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NRAO Newsletter

Volume Vol#, Issue Iss# Day# Month# Year#

Upcoming Events

The Evolution of Gas in and around Galaxies
July 31 - Aug 4, 2023 | Stanley, ID

GBO Single Dish Summer School
August 6 - 11, 2023 | Green Bank, WV and Online

15th DiFX Users and Developers Meeting
September 11 - 15, 2023 | Socorro, NM

First Mexican ngVLA Meeting
September 25 - 27, 2023 | Morelia, Mexico

NRAO Community Days at IRyA-UNAM
September 28 - 29, 2023 | Morelia, Mexico

Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXXIII
November 4 - 9, 2023 | Tucson, Arizona

ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future
December 4 - 8, 2023 | Puerto Varas, Chile

NRAO Call for Proposals: Semester 2024A

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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) invites scientists to participate in the Semester 2024A Call for Proposals for the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), High Sensitivity Array (HSA), and Global 3mm VLBI Array (GMVA).

The submission deadline for Semester 2024A proposals is Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at 17:00 EDT (21:00 UTC).

We would like to highlight a new opportunity for joint observations between NICER and the NRAO. Please see Joint Proposals for more information.

GBO and NRAO would like to highlight that the 24A proposal calls encourage low frequency proposals. These are programs that utilize the lower frequency bands of the GBT, the VLA, or the VLBA.

Proposal preparation and submission are handled via the NRAO Proposal Submission Tool (PST) available at NRAO Interactive Services. Proposers who need assistance with proposal preparation or have questions regarding the Call for Proposals or NRAO telescope capabilities should contact Observatory staff via the NRAO Helpdesk. Note that using these tools (both the PST and the Helpdesk) requires registration.

See the NRAO Call for Proposals Page for further information regarding the upcoming Call for proposals.

New Radio Astronomy Books Available

With a history rich in discovery, radio astronomy continues to innovate in science, engineering, and telescope operations. The three new books shown here outline various eras in history, detailing important developments in our scientific progress.

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Joe Pawsey and the Founding of Australian Radio Astronomy: Early Discoveries, from the Sun to the Cosmos by W. M. Goss, Claire Hooker, and Ronald D. Ekers examines not only the life of Joe Pawsey, but the birth and growth of the field of radio astronomy and the state of science itself in twentieth century Australia. The book tells a previously untold story based on primary sources and explains how an isolated continent with limited resources grew to be one of the leaders in the study of radio astronomy and the design of instruments to do so. The ePub and pdf versions of this Open Access book can be downloaded free of charge. The print version can be ordered using the same site. Springer has a special offer for a 20% discount valid until August 25. Use the coupon code V0y8FN3dXN6aAQ at checkout to apply the discount. More information about this book can be found at the science publication website.

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Star Noise: Discovering the Radio Universe by Ken Kellermann and Ellen Bouton tells the fascinating story of the remarkable, mostly accidental, or serendipitous discoveries in radio astronomy that have transformed our view of the Universe. Star Noise is about the men and women who made the discoveries, the circumstances that enabled them, and the unanticipated ways that scientific research really works. Star Noise is available in both print and ebook formats from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and is currently on sale until August 8 by Cambridge University Press. Use the Promo Code 101619 at checkout to obtain a 30% discount with free shipping. After August 8, the Promo Code SNDRU23 will get you a 20% discount, but shipping will be extra.

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The ALMA Telescope: The Story of a Science Mega-Project by Paul Vanden Bout, Bob Dickman, and Adele Plunkett tells the history of the ALMA Project from its earliest beginnings to its inauguration and first decade of science. The ballet that led to the merger of the US, European, and eventually Japanese concepts is recounted. The lucky breaks and near-death crises along the way are documented. Vignettes by key players around the world offer additional perspectives. The book ends by presenting significant science results and addressing several compelling questions: Was ALMA worth the cost and effort? Did ALMA meet its specifications? An Appendix lists some lessons learned along the way, hoping to inform future generations of transformational astronomical mega-projects. The book is available in both print and ebook formats from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The print version can also be ordered direct from Cambridge University Press using the Promo Code THALT2023 at checkout to obtain a 20% discount. After August 17, it can also be downloaded free as an Open Access book using the same URL.

ngVLA Project News

Counts as of July 14, 2023, reached 1001.


