European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 04/2024

Astronomers Unveil Strong Magnetic Fields Spiraling at the Edge of Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

Astronomers Unveil Strong Magnetic Fields Spiraling at the Edge of Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

A new image from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration has uncovered strong and organized magnetic fields spiraling from the edge of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). Seen in polarized light for the first time, this new view of the monster lurking at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy has revealed a magnetic field structure strikingly similar to that of the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy, suggesting that strong magnetic fields may be common to all black holes. This similarity also hints toward a hidden jet in Sgr A*.

Read here the press release of EHT.

Image: © EHT Collaboration

A wobbling magnetised star challenges the origin of repeating fast radio bursts

A wobbling magnetised star challenges the origin of repeating fast radio bursts

An international research team led by Gregory Desvignes from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn/DE has used the Effelsberg and Jodrell Bank radio telescopes to observe the precessing magnetar XTE J1810-197 — a highly magnetised and ultra-dense neutron star — shortly after its X-ray enhanced activity and radio reactivation. This precession damped on a timescale of a few months challenging some models used to explain the origin of the mysterious repeating fast radio bursts.

The rapid decay of a magnetar’s precession after an X-ray outburst likely rules out free precession as their origin.

The paper is published in Nature Astronomy (Desvignes, G., Weltevrede, P., Gao, Y. et al. A freely precessing magnetar following an X-ray outburst. Nat Astron (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-024-02226-7).

Image: © Gregory Desvignes / MPIfR; Artistic rendering of a precessing magnetar with a twisted magnetic field and its radio beam pointing towards Earth.

Opticon RadioNet Pilot new series: Science talk

Opticon RadioNet Pilot new series: Science talk

On 3 April 2024, ORP launched the first episode of the online series "ORP science talk".

This series allows scientists from the optical and radio spectrum, from ORP beyond) to present their work and scientific results.

In the first episode Zsofia Nagy talked about young stellar objects and  Cosimo Inserra about  supernovas. 

Rob Beswick from the University of Manchester and leader of the ORP joint activity “Seamless performance” gave a short introduction on the ORP Multi Facility call for proposals, which was open until 9 April 2024.

The videos of the event can be found here.

Next episode:  5 June, 11am CEST

e-MERLIN Data School 2024

e-MERLIN Data School 2024

e-MERLIN will be holding the second e-MERLIN Data School at the University of Manchester/UK from 13-15 May 2024. The purpose of this school is to show up to 10 participants how to reduce e-MERLIN data using the e-MERLIN CASA Pipeline.

The three-day school, co-sponserd by ORP,  will include calibration, imaging and self-calibration tutorials, with an opportunity to bring your own data (BYOD) to get expert help with your own e-MERLIN projects.

ORP School on Multi-messenger Astrophysics

ORP School on Multi-messenger Astrophysics

The ORP School on Multi-messenger Astrophysics will take place on 2-6 September 2024, hosted by the Durham University in the UK and co-sponsored by ORP.

This school is aimed at astronomy/physics students who want to learn more about astrophysical observations at other wavebands and messengers. It will cover all the electromagnetic radiation from high energy gamma-rays to radio, and also include neutrino and gravitational wave astrophysics. The school mainly addresses PhD students, but also MSc students and young postdocs are encouraged to apply.
More information on the school and the application form can be found here.

Deadline for applications: 14 June 2024.

12th IRAM millimeter interferometry school

12th IRAM millimeter interferometry school

The 12th IRAM millimeter interferometry school, co-sponsored by ORP, will be held in the week of November 18, 2024 at the IRAM headquarters (Grenoble, France). It is intended for students, post-docs and other scientists who want to acquire a good knowledge of interferometry and data processing techniques at millimeter wavelengths, with a special emphasis on the NOEMA interferometer and its new capabilities.

The maximum number of participants is limited to 50. Early June 2024, the final list of accepted participants will be determined. See all information here.

Deadline for pre-registration: 31 May 2024.

2024 NEON Observing School

2024 NEON Observing School

The 2024 NEON Observing School, mainly funded by ORP, will take place on 13-25 October 2024 in Athens/Greece, hosted by the National Observatory of Athens.

This school provides hands-on observing experience on professional telescopes. During it the students will, together with an experienced tutor, go through all the steps from planning the observations to reducing and analysing the obtained data.

