NRAO eNews
Volume 3, Issue 10
October 6, 2010

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NRAO eNews
Volume 3, Issue 10  •  October 6, 2010

Upcoming Events

Decadal Survey Town HallAstro2010 Decadal Survey Town Hall
November 4, 2010 | Socorro, NM

The 26th Annual New Mexico SymposiumThe 26th Annual New Mexico Symposium
November 5, 2010 | Socorro, NM

217th American Astronomical Society MeetingNRAO Town Hall - 217th AAS Meeting
January 11, 2011 | 6:30 PM | Seattle, WA

217th American Astronomical Society MeetingEarly Science with the EVLA - Special Session - 217th AAS Meeting
January 12, 2011 | 10:00 AM | Seattle, WA

217th American Astronomical Society MeetingObserving with ALMA - Special Session- 217th AAS Meeting
January 12, 2011 | 2:00 PM | Seattle, WA

ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical SpectroscopyALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy
January 15–17, 2011 | Victoria, British Columbia

An Astro2010 Decadal Survey Town Hall at the NRAO

Robert Dickman

To foster community understanding of and support for the recommendations of the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey, "New Worlds, New Horizons," the NRAO and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) will host an Astro2010 Decadal Survey Town Hall on Thursday, 4 November 2010 from 1-4 p.m. MDT at the NRAO Domenici Science Operations Center on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro (Directions). Astro2010 committee member Paul Vanden Bout will give a Decadal Survey presentation and answer audience questions. There will be ample time for discussion with Paul and among the attendees.

This NRAO event is part of a series of Astro2010 Town Halls being held across the US from September – November 2010. I encourage all AAS members within reasonable driving distance of the NRAO facilities in Socorro to join us for this important event. A culminating Astro2010 Town Hall will take place at the January 2011 AAS meeting in Seattle, WA.

Astro2010 Decadal Survey
Astro2010 Decadal Survey Town Halls

2011 Jansky Fellowship Announcement

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announces the 2011 Jansky Fellowship Program which provides outstanding postdoctoral opportunities for research in astronomy. Jansky Fellows formulate and carry out investigations either independently or in collaboration with others within the wide framework of interests of the Observatory. Prior radio experience is not required and multi-wavelength projects leading to a synergy with NRAO instruments are encouraged. The NRAO also encourages applications from candidates with interest in radio astronomy instrumentation, computation, and theory.

Appointments may be made for positions at any of these NRAO sites: Socorro, NM; Green Bank, WV; and Charlottesville, VA. As ALMA commissioning activities get underway, we anticipate that there will also be appointments available in Chile. Jansky Fellows are encouraged to spend time at universities working with collaborators during the course of their Fellowship.

In addition to appointments at NRAO sites, non-resident Jansky Fellowships may be offered for appointments that are hosted at a U.S. university. Frequent and/or long term visits to NRAO sites are encouraged. Split Fellowships with time spent at NRAO and a U.S. university are permitted.

The starting salary will be $62,000 per year with an appointment duration of two years, and possible renewal for a third. A research budget of up to $10,000 per year is provided for travel and computing requirements. Fellows are eligible for page charge support, vacation accrual, health insurance coverage, and a moving allowance. In addition, up to $3,000 per year is provided to non-NRAO institutions hosting Jansky Fellows to defray local institutional costs.

Note that the match between the host university and the candidate's research program is an important factor in the selection process. Also, appointments of more than one Jansky Fellow at a single external institution at a given time are discouraged. A list of blocked institutions for 2011 can be found below.

The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for young scientists to establish themselves as independent researchers so that they may more effectively compete for permanent positions. The placement of Fellows at institutions other than the NRAO will help foster closer scientific ties between the NRAO and the U.S. astronomical community. The NRAO Postdoctoral Symposium is held annually to ensure close contact among all Observatory Fellows and the NRAO.

Candidates must receive their PhD prior to beginning a Jansky Fellowship appointment.

The Jansky Fellowship application procedure is available on-line. The deadline for both applications and letters of recommendation is Monday, November 1, 2010. Award offers will be made by February 15, 2011, with the Fellowships normally expected to begin September 2011. The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/H/V).

