ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future

The ALMA partnership is organizing a conference to commemorate 10 years of ALMA Science Observations, taking place in Puerto Varas, Chile, on 4-8 December 2023. The aim of the conference is to look back on the observatory’s accomplishments, highlight the latest ALMA results from all scientific fields, as well as look forward to future technical developments. The latter will include a focus on its ambitious 2030 development roadmap and in particular the ongoing plans for the Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade that will ultimately quadruple the system bandwidth and improve observing efficiency and sensitivity for both continuum and spectral line observations. 

The conference will have a hybrid format and while in-person attendance has reached capacity and is closed, on-line participation, including posters, is open until November 1, 2023 (register for online attendance here). 

For more information, visit the conference website:

Lorentz Workshop: Tuning to the high frequency ALMA Universe

In the week of September 4-8, an ALMA-dedicated workshop will take place at the Lorentz Center in Leiden.  The workshop aims at gathering the ALMA community to discuss and further develop the unique science that can be achieved at the highest frequencies offered (Bands 8, 9, and 10).  ALMA is the only ground-based interferometer that can routinely observe at frequencies > 350 GHz, making it a truly unique instrument. At the workshop, we aim to discuss the status of high frequency observations for galactic and extragalactic science and to explore which questions have arisen in the field that can be answered with high frequency observations. We will also discuss future developments, technologies, and the ALMA upgrade. The overall goal is to create new ideas, collaborations and synergies within our community and the observatory that will enhance the discovery space of ALMA.

The workshop will be attended by 50 participants from several relevant scientific areas from all ALMA regions, the executives and the Joint ALMA observatory. 

For more information visit:

IAU I-HOW Radio Astronomy Workshop

A joint Iran and Türkıye radio astronomy workshop is set to take place at Erciyes University in Kayseri in Türkıye in the next two weeks (Sep. 4-15). The workshop is part of the IAU Hands-On Workshops (I-HOW) initiative that aims to train young scientists in developing countries in accessing, analyzing and using the vast amounts of astronomical data currently available in archives for their research projects. The workshop will focus on teaching students and young researchers how to analyze radio data from arrays such as VLA, ALMA, MeerKAT, and LOFAR. The two-week workshop will provide ample time for lectures, tutorials, scientific talks of a wide range of topics, and hands-on projects. The students are also given an opportunity to present their own scientific works and request assistance on their own projects from the team of lecturers. Experts from Allegro as well as the Italian and UK ALMA Regional Centre Nodes will be at the workshop training students on how to access, calibrate, image, and analyze ALMA observations. For more information, see the website of I-HOW Radio Astronomy Workshop.

New Allegro computing hardware

Allegro has purchased a new set of more powerful computing servers and a new disk server with a larger amount of storage space, in order to provide enhanced computing services for our user community. We will have five new computing servers available to our user community for the processing and analysis of their ALMA data. Each server will have dual 32-core/64-thread 3.25GHz processors and 512GB of RAM. Our new disk server will provide 1.5 Petabytes of storage for our user community. The disk server will have 84 disks, along with 128GB of RAM and dual 16-core/32-thread 3.0GHz processor. The servers are connected to each other with a dedicated 2×25 Gigabits per second network and will be externally accessible via a 10 Gigabits per second network. Allegro’s investment in increased storage space and improved computing hardware will allow us to continue to meet the growing demand for our computing resources from our user community. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are in need of computing or storage resources.

Science Highlight: All quiet at z=4.5

Standard galaxy formation models expect that young galaxies should be highly turbulent and kinematically chaotic, as a result of violent gas accretion and frequent mergers. Observations appear to tell a very different story. In this paper, Roman-Oliveira (Kapteyn Institute), Fraternali and Rizzo (2023, MNRAS 521, 1045) show archival ALMA data of the [C II] 158 micron line of five galaxies at z ~ 4.5 at 0.1-0.2 arcsec resolution (~1 kpc). All these galaxies show clear velocity gradients in the [C II] line. Four of these can be explained as rotationally supported disk, and only one is a likely unresolved merger. Turbulent velocities are low, showing that quiescent disks are common even at z ~ 4.5. This paper also shows that the high resolutions offered by ALMA are essential to separate the quiescent disks from localized kinematic features such as inflow/outflow. It also illustrates the potential for discovery through publicly accessible ALMA archival data, even for previously published data that were never interpreted together.


Figure: Observed and modeled velocity patterns of ALMA archival [C II] line emission of the five galaxies at z~4.5 studied by Roman-Oliveira et al. (2023).

