NAASC eNews Submissions for November, 2012 Edition

ALMA Status


HD163296 observed in the J=3-2 line of CO by ALMA in data released as part of science verification. The colored image shows the velocities of the CO in the disk, which is clearly rotating. The contours outline the first moment intensity map of the emission.

A Digital Highway to ALMA Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Associated Universities, Inc. has signed a contract on behalf of ALMA with two Chilean companies: Silica Networks Chile S.A. and Telefónica Empresas Chile S.A to construct, beginning today, approximately 150 kilometers of fiber optic cable between the ALMA (34 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama) and Calama. From there, the network connects to existing infrastructure to Santiago and the world. As a result, ALMA increase its data transmission capacity by more than 25 times.

"This long-term structural solution not only has the advantage of being able to convey more data, it could also allow us to operate some of the observatory activities from Santiago", says Jorge Ibsen, Head of ALMA Department of Computing.

ALMA's digital highway will be operational in 2014. Currently, data is transferred via microwave link from the remote and hostile desert to the ALMA archives in Santiago, Charlottesville, Garching and Mitaka. The new route will enable the transfer of the enormous quantity of data that ALMA will produce when fully built. The route operates bidirectionally and will also improve communication between the ALMA centers and those operating the observatory. Users will have improved access to data from the observatory and ALMA science will be boosted.

ALMA, an international partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile, is the largest astronomical project in the world and will comprise 66 high-precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters above sea level in northern Chile.

Technical assessment of ALMA Cycle 1 proposals was completed for those proposals receiving the highest scores from the proposal review committees. A list of highly ranked proposals was forwarded to the ALMA Director's Council for concurrence. Notices will be sent to successful principal investigators the week of 12 November. Also that week, the ALMA Board will meet in Santiago.

The Annual ALMA External Review took place in Santiago 22-25 October 2012. The focus was on the end of ALMA construction. Most deliverables from the ALMA partners have been produced, packaged and shipped to Chile.

In early November, the 23rd antenna from Vertex and the 12th from Alcatel arrived at the 16000 foot elevation Array Operations site, where there are currently 46 antennas of the final complement of 66. In total, fifty antennas have been accepted, outfitted and tested and made the journey to the AOS. The 25th and final Vertex antenna is scheduled to undergo its acceptance procedures by ALMA within the next few days, completing the delivery of antennas from North America.

The final Front End assembly from the Front End Integration Center at the NrAO Technology Center in Charlottesville was shipped to Chile, bringing the assembly of those elements in North America to a close.

Commissioning continues, with a current focus on Cycle 1 modes, such as 150 pointing mosaics, and on new equipment, such as the newly arrived antennas mentioned above and on the newly delivered four quadrant 64 station correlator. First fringes were obtained with the ALMA Band 5 receivers, which cover 163-211 GHz. Science targets in this band include the J=4-3 SiO maaer (which was detected toward VY C Ma and W Hya), the low-lying energy line of water at 183 GHz and [C II] redshifted from early galaxies at z~10. An early complement of six of these receivers was provided to ALMA through a project funded by the European Union.

Two new Science Verification datasets were placed in the science portal. One of these featured recombination lines at 3mm in the galactic center. A second dataset featured the nearby (122 pc) 900 AU circumstellar disk the Herbig Ae star HD163296 imaged at high spectral resolution by ALMA at 1.3 and ,87 mm wavelength in the lines of several isotopes of CO (1.3mm) and of the main isotope of CO at .87mm.

First Year of ALMA Science

First Year of ALMA Science Workshop will take place in Puerto Varas, Chile, December 12-15, 2012.

ALMA Early Science operations began at the end of September 2011. Over one hundred high science profile projects have been identified as high priority for execution. The first exciting scientific results from Science Verification datasets and Cycle 0 observations are coming out in refereed journals since the beginning of 2012. At the end of the year, the ALMA users community will be in a position to review the first science results produced by this new and unique facility. The conference will cover all the ALMA Science topics covered by Early Science observations, from observations of the Solar System bodies to objects in our own Galaxy, the local to high redshift Universe. While the conference will be focused on ALMA observational results, we plan to include presentations and discussions on related theoretical implications and predictions as well as relevant complementary data from other major facilities. The conference will also be an ideal venue to discuss the scientific priorities for the ALMA development plan upgrades in the context of the first results from Early Science.

Meet the NAASC

Paul Martini and Leslie Looney


Leslie Looney

Leslie Looney came to the the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) as a sabbatical visitor in July 2012 and will be staying until July 2013.Leslie is currently an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois.Leslie did jis PhD work at University of Maryland (graduating in 1998) working with Lee Mundy and the Berkeley Illinois Maryland Association (BIMA) array group.Leslie focused his PhD work on high-resolution, dust continuum imaging at 3mm of young protostars.After leaving Maryland, Leslie became a postdoc and staff member at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany as the Project Scientist developing the far-infrared integral field spectrometer FIFI LS for SOFIA.Leslie joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2003, working on a variety of star formation projects using mainly CARMA.In 2010, he became the the director of the Laboratory for Astronomical Imaging (LAI) at Illinois, which is the Illinois arm of the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) observatory.The LAI's main role is operation of the CARMA data archive and data reduction pipeline development.Also in 2010, Leslie joined the ANASAC, which was one of the reasons he chose the NAASC for his sabbatical visit.