Registration Open for ALMA Spectroscopy Workshop

Anthony Remijan and Gerald Schieven (NRC-Canada)

Registration is open for the “ALMA: Extending the Limits of Astrophysical Spectroscopy” workshop that will be held 15 – 17 January 2011 in Victoria, British Columbia. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC), and the Center for Chemistry of the Universe (CCU) are jointly hosting this workshop that will highlight the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) capabilities and scientific opportunities that will soon be available to the community.

Abstract submission is now open and will remain open until 30 November. Meeting Registration will be limited to ~100-120 participants and will close once the maximum number has been reached. As the call for Early Science proposals with ALMA is approaching, we also invite you to attend a one-day ALMA tutorial that will include:

  • ALMA Early Science capabilities
  • The services provided by the North American ALMA Science Center
  • How to use the ALMA Observing Tool and submit a proposal
  • How to simulate an early science observation using the SIMDATA package in CASA (the data reduction package for ALMA)

The tutorial will take place directly AFTER the Spectroscopy 2011 Conference, on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 in Victoria, Canada at a cost of $100 per participant to cover the tutorial room, equipment, and refreshments. As the goal is hands-on experience with the OT and SIMDATA which uses CASA, participants will need to bring their own laptop and install (and verify they work) these packages before they arrive. The NAASC department at the NRAO helpdesk is available to address questions about installation etc, and more information about installing these packages will be forthcoming.

As venue space is limited for this event, we can only offer ~60 spaces so please register ASAP to reserve your place in the tutorial. For those interested in attending the tutorial but who are not attending the Spectroscopy 2011 meeting, registration for the tutorial ONLY is available online.. The tutorial registration will remain open until 30 November 2010, or until we reach the maximum number of participants. We sincerely hope you will consider attending this workshop and tutorial and join the community in realizing the full potential of ALMA!

Additional information about this ALMA workshop.

Approved NRAO Science Program: Trimester 2010-C

The June 2010 Call for Proposals covered the third trimester of 2010. A total of 222 proposals were received. The GBT and the VLA/VLBA Proposal Selection Committees (PSC) met in the second week of August to review the referee rankings and technical reports for all proposals, with the goal of providing a recommended science program to the NRAO Director’s Office.

A list of the approved EVLA, VLBA/High Sensitivity Array (HSA), and GBT observing programs for Trimester 2010-C is given below. For each approved program is listed: (a) the PI’s last name; (b) the title of the approved proposal, and the total hours allocated for the program, and (d) the type of proposal (Regular or Large). In cases of Large proposals or monitoring projects the time allocated may be over more than one trimester.

Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA)

To maximize early EVLA science while simultaneously commissioning the hardware and introducing new capabilities, three separate programs were created. They are, in brief, Open Shared Risk Observing (OSRO) which provides first-light EVLA capabilities to the general user community, Resident Shared Risk Observing (RSRO) which provides access to enhanced EVLA capabilities to those who are able to spend a period of time in Socorro to help with commissioning, and a modest (<500 hrs/year) EVLA Commissioning Staff Observing (ECSO) program giving access to commissioning staff to push new science capabilities.

