European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 02/2024

Farewell to René Vermeulen

Farewell to René Vermeulen

Dear members of the RadioNet community,

I am writing to inform you of an important transition within our organization. René Vermeulen, Director of ILT, the ASTRON Radio Observatory department, and founding Director of the recently launched LOFAR ERIC, will be retiring from his duties with effect from March 1, 2024.

René has been a pillar of our community, contributing immensely to the success of RadioNet and our related activities. As a longstanding Board member he has played a key role in securing funding through successful applications at the European Commission. His efforts have not only strengthened the European astronomical community but also fostered consensus and provided invaluable strategic guidance.

René's departure will undoubtedly leave a void within our community. We will miss his expertise, his camaraderie, and his unwavering support. He has been not only a valuable expert but also a cherished colleague and friend.

We extend our heartfelt wishes to René for the future. While he may be stepping back from his formal duties, we hope to continue benefiting from his expertise in the years to come.

Please join me in expressing our gratitude to René for his outstanding contributions and in wishing him the very best in this new chapter of his life.

Warm regards,

Anton Zensus

Gas on the run – ALMA spots the shadow of a molecular outflow from a quasar when the Universe was less than one billion years old

Gas on the run – ALMA spots the shadow of a molecular outflow from a quasar when the Universe was less than one billion years old

A team of researchers led by Assistant Professor Dragan Salak at Hokkaido University, Assistant Professor Takuya Hashimoto at the University of Tsukuba, and Professor Akio Inoue at Waseda University, has discovered the first evidence of suppression of star formation driven by an outflow of molecular gas in a quasar-host galaxy in the early Universe. Their findings, based on observations they made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in Chile, were published in The Astrophysical Journal (Molecular Outflow in the Reionization-epoch Quasar J2054-0005 Revealed by OH 119 μm Observations, Dragan Salak et al, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 962, DOI 10.3847/1538-4357/ad0df5)

Read here the ALMA press release.

Image: © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); Artist’s impression of an outflow of molecular gas from the quasar J2054-0005.

First observations of the radio galaxy Perseus A with the EHT

First observations of the radio galaxy Perseus A with the EHT

Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has recently resolved the jet base of an evolving jet of plasma at ultra-high angular resolution. The international team of scientists used the Earth-size telescope to probe the magnetic structure in the nucleus of the radio galaxy 3C 84 (Perseus A), one of the closest active supermassive black holes in our cosmic neighbourhood. These novel results provide new insight into how jets are launched, revealing that in this cosmic tug of war, the magnetic fields overpower gravity.

See the  original paper Ordered magnetic fields around the 3C 84 central black hole (A&A, G.F. Paraschos et al.: February 01, 2024, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202348308) and read here the press release of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.


Image: © Georgios Filippos Paraschos (MPIfR); A detailed observation of the radio galaxy 3C 84 requires zooming in as much as possible. This is achieved by decreasing the observation wavelength (from left to right) and using a world-wide network of telescopes. The obtained radio images show the black hole jet at different spatial scales (denoted by the horizontal bar below each image), with the EHT image on the right exhibiting the most details.

UKSRC: New Monthly Webinar Series

UKSRC: New Monthly Webinar Series

The UK SKA Regional Centre (UKSRC) is launching a monthly webinar series. The talks will focus on topics related to UKSRC and SKAO including among other things demonstrator cases, SKA science topics, career pathways; relevant software; tools and data; SKAO Science Data Challenges and project updates.

The Webinar Series kickoff will take place on 7 March 2024, 12:00-12:50 UTC. The Joint Directors, Dr. Louise Chisholm and Prof. Rob Beswick will introduce UKSRC in their talk.

Find all information here.

LOFAR ERIC officially launched

LOFAR ERIC officially launched

LOFAR ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) has been officially launched at its first Council meeting in January 2024.

LOFAR ERIC is set up with a long-term perspective and will provide transparent access to a wide range of science research services for the European and global community.

LOFAR ERIC will facilitate access through its user-friendly publicly open archive for multiple use of its extensive science data products.

The establishment of LOFAR ERIC consolidates world-leading excellence for Europe in an important research field,” said Dr. René Vermeulen, founding director of LOFAR ERIC. “With its unrivalled distributed research infrastructure and its robust pan-European partnership, LOFAR ERIC enters the European Research Area as a powerhouse at the cutting edge of astronomy science and technology, with the potential to contribute to broader complex challenges.”

Read more.

COPOUS puts satellite constellations' impact on astronomy on the agenda

COPOUS puts satellite constellations' impact on astronomy on the agenda

The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) has agreed to include the item “Dark and Quiet Skies, astronomy and large constellations: addressing emerging issues and challenges” on its agenda for the next five years.

Read here the SKAO press release.



Report from EC to the European Parliament and the Council: Ex post evaluation of Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation published.

See the report here.

ERC Scientific Council: Statement on the next EU framework programme for research and innovation

Read the Statement by the ERC Scientific Council on the next EU framework programme for research and innovation (FP10), published on 24 January 2024, here.

REA information package on Gender Equality

The European Executive Research Agency (REA) has prepared an information package and series of Q&As below for how to apply or comply with Horizon Europe funding principles.

See it here.

Final report: Commission Expert Group to support the monitoring of EU missions

Read here the report presenting the results of the work of the Commission Expert Group (EG) to support the monitoring of EU Missions.



New ORP Multi-Facility call for proposals

New ORP Multi-Facility call for proposals

ORP is pleased to announce the launch of the new ORP Multi-Facility call for proposals.

This call for proposals invites astronomers from diverse fields to submit observation proposals using multiple observatories for the same scientific project. Assistance is available to support the submission of multi-wavelength proposals. This initiative aligns with ORP's commitment to advance collaborative and cutting-edge astronomical research. Key details:

• Participants have the chance to access more than eighteen individual facilities,expanding the scope of their research.