NEON School is mainly meant for Ph.D students in astronomy who do not have prior observing experience with professional telescopes. MSc students in the late stages of their thesis work and young PostDocs can also be considered. The first half of the school comprises of lectures, and planning and carrying out observations. The lectures include, among other topics, modern telescopes, detectors and observing techniques. The second half of the school is dedicated to group work on reducing and analysing the obtained observations, with students presenting their results at the end of the school.

The local costs (accommodation in shared rooms and lunches) are covered by ORP, and some very limited travel support is also available. For more details see here the event page.

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2024

Image: © NOA and Daniél Lopez/IAC

YERAC 2024

YERAC 2024

YERAC 2024, the 53rd Young European Radio Astronomers Conference,  will be held on 3-6 September in Madrid/Spain.

It will be organized by the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN-IGN) and the Yebes Observatory (OY-IGN) and take place in the Real Observatorio de Madrid, including a visit to the Yebes Observatory.

The participation is open to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers (within 3-5 years of PhD). Depending on the demand, master students may also be considered to participate in the conference. Registration is open until 24 May 2024, and the candidates will be informed before the end of June 2024. Please note that the capacity for this event is limited to 40 participants.

Find all details here.





Open feedback opportunity for Horizon Europe work programme 2025

EC opened a survey and gives the opportunity to provide input for the development of the Horizon Europe ‘main’ work programme 2025.

Responses submitted through the survey will contribute to the co-design of the work programme 2025, covering all 6 clusters, research infrastructures, European innovation ecosystems, the 5 EU Missions and the New European Bauhaus facility.

This feedback opportunity is open for 3 weeks and closes on 6 May 2024 midday CEST.

ERA scoreboard 2023 published

This report provides the results of the 2023 edition of the ERA Scoreboard. The ERA Scoreboard is one of the components of the new ERA Monitoring Mechanism, covering 18 indicators, including two general indicators measuring progress in the European Research & Innovation (R&I) system and 16 specific indicators, one for each Pact for R&I priority.

Republic of Korea to join Horizon Europe programme

Korea will join the growing group of countries associated to Horizon Europe.

The signing of the Association Agreement is expected to take place in the second half of 2024, pending the completion of all necessary ratification procedures on both sides. This will enable Korea's participation in Horizon Europe as of 2025.



Open e-Merlin Call – Cycle 18

Open e-MERLIN Call – Cycle 18

The e-MERLIN call for proposals for Cycle 18 is now open. Read the call here. Please use the e-MERLIN proposal tool to submit your proposal. Access/funding is offered through the ORP project.

Submission deadline: 23 May 2024 (13:59:59 UT)

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: 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.



• MPIfR - Postdoctoral Positions in Star Formation and Galaxy Evolution – position – deadline 01.05.2024

• LOFAR ERIC - Executive Director – position – deadline 07.05.2024

• Nature Astronomy - Associate or Senior Editor – position – deadline 08.05.2024

• IRAM – Postdoctoral Position – WIDENING – A NIKA2 ANR on Nearby Galaxies/IRAM Grenoble – position; Postdoctoral Research Positions in Millimeter Astronomy for NOEMA/IRAM Grenoble – position – deadline 15.05.2024

• University of Göttingen - Postdoctoral Researcher in Astrophysics und Geophysics – position - deadline 15.05.2024

• DIAS - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Moon Magnetosphere Interaction and Machine Learning – position – deadline 17.05.2024; Postdoctoral Fellowship in the DIAS Planetary Magnetospheres Group – position – deadline 17.05.2024

• SKAO - Director of Programmes – position – 31.05.2024

• ESO – Technical Purchaser – position – 02.05.2024; System Astronomer – position – 14.06.2024; Internship: Science Presenter at ESO Supernova – position – deadline 31.12.2024; Internship: Science Communication – position – deadline 31.12.2024

Check also EURAXESS



• RICH Europe's first Symposium of Research Infrastructures 07.05.2024 – Madrid/ES

• e-MERLIN data school – 13-15.05.2024 – Manchester/UK

• 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

• European ALMA school – 10-14.06.2024 – Manchester/UK

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

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

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

• 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

• ORP school on Multi-messenger Astrophysics – 2-6 September 2024 – Durham/UK

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

• YERAC 2024 – 03-06.09.2024 – Madrid/ES

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

• ERIS 2024 – 30.09-04.10.2024 – Granada/ES

• 2024 NEON School  – 13-25.10.2024 – Athens/GR

• 12th IRAM millimeter interferometry school – 18-22.11.2024 – Grenoble/FR

 See also the Calendar




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