PI RSRO Title Hours Type
Berger Progenitors to Probes: New Insights on Gamma-Ray Bursts with EVLA/RSRO 63 Regular
Brogan Resolving the Evolutionary Diversity and Accretion in Massive Protoclusters 14 Regular
Chomiuk Decisive Constraints on Intermediate-Mass Black Holes in Globular Clusters 20 Regular
Hallinan Broadband Spectra of Radio Emission from M Dwarf Stars and Brown Dwarfs 16 Regular
Irwin CHANG-ES: Continuum HAlos in Nearby Galaxies -- an EVLA Survey 405 Large
Melis Mapping the Vertical and Radial Structure of Dust in Protoplanetary Disks - RSRO 26 Regular
van Gorkom A Pilot for an EVLA HI Deep Field 60 Regular
PI ECSO Title Hours Type
Butler Further Observations of TNOs 29 Regular
Chandler Searching for planet-forming dead-zones in protoplanetary disks: a pilot study 21 Regular
Marvil A sensitive,multi-frequency continuum study of M82 and NGC 2146 30 Regular
Lovell Observations of Ceres and Vesta 12 Regular
Ott Shocks,Feedback and Chemistry: Cm-Wave Spectroscopy of Arp 220 24 Regular
PI OSRO Title Hours Type
Baez Rubio Searching extremely broad H recombination lines in massive star forming regions 8 Regular
Baker Mapping SiO(1-0) in the Nucleus of NGC1068 24 Regular
Bartel SN 2006gy: Radio emission through an extremely dense circumstellar medium? 2 Regular
Battersby Precision Densitometry in Massive-Star-Forming Clumps 20.5 Regular
Begum SPONGE: 21-cm SPectral line Observations of Neutral Gas with the EVLA 411 Large
Blomme The colliding winds of the massive binary Cyg OB2 No. 9 5.5 Regular
Borthakur High Resolution EVLA Absorption Study to Probe Cold Gas in Foreground Galaxies 24 Regular
Braatz The Megamaser Cosmology Project. IV 10 Large
Bruni Polarisation properties of Radio-Loud Broad Absorption Line Quasars 20 Regular
Brunthaler Toward an accurate distance to the ultracompact binary HM Cnc 12 Regular
Carilli Massive galaxy formation within 870 Myr of the Big Bang 152 Regular
Chandra EVLA observations of unique Type IIN supernova SN2008iy 8 Regular
Chandra Observing SN 1993J with the EVLA 4 Regular
Chandra Exploring the mysterious Type IIn supernovae within 150 Mpc distance 18 Regular
Choi Absolute positions of H2O and SiO masers in the Red Supergiant Clusters 15 Regular
DiPompeo Reorienting Our Perspective of Broad Absorption Line Quasars 16 Regular
Edge An EVLA survey of cool core clusters - what lies at their very core? 22 Regular
Fernandez HI Outflow of a Prototypical Wet Merger Remnant,NGC 34 7 Regular
Galvan-Madrid Dynamics of Ionized Jets: Radio Recombination Line Stacking 8 Regular
Gomez Polarization observations of class I methanol masers 4 Regular
Harper Thermodynamics of Dust-Free Red Giant Winds: Vital input for Mass Loss Studies 15.5 Regular
Impellizzeri Search for water megamaser emission in a unique,new sample of lensed SMGs 35 Regular
Koziel Wierz Multifrequency radio analysis of a restarting radio galaxy - the inner structure 4.5 Regular
Lelli Gas Dynamics and Star Formation in Blue Compact Dwarfs 40 Regular
Mann The Mass-Loss Rates of Protoplanetary Disks in Two Rich Clusters 12 Regular
Mayen Gijon Possible spatially-resolved infall motions in the G31 Hot Molecular Core 8 Regular
Melis Mapping the Vertical and Radial Structure of Dust in Protoplanetary Disks - OSRO 5 Regular
O'Dea Black Hole Spins of Radio Loud Quasars 22 Regular
Osorio Spatially resolved planet formation in the disk of HD 169142 8 Regular
Riechers The Clustered Formation of Massive Galaxies around a z=5.3 Submillimeter Galaxy 73 Regular
Robishaw Measuring the Evolution of Galactic Magnetic Fields over Cosmic Time 24 Regular
Sargent Dissecting the Magic Wand of HE 0450-2958 6 Regular
Sarma Zeeman observations of 36 GHz & 44 GHz Class I Methanol Masers toward M8E 8 Regular
Sharon High-resolution Mapping of CO(1--0) in the Cloverleaf 29 Regular
Sharon Resolved CO Mapping of a Lensed Lyman Break Galaxy 42 Regular
Smail A Joint EVLA/eMERLIN Survey of AGN and Star Formation in Distant Rich Clusters 20 Regular
Soderberg The Diversity of SNe Ibc and the Nature of the GRB-SN Connection 10 Regular
Soderberg Continued Monitoring of the Bright GRB030329 8 Regular
Stanway A Possible z=8 CO Line Emitter in the Field of GRB 090423 16 Regular
Suzuki Dusty Starburst Galaxies in the Protocluster Candidate at z=2.48 around 4C23.56 24 Regular
Swinbank High-resolution imaging of the CO(1-0) emission in the submm galaxy SMMJ2135 25 Regular
Tarchi A water maser in IGRJ16385-2057: new clues on Narrow Line Seyfert 1 galaxies 2.5 Regular
Taylor Closing in on the Unidentified Fermi-LAT Gamma-ray Sources 10 Regular
Young Radio Continuum and Star Formation in Early-type Galaxies 10 Regular
Yun Nature of Micro-Jy Radio Sources in the Two GOODS Fields (updated) 66 Regular
Yusef-Zadeh SiO,CH3OH,H2O and 44GHz Observations of the Galactic Center Molecular Ring 2.5 Regular


Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and High Sensitivity Array (HSA)

The 22 newly approved projects below for the VLBA and HSA make up only a part of the total science time available. Large projects continue to dominate the scheduled observing.

