Issue 6/2018

Surprise discovery provides new insights into stellar deaths

Surprise discovery provides new insights into stellar death

Astronomers working on a project to detect supernovas, made a surprise discovery when they found that one supernova explosion was actually a star being pulled apart by a supermassive black hole.

This rare stellar death, known as a tidal disruption event, or TDE, occurs when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole rips apart a star that has wandered too close to the massive monster. Theorists have suggested that material pulled from the doomed star forms a rotating disk around the black hole, emitting intense X-rays and visible light, and launches jets of material outward from the poles of the disk close to the speed of light.

“Never before have we been able to directly observe the formation and evolution of a jet from one of these events,” said Miguel Perez-Torres, of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalucia in Granada, Spain. Read more.

Image © Seppo Mattilla, Miguel Perez-Torres et al. 2018 Science

Cosmic Rays: the salt of the star formation recipe, Florence 2-4 May, 2018

Cosmic Rays: the salt of the star formation recipe, Florence May 2-4, 2018

Cosmic rays are a key ingredient in many fields of Astrophysics and in particular in Star Formation, but despite their great relevance our understanding is still relatively incomplete.

The discussion arising from this workshop will settle the ground for a more efficient exploitation of the current facilities (RadioNet facilities as NOEMA, IRAM 30m, APEX, Effelsberg, LOFAR, and EVN).

Image © Petar Milošević, Marco Padovani and Víctor M. Rivilla

IAU Symposium 342: Perseus in Sicily

IAU Symposium 342: Perseus in Sicily

The IAU Symposium 342: Perseus in Sicily in Noto, Italy hosted for one week (May 13 -18, 2018) multi-wavelength observers and theoreticians.

The science topics involved are the ideal subjects of studies with RadioNet facilities such as LOFAR, e-MERLIN, and the high frequency VLBI arrays to which APEX and the IRAM facilities participate (GMVA, EHT). Being a large and multi-wavelength meeting in nature, this event ensured the interplay of the traditional RadioNet community with a large pool of scientists with different backgrounds. In terms of advertisement for RadioNet and its facilities, and of fostering opportunity to create added value through synergetic multi-wavelength studies, the relevance of this meeting in the spirit of the RadioNet goals cannot be overstated.

Image © Perseus in Sicily: from black hole to cluster outskirts

RadioNet supports "The Power of Faraday Tomography — towards 3D mapping of cosmic magnetic fields"

The Power of Faraday Tomography — towards 3D mapping of cosmic magnetic fields

The workshop “The Power of Faraday Tomography — towards 3D mapping of cosmic magnetic fields” brought together experts of Faraday Tomography with experts in observational, numerical and theoretical cosmic magnetism studies.

A main goal of this conference was dissemination of knowledge regarding Faraday Tomography and the use of low-frequency radiopolarimetry in general, and training of the next generation of radio astronomers. This conference helped in building and broadening the LOFAR user base.

Image © 2017 SKA-JP

CASA tutorial at 2018 EVN Symposium

With the imminent release of CASA 5.3 the first experimental VLBI tools will be included in the package (see the latest CASA Newsletter for more details). With support from IAA-CSIC, JIVE is organising an afternoon tutorial to introduce these new tools to the EVN community, which will take place at the end of the EVN symposium in Granada, Spain - on October 11, 2018, 15:30 – 18:30.

The first part of the tutorial consists of a lecture to demonstrate how to calibrate an EVN Network Monitoring Experiment in CASA, starting from the data stored in the EVN archive. The second part allows participants to try this for themselves, or attempt to calibrate a small dataset of their own. A few scans on a bright source are sufficient, given the available time. Experience with CASA is not necessary, for non-experienced CASA users it is recommended to work through one of the JVLA CASA tutorials prior to attending the workshop. Interested participants are requested to sign up beforehand.


Towards the SKA

A critical step towards the establishment of the SKA as an intergovernmental organisation has been achieved. On May 25, 2018 – the negotiations to agree the international treaty establishing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory have formally concluded. The funding members of the new intergovernmental organisation are expected to sign the treaty later this year.

Breaking News: The number of members of the SKA Organisation has grown into 11 – the Board of the SKA Organisation has just approved the application of the Spanish Government.

Image © SKA Organisation



Horizon Europe – proposal for the next EU Research & Innovation programme

On June 7, 2018, the EC published its proposal for the 9th EU framework program for Research & Innovation scheduled for 2021-2027. The programme, called Horizon Europe, is an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme. The EC proposal is the basis for the now following negotiation process. The EC proposes a three-pillar structure; each pillar would be connected to the others and complemented with supporting activities.

The pillars would be called „Open Science“, „Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness“ and „Open Innovation“. Lastly, there would be space for strengthening the European Research area.

Together with the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie-actions and the European Research Council, the research infrastructures would build the first pillar „Open Science“. The budget for this pillar would be 25,8 billion Euro, of which 2,4 billion would be allocated at the Research infrastructures. This would mean, the budget for the research infrastructures has remained constant. More.


Social media guide for EU funded R&I projects published

The EC has issued a guideline for the use of social media for projects funded under Horizon 2020.

The guideline offers information and advice on how to develop a social media concept, including which regulations have to be observed. The guideline supports for the project consortia with their dissemination and communication activities. More


EC published Open Science monitor

The Open Science Monitor will provide data and insight to understand the development of Open Science in Europe and it will gather the most relevant and timely indicators on the development of Open Science in Europe and other global partner countries.

The Open Science Monitor will also support European Commission initiatives such as the Open Science Policy Platform and the Open Science Cloud.



• ASTRON — Junior Telescope Scientist

• CHALMERS — Basic science tenure track assistant professor positions

• ESO — Astronomer / Instrument Project Scientist

• INAF — Postdoc position to join the gamma-ray/VLBI group

• IRAM — Senior Staff Astronomer at the IRAM 30-meter telescope

• IRAM — Postdoctoral Research Position in Millimeter Astronomy for NOEMA

• Universite de Bordeaux — Post-doctoral position in the area of geodetic and astrometric VLBI info

• check also EURAXESS



supported by RadioNet

• YERAC 2018 on September 4, 2018

• MKSP meeting 2018 on September 10, 2018

• CESRA 2018 on September 10, 2018

• 5th LOFAR School on September 17, 2018

Links to these and to other related events are in our Calendar.



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RadioNet has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730562, and contribution from the partner organisations