Martini Paul.jpg

Paul Martini

Paul Martini joined the NAASC as a Sabbatical Visitor on 1 August 2012. Paul is an Associate Professor in the Astronomy Department at The Ohio State University, where he conducts research on many extragalactic topics, teaches undergraduate and graduate students, and builds instruments for ground-based visible and near-infrared telescopes. He obtained his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Ohio State, spent three years as a Carnegie Fellow in Pasadena, and then two years as a Clay Fellow at the CfA before he moved back to Ohio State. His recent research has focused on the evolution of star formation and active black holes in clusters of galaxies, the efficiency of star formation in late-type galaxies, and the lifetime and fueling processes of AGN. Paul has also worked on a number of instruments, including the Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph (OSMOS) at the 2.4m MDM Hiltner telescope, and he is presently building the KOSMOS and COSMOS instruments for Kitt Peak and CTIO in collaboration with NOAO.

Paul moved to Charlottesville for the year because he plans to incorporate more radio data, most notably from ALMA and the JVLA, into the mostly visible, infrared, and X-ray data he has worked with to date. Some of his particular goals are to better understand the cold ISM in nearby, early-type galaxies, investigate star formation in galaxy disks, study the high-redshift QSOs that he plans to identify with the Dark Energy Survey, measure the evolution of the cold ISM content of cluster galaxies, and probe the low-luminosity end of the FRII luminosity function. He also plans to develop and teach a course on radio astronomy upon his return to Ohio State.

Molecular Spectroscopy in the Era of Far-IR Astronomy

Seventy-two astrophysicists and chemists met at Emory University on 29-31 October to discuss needs from lab astrophysics in the coming years, with a focus on Far-IR spectroscopy.. The needs will be summarized and highlighted in a White Paper to be written over the next months which can inform decisions on future inquiry and action. Both in laboratory and at the telescope, scientists must cope with the increasing size of datasets which are produced; these large datasets need new tools for proper assessment of their content. One must be able to model molecules with many atoms and to acquire spectra with good sensitivity at reasonable speed for comparison to the models. To understand the excitation of the molecules, collisional and radiative rates are needed and provide a crucial tool for interpretation. Herschel has highlighted the needs in the far infrared, an area which will be explored further by ALMA, SOFIA, CCAT and JWST. The challenges posed by new data in this little-explored wavelength range require good collaboration among groups, with good dissemination of information. Critically, the next generation of spectroscopists and astrochemists need to be trained, welcomed and retained in the field.

2013 Rocks Abstract Submission Announcement

Banner from September issue

Transformational Science with ALMA: From Dust to Rocks to Planets - Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems

The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), in cooperation with the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan,is pleased to announce the 7th NAASC workshop entitled: “Transformational Science with ALMA: From Dust to Rocks to Planets – the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems." This NAASC-ASIAA "2013 Rocks!" workshop will be held 8-12 April 2013 on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Pre-registration is now open.

2013 Rocks! is accepting abstract at deadline for submitting abstracts is November 15th.

Make sure you visit the meeting website at for all relevant meeting information including links to the preregistration and abstract submission.

Also, remember to like us on Facebook in order to get the most recent updates and announcements posted by the meeting organizers and your colleagues.

2013 Rocks! is committed to broadening participation by women and under-represented minorities.

-- LyndeleVonSchill - 2012-07-27

  • HD163296.CO3-2.jpg:

  • 50th antenna celebration:
    177610 10151119878162337 185435591 o.jpg
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
177610_10151119878162337_185435591_o.jpgjpg 177610_10151119878162337_185435591_o.jpg manage 58 K 2012-11-08 - 21:04 AlWootten 50th antenna celebration
2012-09-25_DV24_Out_the_Exit_Gate.jpgjpg 2012-09-25_DV24_Out_the_Exit_Gate.jpg manage 772 K 2012-10-03 - 15:09 AlWootten The 24th North American antenna leaves the antenna erection compound to be outfitted with ALMA electronics.
AOS_(4).jpgjpg AOS_(4).jpg manage 4 MB 2012-09-04 - 13:17 AlWootten Photo: C. Padilla
HD163296.CO3-2.jpgjpg HD163296.CO3-2.jpg manage 29 K 2012-11-08 - 16:55 AlWootten  
HD163296.CO3-2.pdfpdf HD163296.CO3-2.pdf manage 358 K 2012-11-08 - 16:53 AlWootten HD163296 observed in the J=3-2 line of CO by ALMA in data released as part of science verification. The colored image shows the velocities of the CO in the disk, which is clearly rotating. The contours outline the first moment intensity map of the emission.
Martini_Paul.jpgjpg Martini_Paul.jpg manage 125 K 2012-11-01 - 14:34 LyndeleVonSchill  
looney.jpgjpg looney.jpg manage 3 MB 2012-10-23 - 09:17 LyndeleVonSchill  
Topic revision: r11 - 2012-11-13, AlWootten
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