First fringes for the ALMA Band-2 pre-production receivers

Over the next few years, ALMA will open up the 2.6-4.5 mm wavelength range for scientific observations with its slew of newly developed Band 2 receivers. The first three Band-2 ‘pre-production’ receivers were recently installed at ALMA, developed and built by the NOVA submillimeter group at the University of Groningen together with GARD/Chalmers University, Sweden, INAF Italy, NAOJ Japan, the University of Chile, and ESO. ‘First fringes’ were obtained with this set of receivers, marking the moment when ALMA opens its eyes at these wavelengths. [more information]

Postdoctoral Support Position at Allegro

Allegro, the Netherlands node of the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) at Leiden Observatory, invites applications for one or more postdoctoral support position(s).

The position offers the opportunity for research at one of the major centres of astronomy in the Netherlands as well as an in-depth involvement in the development and operations of ALMA. In particular, we are interested in candidates who (wish to) pursue research with ALMA or ALMA data as a prominent part of their scientific interest. Standard 50% time will be available for personal research and successful candidate(s) will have access to the full resources of Leiden Observatory. Besides independent research, the appointee is expected to spend time on the technical and user support of ALMA and we are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated applicants to work within the Allegro team on a variety of topics.

Qualifications: PhD in Astronomy, Physics, or related field, or proven track record of relevant experience. Research experience in fields directly related to submm astronomy. Experience with radio interferometric data and CASA software is highly desirable. Proficiency in Linux. The Leiden ARC node values diversity in its workforce.

The appointment will be for two years initially, renewable up to a maximum of four years based on need, funding, and performance. The position comes with a competitive salary and full benefits of an employee in the public sector.

Applications can be submitted electronically at:

Included Benefits:
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package that includes additional vacation (8%) and end-of-year (8.3%) bonuses, sick leave, maternity and parental leaves, and retirement benefits. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Application Deadline:
Friday, September 15, 2023

ALMA Proposal Preparation Day 2023

The Allegro ALMA Regional Centre node is organising a proposal preparation workshop on Thursday the 20th of April 2023 in advance of the upcoming ALMA proposal deadline (expected to be the 10th of May 2023). We would like to invite you to attend online or in person at Leiden Observatory.

The workshop will have two sessions:

  1. Morning (10:00 – 12:00): Introduction to writing and preparing ALMA proposals.
  2. Afternoon (13:00 – 14:00): Summary of new features and changes in Cycle 10.

The morning session will introduce attendees to writing and preparing ALMA proposals. The topics covered will include the dual anonymous review process, distributed peer review, accessing the ALMA archive and using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) to prepare your observing programme. No prior ALMA experience is necessary for attendance.

The afternoon session will cover the differences between Cycle 10 and Cycle 9. In particular, we will highlight the new capabilities of ALMA in this cycle, including the new ALMA Band 1 and the new availability of joint proposals with JWST, the VLA and the VLT. The afternoon session is designed for returning ALMA users and is also suitable for attendees of the morning session.

Both sessions will have time for your questions, and tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for in person attendees. You can register to attend online or in person for one or both of the sessions before Thursday, April 13, 2023 using our registration form. For more information about the expected dates and what will be on offer in Cycle 10, please see the ALMA Cycle 10 Pre-announcement

In addition to this proposal preparation day, you can request a meeting with the Allegro staff (e-mail us) to discuss your proposal or come to our drop-in sessions (April 24, May 1, and May 8 at HL-1122 from 14:00-16:00).

Program April 20, 2023 (Tentative)
10:00-12:00 Introduction to Proposal Preparation (slides) (GOB/EM1.09) Allegro Team
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:00 ALMA’s New Capabilities in Cycle 10 (slides) (GOB/EM1.09) Allegro Team
Directions to Leiden Observatory

The address of Leiden Observatory is Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden. Note that this is not the old observatory in the center of Leiden. Instructions on how to get to Leiden Observatory, including transportation from Schiphol Airport or the central trains station, can be found here. Leiden Observatory is located on the 4-5th floors of the Oort building (seen on the right in the photo below), and the Huygens building (the taller building seen on the left in the photo below). Allegro offices are located on the 11th floor of the Huygens building.

The workshop will take place in room EM 1.09 in the New Gorlaeus building. We will have signs and there is also a reception at the entrance of the building where they can provide you with directions.

For those joining us online, connection details will be sent to you by email before the start of the event.



Useful resources:

Hands up for a community assembly!

Sixth European ALMA Regional Centre community assembly

The Sixth European ALMA Regional Centre community assembly meeting will take place virtually on the 17th of April at 11:00 CEST and can be accessed via this Microsoft Teams link. During the meeting, staff from the European ALMA Regional Centre will present updates on ALMA Cycle 10, in particular the procedures for Joint Proposals with other facilities including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the Space Telescope Science Institute’s James Webb Space Telescope, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. In addition, you will hear about the new capabilities offered in Cycle 10, including ALMA Band 1, and the support that the European ARC network offers the community.