Recap on joint ALMA+JWST Science day in Groningen, January 2024

On January 30, 2024, Allegro – in collaboration with JWST colleagues – organized its first Netherlands JWST-Allegro Science Day at Kapteyn Institute, in Groningen. The Joint Science Day was inspired by the recent introduction of “Joint Proposals” at ALMA and other major observatories and was aimed to inspire collaborations while highlighting already existing scientific synergies.

The event was a great success, with ~ 50 registered participants and an incredible lineup of speakers presenting ALMA, JWST data but also in many cases both in the same talk. Talks ranged from astrochemistry, the high-z universe, to long baseline observations of gravitational lenses, and studies of nearby galaxies and planet forming disks.  Invited speakers were Prof. Karina Caputi (Kaptyen) and Dr. Łukasz Tychoniec (Leiden) who spoke about high redshift galaxies and proto-stellar systems, respectively, in both cases demonstrating the power of combining information from both instruments. Dr. Martin Zwaan (ESO) was invited to speak about ALMA news and the Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU) that has recently kicked off, offering a detailed timeline and explanation of upcoming capabilities.

Another great highlight of the day was the opportunity to visit the NOVA labs where the new ALMA Band 2 cartridges are currently being assembled. This was a very exciting opportunity for many students and postdocs to get in touch with the technology being developed in the Netherlands and was an inspirational demonstration of the many contributions from the Dutch community to ALMA. Finally, our Allegro-JWST Science Day was a great way to meet our colleagues from various institutes in person again, to chat over coffee and lunch about new ideas and future visions. We would like to thank Kapteyn for hosting, and all our participants for making it such a fun day!  

New Staff & Farewell

Allegro’s newest member is Dr. Megan Lewis who joined in February as a postdoc. Megan received her Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of New Mexico in the US. While in New Mexico she was also a Reber predoctoral fellow with the NRAO. She then joined the international Araucaria group working at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests include evolved stars, the circumstellar environment, and astrophysical masers. Recently, she has been involved with studies of period-luminosity relations, the connections between maser properties and physical properties, and is heavily involved in the BAaDE Galactic SiO maser survey. She will support the ALMA user community by serving as a contact scientist for PIs with ALMA time and offering general services including face-to-face support for the Dutch ALMA community via proposal preparation and data handling.


We would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. Alex Hygate, Dr. Aida Ahmadi, Dr. Ashley Bemis, and Dr. Andrés Pérez Sánchez for their amazing service at Allegro in all aspects. We will miss them greatly, but we wish them all the best for their future endeavors in their career!



ALMA Cycle 11 Proposal preparation and Important dates

With the upcoming Cycle 11 call for ALMA proposal, Allegro is providing support to ALMA users with the following plans:

  • For general questions regarding:
    • dual anonymous review process, 
    • distributed peer review, 
    • accessing the ALMA archive and using the ALMA Observing Tool (OT) to prepare your observing programme, 
    • new features in Cycle 11           

          Please direct your questions to or

  • User support that Allegro offers:
    • For quick questions, we encourage our community to reach out to us via email ( Leiden members are also highly encouraged to interact with us via the Allegro slack channel (#allegro) in the Leiden Observatory internal slack, we will keep an eye out for messages! Mutual discussions with colleagues and experienced ALMA users in our community will add value to this exchange and will be welcome and appreciated. 
    • For more complicated cases you can request a meeting with the Allegro staff via Google spreadsheet for face-to-face support (both in-person and zoom options are available). Note that we have limited time blocks.
  • We would like to note also that Allegro members will be traveling between 15-19 April which means that we may not be able to respond right away.  We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Allegro will be hosting a borrel after the ALMA deadline (as a reminder: 5PM CEST on 25th April!) to celebrate. So you are all invited to celebrate your proposal submission with us with drinks and snacks from ~5:15 PM onwards. The borrel will be in the Kaiser Lounge (BM 4.23) at the new Gorlaeus building.


Important dates for ALMA Cycle 11 call (more details from the Cycle 11 Call for Proposals):

  • 21 March 2024: Release of the ALMA Cycle 11 Call for Proposals and Observing Tool (OT), and opening of the archive for proposal submission
  • 25 April 2024: Proposal submission deadline
  • October 2024: Start of Cycle 11 observations, spanning 12 months

Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade Workshop: 24 – 28 June, 2024 at ESO Garching

In the week of 24 – 28 June, 2024, ESO is hosting a workshop dedicated to discussion of the upcoming Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU) development. The aim of this workshop is to present the upgrade and to engage the community by showcasing the science that will be enabled in the upcoming years, during which some changes to scientific operations are expected due to the extent of the upgrade, deployment, and commissioning activities.

The deadline for registering for in-person participation is 1st May 2024

For more details, please refer to the announcement page

European ALMA School: 10 – 14 June 2024 in Manchester, UK

The European ALMA Regional Centre network is organizing an ALMA School that will be hosted by the UK ARC Node on 10 – 14 June 2024 in Manchester, UK. This school is designed to provide training on a broad range of aspects related to ALMA, including interferometry, data calibration and imaging, the ALMA archive, analysis techniques, ALMA science, and future ALMA developments.

For more details please visit the school website.

Science Highlight: Even Better Together

Using observations of both JWST and ALMA, van Gelder et al. 2024 (2024, A&A 682, A78) unlock the secrets behind the emission of SO2 from the young protostars NGC 1333 IRAS 2A. This sulfurous compound signals evaporating ices but can also be released in accretion shocks where material enters the planet-forming disk. By combining the observations of the vibrationally excited SO2 lines seen with JWST, and the rotational lines in the vibrational ground-state seen with ALMA, the authors find that thermal ice sublimation in the inner hot regions around the protostar explains the emission. They also find that radiative pumping is important for the lines observed with JWST. This paper presents a beautiful synergy of JWST and ALMA.

Moving to the New Building

Allegro, along with the rest of the Leiden Observatory offices, will be moving to the new Gorlaeus building at the end of March. The move will cause the Allegro staff and desktop computing resources to be offline for a few days. We will also use this time to transition our computing nodes to a new storage system. As a result, we will be offline starting 28 March and will be back on 4 April. This includes face-to-face user support and access to the Allegro computers. After this period we invite you to come by our new office, number BW 4.30, to start preparing for the ALMA deadline!

There will be further interruptions to our normal face-to-face and computing resources when our servers are moved. This will cause all of our computing resources to be offline from 27 May to 31 May.