PI Proposal Title Hours Type
Batejat Characterisation of newly detected rapidly varying resolved sources in Arp220 27 Regular
Bietenholz Proper motion of the Young Pulsar J0205+6449 in 3C 58 12 Regular
Braatz The Megamaser Cosmology Project. IV 96 Large
Brunthaler The evolution of SN 2008iz in M82 72 Regular
Cavagnolo Imaging the Misdirected QSO OF IRAS 09104+4109 12 Regular
Deane A gravitationally lensed starburst/AGN composite at z=2.3 16 Regular
Deller PSRPI: Mapping the Galactic distribution of pulsars with the VLBA 762.5 Large
Edwards Four new TeV emitting High Frequency-Peaking BL Lacs 16 Regular
Furuya Probing the water maser jet in G19.61-0.23 32 Regular
Hada Multi-calibrator astrometry of the core of the low-luminosity AGN M 104 20 Regular
Hough Acceleration on 10-100 pc Scales in Lobe-dominated Quasars - Part III 8 Regular
Loinard The distance to Monoceros: one of the nearest high-mass star-forming regions 57 Regular
Marecki Location of the core in the possibly restarted source 0932+075 4 Regular
McClintock Measuring the Parallaxes of the X-ray Binaries Cyg X-1,Cyg X-2 and Cyg X-3 40 Regular
Miller-Jones Constraining black hole formation with triggered VLBA astrometry 48 Regular
Miller-Jones The connection between gamma-ray emission and radio jets in Cygnus X-3 48 Regular
Orienti Steep spectrum sources and the duty cycle of the radio emission 20 Regular
Ramstedt The SiO masers close to the binary AGB star W Aql 9 Regular
Sarma Exploratory VLBA Observation of 44 GHz methanol masers in OMC-2 5 Regular
Sivakoff The Ultimate VLBA Calibrator Search for Galactic Black Hole X-ray Binaries 22 Regular
Tingay A commensal method for the detection of fast transients using the VLBA 24 Regular
Walker Flaring in the 43 GHz Radio Core of M87 26 Regular

Green Bank Telescope (GBT)

PI Proposal Title Type
Grigorrii Larionov A search for negative molecular ions in diffuse interstellar clouds Regular
Jeff Wagg HDF850.1 as part of a large-scale structure of submm galaxies at z~4 Regular
Jeff Mangum Kinetic Temperature in Starburst Galaxies Regular
Larry Morgan Environmental Effects Upon Star Formation Regular
Dharam Lal GBT observations of FR II radio galaxies at 90 GHz Regular
Eduardo Rubio-Herrera Surveying our Galaxy's Satellite Companions for Pulsars and Radio Transients Regular
Bojan Nikolic Star-forming galaxies at 90 GHz Regular
Paola Castangia Water maser and hard X-ray emission in AGN: the complete INTEGRAL sample Regular
Andrea Tarchi Search for a Maser Flare in the FRII Galaxy 3C403 Regular
Timothy Hankins Crab Nebula Pulsar Giant Pulses at Centimeter Wavelengths: II Regular
James Urquhart The RMS survey: probing the environments of young massive stars Regular
Simon Dicker Imaging Massive Cluster Mergers Through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect Regular
Jim Braatz The Megamaser Cosmology Project. IV Large
Anna Scaife Characterizing the Anomalous Emission from Spinning Dust in Galactic HII regions Regular
James Urquhart The RMS survey: NH3 mapping of triggered massive star forming regions Regular
Toby Moore Protostellar core sizes in W3 and Perseus Regular
Eric Murphy A Ka-Band Survey of Star Formation & Anomalous Dust Emission in Nearby Galaxies Regular
Eric Murphy The Origin of Anomalous Dust Emission in Extragalactic HII Regions Regular
Dave Frayer CO(1-0) Observations of the Brightest Herschel-Selected Sub-mm Galaxies Regular
Nami Sakai Search for Long Carbon-Chains in the Newly Found Starless Core, Lupus-1A Regular
David Jewitt Mass Loss from Comet 103P/Hartley 2 Regular
Nami Sakai Probing Carbon-Chain Growth with the 13C Isotopomers Regular
Brian Cherinka Connecting local galaxies with Damped Lyman Alpha systems via 21 cm absorption. Regular
Alyson Ford The Molecular Link Between Supershells and Halo Clouds Regular
Toney Minter Investigating the small-scale structure of HI Regular
Marta Burgay Searching for radio pulsations from Calvera Regular
M. Hughes The Debris Ring around Epsilon Eridani Regular
Jeremy Darling A Water Maser Survey of M31: The First Step Toward Proper Motion Regular
Scott Schnee Mapping the Dust Emission from OMC-2/3 Regular
Paul Ries Observations of Iapetus's Thermal Light Curve Regular
Dominic Ludovici Searching for HI in the loose group LGG 140 Regular
Rachel Friesen Temperature, fragmentation and kinematics in the Serpens South Cluster Regular
Jean-Luc Margot Venus spin dynamics Regular
Martin Sommer Follow-up observation of an SZE non-detection of a galaxy cluster at z=0.97 Regular
Scott Ransom Long Term Timing of 55 Recycled Pulsars in Bulge Globular Clusters Regular
Carol Lonsdale 30 and 90Hz Observations of WISE extreme HyLIRG at z=2.45 Regular
Ian Hoffman Renewed Interest in the Rare Ammonia Maser in NGC 7538 Regular
Jack Hewitt Searching for OH(1720 MHz) Masers from TeV-bright SNR G106.3+2.7 Regular
Mallory Roberts Searching for Highly Scattered Pulsars in Very Low Latitude Fermi Sources Regular
Tony Remijan Investigating the Formation of Large Molecules in the Orion Compact Ridge Regular
Shadi Chitsazzadeh Ammonia Observations of Starless Cores with the KFPA Regular
Kaustuv Basu High-resolution Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) imaging of a cluster cool core Regular
Megan DeCesar A Search for Millisecond Pulsars in Gamma-ray-Detected Globular Clusters Regular
Stefanie Milam Molecular Survey towards Comet 103P/Hartley 2 Regular
Paul Ries A Study of TNOs and Captured TNOs at 3.3mm Regular
Martin Cordiner Continuing the targeted search for hydrocarbon anions Regular
Susanna Finn Mapping Ammonia in Five Filamentary Infrared Dark Clouds with the KFPA Regular
Elisabeth Mills Probing extremes of density and temperature in Galactic center molecular clouds Regular

Joint NRAO/Chandra Program: Accepted Proposals

Dale Frail

In 2003 NRAO entered into a joint proposal process with the Chandra X-ray Center. Up to 3% of the time on all NRAO telescopes was made available per year (with no more than 5% in a single trimester). Time is awarded on a competitive basis by means of a single proposal asking for both X-ray and radio observations, and submitted to the Chandra X-ray Center. Successful US-based PI's are eligible for NASA funding. Further details of this program are available in the Chandra X-ray Center Proposal Calls.

The results of the Chandra proposal Cycle 12 have been made public. We list below the 11 successful joint NRAO/Chandra proposals for this cycle, giving the name of the principle investigator, the proposal title, and the total number of hours allocated on NRAO telescopes for each proposal. In all cases the proposals requested time on the EVLA.

Principle Investigator Proposal Title Hours Allocated
J. Miller High Resolution Spectroscopy of a Black Hole Transient 4.0 hrs
S. Corbel X-Ray Jets in Microquasars 3.0 hrs
P. Jonker Following a black hole candidate X-ray transient to quiescence 16.0 hrs
I. Grenier ToO observation of a bright Galactic transient discovered by Fermi and Swift 1.0 hr
J. Neilsen A Long Multiwavelength Study of GRS 1915+105 11.0 hrs
S. Randall Understanding AGN Feedback with Deep Observations of NGC 5813 12.5 hrs
C. Heinke An X-ray/Radio Test for an Intermediate-Mass Black Hole in M31's G1 Cluster 9.75 hrs
A. Basu-Zych Chandra Observations of Local Lyman Break Galaxy Analogs 35.0 hrs
M. Gitti Investigating AGN feedback in cool cores detected in Halpha 18.0 hrs
J. Sanders A deep look at PKS 0745-191 and its cluster environment 5.0 hrs
M. Sun AGN heating and cooling in the most luminous group cool core 12.0 hrs

ALMA Project Update

Al Wootten

Figure 1

Figure 1: ALMA's new home in the Vitacura area of Santiago, adjacent to ESO. Image courtesy ALMA (ESO, NAOJ, NRAO).


A New Home for ALMA in Santiago

At the end of August, ALMA activities in Santiago moved a short distance, from their temporary quarters on the upper floors of a building in Santiago’s Los Condes ‘Sanhattan’ area to their permanent home in the Santiago Central Office on the grounds of the ESO compound in Vitacura. The building will get a workout during the upcoming austral spring as multiple reviews are held to determine ALMA readiness for the Call for Proposals for Early Science.

The first of these will be the External Review of the status of Commissioning and Science Verification that will be held at the ALMA site 7-8 October and led by Project Scientist Richard Hills. The Science Operations External Review, including the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs), will be held in Santiago 11-12 October for a separate external committee, being arranged by Head of Science Operations Lars-Ake Nyman. The following two days the ALMA Science Advisory Committee (ASAC), a committee of the ALMA Board, will meet in Santiago to prepare a report to the Board. The third Annual ALMA External Review will be held 25-28 October. An Array Status Review on 8-9 November will focus on maintenance capabilities for hardware and software. On 10 November, an Observatory Readiness Review will be held to pull together the conclusions of the external reviews, and the recommendations of the ASAC and AAER committees, in preparation for the ALMA Board meeting 16-18 November. This ALMA Board meeting will decide the call for proposal date, the Early Science observations start date, and the Early Science capabilities to be offered. An announcement of these Board decisions is expected by the end of November.

ALMA Test Data

A small amount of ALMA test data was released in September to illustrate some of the progress being made during construction. As test data, only some aspects of the complete observation, calibration and imaging cycle have been applied to the data.

Project Scientist Richard Hills noted the challenges, among which is conducting observations in the normally opaque atmospheric bands which are available though far from transparent at the ALMA site. All aspects of the ALMA system, from antenna performance (surface, pointing with small beams, tracking accuracy) to system and atmospheric stability are tested in the high frequency bands, such as Band 9 (602-720 GHz; 0.4-0.5mm wavelength). Bright calibration sources are also scarce at these wavelengths.

The test data illustrates that ALMA's performance at the cutting edge continues to make progress--data at the 690 GHz CO line in the well-known southern galaxy NGC253 was calibrated using Jupiter's bright moons Io and Callisto. The test data shows impressive atmospheric and instrumental performance during the observation.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Eight antennas at the 5000m Array Operations Site (AOS) on 29 September. (left to right): antennas DV08, DV03, DV04, DV07, DV02, DV05, DV06, PM02. DV denotes a Vertex antenna; PM denotes a Mistubishi antenna. Image courtesy ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).


Halfway to the Early Science Antenna Array

ALMA continued to grow in size and capability throughout August and September, with the Transport of Vertex Antenna 8 to the high-elevation Array Operations Site (AOS) on 27 September and its incorporation into the commissioning array.

The first two antennas to reach the AOS, DV01 and PM03, are at the lower elevation Operations Support Facility (OSF) undergoing updates. DV01 returned to the Assembly, Integration and Verification area from the contractor’s site and awaits incorporation into the OSF two-station interferometer with DV09 for further tests and for software testing leading to the installation of a major software release at year-end. Antennas PM01 and PM04 have been moved to the OSF AIV area; ALMA acceptance is expected soon. DV10 is undergoing its final tests at the Vertex Site Erection Facility. Four new 7m antennas arrived from Japan. The first of the European AEM antennas passed its Technical Readiness Review and has begun pointing tests with the Optical Pointing Telescope.

As the Array moves closer to the key decision point on the timing of the issuance of the Call for Early Science, preparatory work at the ARCs has increased. An exercise testing readiness for Early Science was carried out in which participants submitted mock proposals, including helpdesk functions, participated in a load test in which over 700 mock proposals were submitted to the archive in 15 minutes, the technical and scientific assessment process for the mock proposals. Participants provided feedback at all steps in the exercise. A number of ALMA user documents were written, vetted, and submitted to Science Operations Readiness Review panel including an updated ALMA Primer, an ALMA Quickstart guide, and Early Science simulations.

The yearly ANASAC face-to-face meeting was held at the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) in Charlottesville, Virginia on 13-14 September. Participants considered a number of charges relating to NAASC and ALMA readiness for Early Science.

The Astro2010 Committee for a Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics Radio Millimeter and Submillimeter panel report released on 13 August stated: ALMA will be the world’s premiere facility for high-resolution imaging at millimeter/submillimeter wavelengths. It is essential that a program of upgrades be supported to maintain its vitality. While the upgrades will be determined by agreement of the international consortium, there are some obvious examples. Some receiver bands are not included in the first light complement; adding these is important for obtaining complete wavelength coverage within atmospheric windows, which is especially needed for line studies of galaxies over the full range of redshifts. Adding capability to join the mm-wave VLBI network would greatly enhance the sensitivity for ultra-high resolution millimeter/submillimeter studies (Table 9.1). The consortium plans a program costing $90 million over a decade, of which $30 million would come from the North American partners. The panel fully supports this plan.” Support for ALMA development was also highlighted in the main report (Table B-1).

The sixth issue of the Joint ALMA Observatory newsletter (JAO) is available. This issue reports the successful demonstration of phase correction at the ALMA site via the Water Vapor Radiometer, whose role is to measure atmospheric water vapor in the line of sight of each antenna and apply corrections to the astronomical data. Learn more about this advancement and others in this JAO newsletter issue.

Publications Available from the NRAO Library

Marsha Bishop

The NRAO Library continues to scan and make available full-text NRAO publications.  Our latest additions to this endeavor are:

The NRAO Library will continue scanning and posting, via the NRAO Library catalogue, full-text electronic versions of NRAO publications as time allows.

Those who prefer paper instead of electronic can purchase a soft-bound volume of any of the above titles for $15.00 plus shipping and handling.  For more information, please contact the NRAO Library at:  We are unable to accept credit cards.

From the Archives: VLA Dedication

Ellen Bouton

From the Archives

The VLA was dedicated 30 years ago, on 10 October 1980. Left to right on the platform during the dedication ceremony: Ron Ekers [NRAO Associate Director for VLA Operations], Robert E. Hughes [AUI President-Elect], Carl Heiles [UC Berkeley, speaker for the scientific community], Harrison (Jack) Schmitt [New Mexico Senator], Donald N. Langenberg [NSF Acting Director], Bruce King [Governor of New Mexico], Frank Johnson [assistant director for AAEO], Morton S. Roberts [NRAO Director], John Slaughter [NSF Director-Designate], and Frank Press [President's Science Advisor] at the podium. Also on the platform, but hidden either in the second row or behind the podium, were Pete Domenici [New Mexico Senator], Manny Lujan [New Mexico Congressman], Lew Branscomb [National Science Board], David S. Heeschen [former NRAO Director], Don Cooke [AUI Board of Trustees Chair], Jack Lancaster [VLA Project manager], and Gerald F. Tape [outgoing AUI President]. Dr. Tape's tenure as president ended at the conclusion of the dedication ceremony.

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,

Career Opportunities

New Postings

Jansky Fellow: The National Radio Astronomy Observatory invites applications for the position Jansky Fellow. The purpose of the position is to provide an opportunity for young scientists to establish themselves as independent researchers so that they may more effectively compete for permanent positions.

Web Designer: The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA invites applications for the position Web Designer. The Web Designer will work in consultation with the NRAO scientific, technical, and outreach staff to design, develop, and maintain the Observatory's science web site that communicates scientific and technical information to scientific users of the NRAO research facilities. The successful candidate will also work in consultation with a range of Observatory stakeholders to design, develop, and maintain the NRAO Intranet as a visually attractive and effective internal communication tool.

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