NAASC eNews Submissions for September, 2012 Edition

ALMA Cycle 1 Proposals

Cycle 1 Early Science proposals for ALMA have been distributed to the 77 referees for evaluation and ranking. There will be 800 hours of time available on the 12m array during Cycle 1, which begins on 1 January 2013. There were 1132 proposals submitted for time, from 2836 unique proposers worldwide (out of 3984 registered users). Of the proposals submitted, 339 were submitted under the North American Executive, 299 from US institutions. For the North American proposals, there were 892 unique proposers, 795 from US institutions. 134 unique US institutions were represented.

The eleven panels of seven members are divided into five science areas. Each panel will receive between 90 and 117 proposals. As was done for Cycle 0, before meeting each panel will go through a triage stage to reduce the number of proposals discussed during the Santiago meeting to about 80. The referees will convene in Santiago the week of 1 October to discuss these proposals. At the end of the week the panel results will be combined into a ranked list by the ALMA Proposal Review Committee, chaired this year by Francoise Combes. The higher ranked proposals will undergo technical evaluation in mid-October. A final list, with notification of status distributed to the PIs, is expected by 15 November.

ALMA Status

  • Photo: C. Padilla:
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With the 23 August acceptance of 7m diameter antenna No 11, NAOJ has completed delivery of all of its contingent of sixteen antennas, four 12m antennas and twelve 7m antennas. Congratulations to Japan!

Stuartt Corder took up his post as Commissioning and Science Verification Project Scientist at the beginning of September. His position will fulfill that portion of the Project Scientist role held by Richard Hills with respect to essentially all matters related to ALMA construction. ALMA plans to have 6 of the 7m antennas equipped with bands 4 and 8 by the end of October so that the Commissioning and Science Verification (CSV) team can start science demonstration observations in those bands; first fringes were obtained with the 2mm (Band 4) receivers on ACA antennas.

As of Sept 1 there are 40 antennas at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS), 29 available for the 12m array and 11 for the ACA. There are elements of 62 antennas at the ALMA site, of the final complement of 66. 51 antennas have been accepted from the contractors by ALMA and of these 44 have been outfitted with ALMA electronics at the Operations Support Facility (OSF). Two North American antennas (22 and 23) continue their integration of hardware at the OSF, as do three European antennas and one Japanese antenna. Two other antennas previously at the AOS are undergoing upgrades or repairs at the OSF. The final two North American antennas to be delivered are scheduled for acceptance tests over the next several weeks.

With 40 antennas, the 32 input limits of the dual quadrant correlator have been surpassed. The correlator will be shut down on 3 September for reconfiguration to its final four quadrant configuration. Commissioning will continue using the ACA and its correlator. After a period of testing, Early Science will resume on the main array using the completed correlator in early October. The new software package which supports the final correlator configuration is already under test.

Stations out to a 5km radius are delivered but acceptance awaits connection to the Permanent Power Supply (PPS) at the AOS. The permanent power system is necessary in order to use any pads outside the present configuration. Commissioning of larger, cycle 1 configurations, awaits implementation of the PPS. The implementation of the PPS is expected to occur during October.

On the receiver front, the final Band 6 cartridge was shipped to the European Front End Integration Center (FEIC) on 2012 Aug 16. Congratulations to the Band 6 team, who are still engaged in followup work. 59 assembled Front Ends have been delivered to ALMA in Chile. The last two from North America are in the final stages of testing in Charlottesville at the NRAO Technology Center (NTC).

ALMA Pipeline software is being updated at the Santiago Central Office (SCO) before being deployed to the regional centers. This version has improved Archive access and production of basic images.

Early Science Cycle 0 Block 22 (of 29) has been completed quite well and has benefited from the good weather (no time lost to weather). Most nights have had spectacular weather and up to 28 antennas have been used. 96 projects have been started, PIs of 46 projects have received data and 17 projects are completed. About 70% of executions needed to complete the Cycle 0 highest priority projects have been completed. It is expected that nearly all will be completed by the end of the year, except it is not expected that all of the ALMA Band 9 executions can be completed and it is expected that there will be some right ascensions where all projects cannot be completed.

By one count, eleven ALMA science papers have been published so far in the nearly eleven months since Early Science commenced. Within the last month, several new results have been published based upon the publicly available Science Verification data, located at the ALMA portal. Among those results are the identification of glycolaldehyde, a simple form of sugar, toward the accreting protostar IRAS16293-2422B (Joergensen et al, arXiv 1208.54998). The line density observed in the 686-705 GHz data exceeded that measured previously by submillimeter instruments by an order of magnitude. The spatial resolution of the data was 0.3"x0.2".

