportunities with NRAO facilities. We are very pleased to announce that Jennifer Donovan Meyer, an NRAO Postdoctoral Fellow, will be joining NRAO in January 2013, working in areas directly related to the new capabilities provided by the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. Jennifer is currently a postdoc at Stony Brook University, and received her PhD
from Columbia University in 2009. At NRAO, Jennifer will study the evolution of early-type galaxies.
- Picture of Jennifer Donovan Meyer for April 2012 eNews:
- Array Photo: