March 2-3, 2017: Netherlands ALMA Community Day & ALMA Data Reduction Training Day — Announcement

Allegro, the European ALMA Regional Center node in the Netherlands, is organizing a science day on Thursday March 2, 2017, at Leiden Observatory. This event will feature presentations on exciting recent results from ALMA by astronomers from the Allegro user community, the latest news from ALMA, and a plenary discussion on expectations and wishes for user support and any other ALMA-related topics. We will conclude the day with the Leiden Observatory General Astrophysics Colloquium that for the occasion of this workshop will have a special ALMA theme, and will be delivered by Dr. Mario Tafalla (OAN Madrid) on ‘ALMA observations of protostellar jets. Trying to understand the mechanism of outflow acceleration’.

You can register for the Netherlands Allegro ALMA Community Day 2017 following this link.

If you are interested in given a contributed talk (~20 min) on recent results from ALMA or any related topic, please indicate this on the registration page.

For those interested, ALMA data reduction training with CASA will be offered on Friday March 3 at Allegro. You can indicate your interest on the event registration page linked above.

Black Hole Fed by Cold Intergalactic Deluge

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has witnessed a cosmic weather event that has never been seen before — a cluster of towering intergalactic gas clouds raining in on the supermassive black hole at the centre of a huge galaxy one billion light-years from Earth. The results will appear in the journal Nature on 9 June 2016.

Read more in this ESO press release.

Registration open for “Half a Decade of ALMA: Cosmic Dawns Transformed”

Registration is now OPEN for the “Half a Decade of ALMA: Cosmic Dawns Transformed” conference which will be held 20 – 23 September 2016 at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort in Indian Wells, California, USA (near Palm Springs).

Please submit an abstract featuring your science soon, as the deadline for abstracts to be considered for oral presentation will be 24 June, 2016.

For more details, please visit the link to the conference website:

New OT Version, the Project Tracker, and Clarification of Full Polarization Capabilities

Information related to the new version of the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) for preparing Cycle-4 proposals, the Project Tracker as well as a clarification on full polarization capabilities are now available in
this link to the ALMA General News.

Clarification of Large Program Policy

Several clarifications related to the Large Program Policy for Cycle 4 are now available in
this link to the ALMA General News.

Notification of problem affecting certain ALMA data that used mosaic and offset pointing observing modes

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) has recently identified a problem affecting selected programs from Cycles 1 to 3 where positional offsets or mosaics were used to set up Scheduling Blocks in the ALMA Observing Tool.

Read all the details in this link to the ALMA General News.

A Change in the ALMA Configuration Near the End of Cycle 3

The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) has examined the distribution of remaining QA2 non-Pass executions for the 5km array (C36-7) and has determined that given the distribution, the observatory will not revisit the 5km array near the end of the Cycle 3 observing season; instead preferring to revisit the current array C40-3 (which is C36-2/C36-3 which is oversubscribed at some LST intervals which are becoming daytime now but will be nighttime by the end of the cycle). This will improve the overall completion at the expense of a few fewer executions and completions in the 5km array configuration. As a result of this decision, 10 A ranked executions will roll over into next year for the 5km configuration.

For B ranked observing programs, those programs are effectively cancelled as “ObservingTimedOut”. These data will be evaluated through the standard QA2 process with the anticipation that most will end up as QA2 SEMIPASS.

According to the current policy, PIs of A ranked proposals (those that will carry over to Cycle 4) may request delivery of the raw ASDMs from scheduling blocks already completed from these programs through their ALMA Regional Centers because the programs will have no chance of being observed within the next 90 days. This can be done by submitting a ticket to the “Archive and Data Retrieval” department of the ALMA Helpdesk ( Any and all additional questions should be submitted through the ALMA Helpdesk.

ALMA Cycle 4 Call for Proposals is now open


The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce the ALMA Cycle 4 Call for Proposals (CfP) for scientific observations to be scheduled from October 2016 to September 2017.

It is anticipated that up to 3000 hours of the 12-m Array and up to 1800 hours of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), also known as the Morita Array, will be available for successful proposals from Principal Investigators (PIs) in Cycle 4. Proposals must be prepared and submitted using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT), which is available for download from the ALMA Science Portal ( Proposals will be assessed by competitive peer review by a single international review committee.

ALMA Cycle 4 proposal submission will open at: 15:00 UT on Tuesday 22 March 2016

The ALMA Cycle 4 proposal submission deadline is: 15:00 UT on Thursday 21 April 2016

ALMA provides continuum and spectral line capabilities for wavelengths from 0.32 mm to 3.6 mm, and for angular resolutions from 0.024” to 3.7” on the 12-m Array. Cycle 4 offers several new technical capabilities, including Solar, millimeter-wavelength Very Long Baseline Interferometry (mm VLBI), spectral-line linear polarization, and ACA stand-alone observations. In addition, for the first time ALMA will accept Large Proposals, which are programs that request more than 50 hours of time on the 12-m Array or the ACA in stand-alone mode to address key scientific questions. Up to 15% of the available time will be allocated to Large Proposals.

For comprehensive information of this Cycle 4 Call for Proposals please consult the ALMA Science Portal.

1-mm Very Long Baseline Interferometry including ALMA

The call for 1-mm Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) proposals to use phased ALMA at Band 6 in Cycle 4, in collaboration with the Event Horizon Telescope Consortium (EHTC), will be released to coincide with the ALMA Cycle 4 Call for Proposals in March 2016. The EHTC is expected to comprise the Submillimeter Array, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, the Submillimeter Telescope, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment, the South Pole Telescope, the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, the IRAM 30m telescope, and an antenna from the Northern Extended Millimeter Array.
The same scientific justification must be submitted in response to the ALMA and VLBI network calls. NRAO will facilitate this for the 1mm VLBI call by having proposers submit a copy of their ALMA Cycle 4 proposal in response to the 1mm VLBI call, approximately one week after the ALMA proposal deadline in April.

Further details, along with technical information for phased ALMA and the EHTC, will be made available with the 1mm VLBI Call for Proposals. It is expected that observing will take place in March or April 2017, when ALMA will be in a compact configuration suitable for efficient phasing.

Call for Proposals for APEX/SEPIA Band 9

A new Band 9 receiver was installed inside the Swedish ESO PI receiver for Apex (SEPIA) at APEX in early February. This receiver, built by NOVA, is a copy of the ALMA Band 9 receiver, and covers frequencies from 600 to 722 GHz. After on-sky commissioning in late March, Science Verification (SV) observations are planned. Ideas for SV, which will allow testing of a large variety of observing modes for this new receiver, are encouraged.

The Call for Proposals for SEPIA Band 9 SV and further details can be found at the Call for Science Verification Proposals pagefor SEPIA Band 9.