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Publications Mentioning ngVLA Surpass 1000

The ngVLA was first discussed at a community workshop in 2015. Since then the acronym ngVLA has appeared in 1000+ publications indexed in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (see figure). This count features almost equal numbers of refereed and non-refereed publications. The 1000+ milestone is a testament to the community's unwavering enthusiasm for the ngVLA. A big thanks to all publication authors!

ALMA Program News

S. Otarola Photography

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ALMA Transporter Lore moves a 100 ton antenna to a new observing station. ALMA's largest configuration approximates the size of the Beltway around Washington, D. C.

ALMA Observing Status

ALMA is observing in July in its current C-9 configuration and plans to expand to C-10 (baselines 244-16200m) before contracting to C-9 later in August. Weather has been very good.

ALMA Cycle 10 Call for Proposals status

Proposals have been reviewed by designated reviewers. Results of the proposal review are expected to be delivered to proposers in 2023 August.

NAASC Call for Conference and Workshop Support is Open

The North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) invites members of the North American (US and Canada) scientific community to apply for funding in support of US-based inclusive conferences and workshops which encourage the participation of students, postdocs, and early career researchers. Events happening between Oct 1, 2023 and September 30, 2024 are eligible.

For awarded events, the NAASC can provide monetary funding (up to $25,000 per event). As needed, the NAASC can also provide logistical support (e.g., webinar platform, event website), access to facilities (NRAO rooms and auditorium in Charlottesville) and content (materials, training sessions for attendees) if requested in the application or proposed by the NAASC at the time of the award.

For proposals requesting more than $10,000, the call opens Monday, July 24, 2023 and will close on Wednesday September 6, 2023. For other proposals, we will accept applications at any time while funds for fiscal year 2024 last. For instructions on how to apply, eligibility criteria and other details on this program, please look at the program webpage. For any questions about this program, or if you need advice developing your idea, simply email the NAASC.

Conference ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future Dec 4-8, 2023

The conference ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future will be held in Puerto Varas, Chile, on 4-8 December 2023. The conference covers ALMA's first decade of science operations while looking forward to the evolution of ALMA's capabilities in its second decade. Abstract submission for contributed talks closed on May 31, 2023. 279 abstracts for contributed talks were received!

Registration for in-person attendance has reached capacity and is closed. Registration for on-line participation, including posters, is open until November 2, 2023. Please visit the registration web page to submit a poster abstract for on-line participation.

ALMA Primer Videos

Check out and subscribe to the ALMA Primer YouTube channel.

Meeting recap: 19th Synthesis Imaging Workshop

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The 19th NRAO Synthesis Imaging Workshop was held June 13-21, 2023 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The workshop consisted of lectures on aperture synthesis theory and techniques at a level appropriate for graduate students in astrophysics. The program included discussion groups, and tutorials demonstrating data collection, calibration, and imaging of various types of observations, including new data from the Very Large Array (VLA), Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Participants also toured the Green Bank Observatory.

Thanks to all our participants, organizing committees, and NRAO/NAASC/GBO staff for continuing this successful event.

Lectures are available on the meeting website.

NAASC Meeting recap: New Era of AGN Science with the Rubin LSST

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The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), to be conducted by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory beginning in 2025, will enable studies of the growing supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) on a truly massive scale. This workshop held at the NRAO and NAASC in Charlottesville, VA, July 24-26, 2023, enabled the LSST AGN Science Collaboration (AGN SC) to (1) continue building up the effort of the AGN SC to prepare for the LSST operations in 2025 and (2) broaden the participants and interests from early career scientists by introducing the LSST AGN SC and having an interactive discussion on various aspects of AGN science in the LSST era. Synergies with NRAO projects like the VLA Sky Survey were discussed by participants.

Contact NRAO/NAASC scientist Ilsang Yoon for information about this meeting.

Meeting recap: 2023 Kavli-IAU Symposium: Astrochemistry VIII - From the First Galaxies to the Formation of Habitable Worlds

Adele Plunkett and Mihika Rao present at the 2023 Astrochemistry VIII Conference.

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Astrochemistry is at the heart of many astrophysical fields, from the early Universe to star- and planet-formation and evolution in our Milky Way and local galaxies, to exoplanet atmospheres, and to our Solar System. Decades-long concerted efforts of astronomers and theoretical/experimental chemists have provided a solid foundation for using molecules as powerful diagnostic tools of the physical and chemical structure, dynamics, and history of a multitude of astrophysical objects, allowing connections and glimpses into the life cycle of the interstellar medium, as well as into the growth of chemical complexity in space. The great sensitivity, high angular resolution and frequency coverage of telescopes such as ALMA have allowed unprecedented views of stellar and planet nurseries.

Scientific work was presented by:

  • Mihika Rao (UVa), ALMA ACA study of HCO+ isomers and isotopologues in low-mass protostellar envelopes
  • Adele Plunkett (NRAO/NAASC), Formaldehyde as an astrochemical tracer of infall and outflow in a noteworthy Class 0 protostar
  • Haley N. Scolati (UVa/NRAO), A Machine Learning Approach to Characterizing the Chemical Inventory of Orion-KL
  • Erica Behrens (UVa/VICO/Reber Fellow), Mapping Cosmic-Ray Heating in NGC 253 with Neural Networks
  • John Tobin (NRAO), The Water and Ammonia Reservoir in the Proto-Planetary Disk of V883 Ori
  • Brett McGuire (MIT), Development of molecular complexity
  • Samantha Scibelli (NRAO/Jansky Fellow), Early Results from GLUCOSE: the GBT L1544 Unbiased Complex Organics SurvEy
  • Mark Siebert (UVa/Reber Fellow), Molecular Abundances and Morphologies in Binary Evolved Star systems: The Unique Cases of RW LMi and V Hya

Look at the conference website for more details.

NRAO Library Memo Series

Angie Chatelain (NRAO)

The NRAO Memo series is available on our library website. This is a great place for users and students to review the history of development for the NRAO facilities, computing, engineering, and electronics, as well as the latest technical initiatives for the next generation Very Large Array.

Contact the NRAO Library staff for any inquiries about NRAO memo series resources.

From the Archives

From the Archives

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About this month's photo: Scientists celebrate summer! On July 18, 1967, very close to the 250th anniversary of the original performance, a group of Cambridge University scientists perform an arrangement of Handel's "Water Musick" on the River Cam on the barge where radio astronomer Ann (nee Neville) Gower lived. Left to right: Michael Pedder and Judy Bailey on descant (Bailey had worked closely with Martin Ryle and Ann Gower on the computational side of earth-rotation aperture synthesis), Paul Scott on treble (Scott was then a junior member of the observatory staff who had worked on the 4C survey), Trevor Beckerleg on tenor, David Klausner on bassoon, and Clare Shanks on bass. The conductor, Robin Sharp, whose arm is just visible on the far left, was a nuclear physics PhD student, an accomplished oboist, and a friend of the radio astronomers. The photo is from the Cambridge University materials in the recently received Papers of Alan H. Bridle in the NRAO/AUI Archives.

From the Archives is an ongoing series illustrating NRAO and U.S. radio astronomy history via images selected from our collections of individuals' and institutional papers. If readers have images they believe would be of interest to the Archives, please contact Ellen Bouton.

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