• There are no restrictions on the scientific areas that can be proposed, fostering a diverse range of research avenues.

• Observation programmes must involve a minimum of two ORP facilities, encouraging collaboration and maximising the potential for impactful discoveries.

• The call is applicable to both non-simultaneous (non-time-critical) and time-critical/sensitive observations (e.g. contemporary or with the requested cadence).

See more information here.

Deadline for submission: 9 April 2024; 14:00 UTC/15:00 BST/16:00 CEST

IRAM call is open for observing proposals for NOEMA interferometer and the 30-meter telescope

IRAM call is open for observing proposals for NOEMA interferometer and the 30-meter telescope

The call on the IRAM telescopes NOEMA interferometer and 30-meter telescope for the summer semester 2024 is open.

For both observatories, the scheduling period is 01.06.2024 to 30.11.2024. IRAM proposals should be submitted through the Proposal Management System (PMS). Access/funding offered through the ORP (Opticon RadioNet Pilot) project.

Submission deadline: March 14, 2024;  17:00 CET (UT + 1 hour)

100-m Effelsberg radio telescope: Open call for proposals

100-m Effelsberg radio telescope: Open call for proposals

The call for proposals of the 100-m radio telescope (Effelsberg/DE) of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is open.

Access/funding is offered through the ORP project.

Submission deadline: Deadline 30 May 2024 (15:00 UT)

Image: © N. Tacken (MPIfR)

European ALMA Regional Centre

The European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) provides the interface between the ALMA project and the European science community. The ARC is staffed by scientists with expertise in radio astronomy and interferometry and it supports its users throughout the lifetime of a project, from proposal preparation to data analysis. Users that want to visit an ARC node for a face-to-face visit can apply for funding through the ORP project. 

Westerbork Apertif Long Term Archive

ALTA offers to the world-wide astronomical community free virtual access to data and scientific products produced from all sky surveys of the Northern sky that will be conducted with the new Apertif frontend of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), as well as tools to query, further exploit and perform data mining of these products adaptable to diverse research goals. The access/funding offered through the ORP project.

LOFAR Long Term Archive

LTA is a long-established archive and access facility supporting the international LOFAR telescope. It is currently the largest radio astronomical archive in the world already exceeding 45 PB from LOFAR’s past 10 years of operations. The LTA provides a central and key resource for all observed LOFAR astronomical science programs where the data become public within 12 months of first creation. The access/funding is offered through the ORP project.



• SARAO – Senior Power Engineer – position – deadline 07.03.2024; Health & Safety Officer – position – deadline 08.03.2024; SKA Mid – Telescope Engineering Manager – position – deadline 10.03.2024

• SKAO – Operations Scientist – position – deadline 08.03.2024

• IRAM – Staff Astronomer Position for NOEMA – position – deadline 15.04.2024;Operations Scientist Position for NOEMA – position – deadline 30.04.2024; Postdoctoral Position – WIDENING – A NIKA2 ANR on Nearby Galaxies/IRAM Grenoble – position

• ESO – Electronics/Detector Systems Engineer – position – 16.03.2024; Enterprise Resource Planning Project Manager – position – deadline 17.03.2024; Head of the ALMA Regional Centre – position – deadline 30.03.2024; Internship: Science Presenter at ESO Supernova – position – deadline 31.12.2024; Internship: Science Communication – position  – deadline 31.12.2024

Check also EURAXESS



• IVS 2024 General Meeting – 04-09.3.2024 – Tsukuba/JP

• UKSRC Webinar Series - Kickoff talk: Dr. Louise Chisholm and Prof. Rob Beswick introducing UKSRC  – 07.03.2024 – virtual

• EU Research and Innovation Week 2024 – 18-21.03.2024  –  Brussels/BE & online

• European Research and Innovation Days – 20.-21.03.2024 – Brussels/BE & online

• Magnetic Fields from Clouds to Stars (Bfields-2024) – 25-29.03.2024 – Tokyo/JP

• 11th BCool meeting – 09-11.04.2024 – Dwingeloo/NL

• EGU24-G2.4 Global Geodetic Observing System: VLBI component merit – 14-19.04.2024 – Vienna/AT & virtual

• 7th LOFAR Data School – 15-19.04.2024 – Dwingeloo/NL

• The AtLAST Design Study: results, science, and next steps -– 21- 24.05. 2024 – Mainz/DE

• IAU Symposium 388: Solar & Stellar Coronal Mass Ejections – – Krakow/PL

• 1st Nordic Meeting on Neutrino and Radio Astronomy – 27-30.05. 2024 – Gothenburg/SE

• The promises and challenges of the alma wideband sensitivity upgrade – 24-28.06.2024 – Garching/DE

• CAP2024 – 24-28.06.2024 – Toulouse/FR & online

• EAS2024 – 01-05.07.2024 – Padova/IT

• XXXII IAU General Assembly 2024 – 06-15.08.2024 – Cape Town/ZA

• IAU Symposium on Gravitational Wave Astrophysics – 06-08.08.2024 - Cape Town/ZA

• IAU Focus Meeting: The future of radio astronomy in an increasingly crowded spectrum – 07-08.08.2024 – Cape Town/ZA

• IAU GA2024-Women in Astronomy Working Group session – 06-15.08.2024 – Cape Town/ZA

• European VLBI Network Symposium & Users Meeting – 02-06.09.2024 – Bonn/DE

• European ALMA school – 10-12.09.2024 – Manchester/UK

• ERIS 2024 – 30.09-04.10.2024 – Granada/ES

 See also the Calendar




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