The Interstellar Medium in High Redshift Galaxies Comes of Age

The Interstellar Medium in High Redshift Galaxies Comes of Age

NRAO will host a workshop entitled "Molecular Emission at High Redshift Comes of Age" in Charlottesville, Virginia, 13-15 September 2012. The venue is the NRAO Headquarters, conveniently located on the grounds of the University of Virginia. Invited talks include:

Theory of the physical properties of gas in high-z galaxies: Desika Narayanan (U. Az.) Observational Clues to the Epoch of Reionization: Ran Wang (U. Az.) Dust and Metallicity: Alberto Bolatto (U. Md.) Historical Development of the Subject: Pierre Cox (IRAM) Simulations: Claudia Lagos (Durham) Physical Conditions—Mass and Excitation: D. Reichers (Caltetch/Cornell) Star Formation over Cosmic Time: M. Sargent (CEA Saclay/SAp) Future Prospects: Min S. Yun (U. Mass.)

The SOC has prepared the remainder of the program.

A web site with details about the workshop is at:

Important Dates:

Proceedings Deadline: October 15, 2012

Molecular and atomic lines at many wavelengths provide complementary insights into the structure of the ISM in galaxies to early in the history of the Universe. New observing capabilities enrich our understanding of the evolution of galaxies through galactic time, using instrumentation available at new and expanded facilities worldwide. This workshop will examine the current status and future directions of research using spectral lines to probe the high redshift Universe. The workshop will also focus on the contributions of recently retired former NRAO Director Paul Vanden Bout. There will be a dinner Friday night in his honor (separate registration).

Science Organizing Committee (SOC) A. Wootten (NRAO) Ron Snell (U. Mass.) J. Mangum (NRAO) A. Evans (UVa/NRAO) K. Scott (NRAO) F. Walter (MPIA) H. Liszt (NRAO) C. Carilli (NRAO)

Meet the NAASC

Mark Rawlings

Mark Rawlings joined the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) as a member of the Observatory Support Group on 21 August 2012. Mark has significant observatory operations experience, and will be principally dividing his time between observing project preparation and CASA development. Mark earned his MS at Rensselaer, working with Doug Whittet on circumstellar dust chemistry. He subsequently obtained his PhD at the University of Central Lancashire while working with Andy Adamson on ground-based optical and infrared studies of heavily reddened Galactic lines of sight. Upon completing his thesis in 1999, Mark moved to the University of Helsinki Observatory to join Kalevi Mattila's star formation and interstellar medium group, working on spectrophotometric data of photoionization regions taken using the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) spacecraft. He then transferred to Hilo, Hawaii to work as the telescope scheduler and support astronomer for the UK InfraRed Telescope (UKIRT), also participating extensively in the proposal review process.

In 2009, Mark moved to Chile to work as an ALMA Operations Astronomer. As well as performing routine ALMA staff astronomer duties, he has worked closely with most of the non-realtime software subsystem development groups. He also developed many of the operational policies and procedures for ALMA science operations. Some of his more significant contributions included the specifications for the proposal review process, development of the procedures and tools for the preparation and tracking of the Cycle 0 science projects, and helping to co-ordinate the development of the many ALMA observing modes. His current scientific interests still focus on the physics and chemistry of interstellar dust and gas, with a particular emphasis on the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs).

2013 Rocks Abstract Submission Announcement

[TITLE: Rocks 2013! - Second Announcement - Abstract Submission]

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

[Want banner here]

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.

Join your colleagues on the Big Island of Hawai'i, April 8-12, 2013 to explore the evolution of material in protostellar disks from formation to dissipation. The Island of Hawai'i is home to the largest observatory in the Northern Hemisphere, and is the site of extensive, collaborative, international research efforts. A focus of the workshop will be the processing of the gas and dust components, and the growth of planetesimals. We will also explore chemical changes, and radiative signatures at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. We will showcase results from ALMA early science projects and feature synergies with other telescopes that can help to advance this field, particularly those sited on the island of Hawaii.

This workshop will prepare us for the exciting adventures ahead in the new era and will not only focus on the new opportunities in astronomy but also foster new collaborations with geologists, chemists, engineers and biologists to investigate the origins of cosmic material in the universe.

2013 Rocks! will begin accepting abstract submissions on September 14, 2012 at The 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
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
AOS_(4).jpgjpg AOS_(4).jpg manage 4 MB 2012-09-04 - 13:17 AlWootten Photo: C. Padilla
Topic revision: r11 - 2012-09-06, AlWootten
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