Newsletter Issue 1/2019

25th anniversary of the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC

25th anniversary of the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC

On December 21, 1993, the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) was created by the European Consortium for VLBI. Its deed as a foundation under Dutch law was signed by the directors of five European radio observatories, inspired by the vision of Richard Schilizzi, who became its first director. He recognised the potential of building a dedicated correlator for the European VLBI Network (EVN) in Dwingeloo, where JIVE is until then hosted by ASTRON. Read more.


Lifting the veil on the black hole at the heart of our Galaxy

Lifting the veil on the black hole at the heart of our Galaxy

ALMA and the Global mm-VLBI Array team up and provide first scientific results.

Including the powerful ALMA into an GMVA array for the first time, astronomers have found that the emission from the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of our Galaxy comes from a smaller region than previously thought. This may indicate that a radio jet from Sgr A* is pointed almost directly towards the Earth.  The GMVA is partially supported by RadioNet.

The work, performed by an international team is published in the Astrophysical Journal. Read more


Lectures from the Third LOFAR Data Processing School published

The Third LOFAR Data Processing School was hosted by ASTRON in Dwingeloo (NL) on November  17-21, 2014 and has received funding from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement No 283393 (RadioNet3). The aim of this school was to introduce the LOFAR system to users and new members of the collaboration who will analyse Cycle data. Members of the LOFAR project presented lectures, tutorials and hands-on sessions.

The lecture material has been published by the Springer in the volume 426 'Low Frequency Astronomy and the LOFAR observatory' under the DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-23434-2 (download).

© Image: Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

Launch of European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures

The EC will launch in 2019 five Cluster projects in the frame of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative, among them the ESCAPE - The European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures. ESCAPE builds on the successes of the earlier EU-funded cluster project ASTERICS, and will address the EOSC ambition to bring together people, data, services, training, publications, projects & organisations in an integrated and federated environment.

The project is led by the IN2P3, the national institute of nuclear and particle physics within CNRS, the French public research organisation, with a consortium of 31 partners, among them ASTRON, ESO, and JIV-ERIC. For more details read the press release.


The school Observational Astrophysics: from proposals to publication will take place  on June 17- 27, 2019 at the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Stará Lesná, Slovak Republic. This school is jointly organised by OPTICON and the ERASMUS+ programme 'Per aspera ad astra simul'.

This school is mainly meant for PhD students in astronomy, but also MSc students in the later stages of their studies and young postdocs can be considered. The school consists of two parts: hands-on project using archival data, and observing time proposal evaluation. In the first part, the students will learn about the basics of data reduction and will work on archival data - reducing and analyzing them with help of an experienced tutor. During the second part, the students will learn about proposal writing and will participate in a 'Telescope Time Allocation Committee meeting', where they will evaluate real observing time proposals. Additionally, the school also includes sessions on writing articles and careers in astronomy. The deadline for applications is on March 31, 2019.



Participation and synergies, a ‘policy imperative’ for H2020 and ESIF

The recently published report looks at ways to widen participation in, and strengthen synergies between, the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation (H2020) and European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) – both being key financial instruments for research and innovation (R&I) in the EU. Horizon 2020 is a source of competitive funding that promotes ‘excellence’ and ‘collaboration’ in research, while ESIF leans towards funding ‘cohesion’ by helping countries and regions upgrade their R&I capabilities.

The report involved 12 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain and Turkey) in identifying lessons learnt and strategies to boost national innovation systems and R&I performance. The report identifies key targeted national measures to help Member States participate more and better in the Framework Programmes.

EU 2019

The first half of 2019 will be an important period for the future of the EU. The Union will define strategic priorities in a politically complex environment. The European Council will continue and conclude its discussions on the future of Europe for 2019 to 2024. Parallel the discussions around the overall EU budget for 2021-2027 will advance. This will all happen in a politically complex environment, with Brexit being effective as of 30 March, elections for the European Parliament (EP) on May 23-26, and a new College of Commissioners in place as of November 2019. The European Commission (EC) will probably announce in June 2019 a new EC President. The negotiations between EC, EP and Council to reach a final deal on Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme hopefully will be concluded. Here some information on how the EU might act during the first half of 2019 during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.



RadioNet's Transnational Access programme ensures free of charge access to the best European radio astronomical research infrastructures. This opportunity is open to all European researchers and to some extent to researchers from non-EU countries. More


European VLBI Network
Call for Proposals

Observing proposals are invited for the European VLBI Network (EVN). The EVN is a very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) network of radio telescopes located primarily in Europe and Asia, with additional antennas in South Africa and Puerto Rico, operated by an international consortium of institutes. It provides very high angular resolution and high sensitivity images in the radio domain, to probe (sub-)milliarcseconds angular scales. EVN observations may be conducted with disk recording (standard) or in real-time (e-VLBI).

Standard EVN observations are available on wavelengths of 92, 18/21, 13, 6, 5, 3.6, 1.3 and 0.7 cm, with a subset of antennas offering a wider range. e-VLBI observes at 18/21, 6, 5, and 1.3 cm.

The EVN facility is open to all astronomers. Particularly astronomers with limited or no VLBI experience are encouraged to apply for observing time. EVN User Support on proposal preparation, scheduling, correlation, data reduction and analysis can be requested also in the frame of the Transnational Access programme at the Joint institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE). More details here.

The submission deadline is 23:59:59 UTC February 1, 2019.

CALL FOR 100-m radio telescope Effelsberg PROPOSALS

The 100-m radio telescope of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and the data reduction facilities are available to all qualified scientists. The present policy allows the allocation of up to 40% of available observing time to external astronomers.

Astronomers, who are based in the EU and the Associated States, but are not affiliated to a German institute, may also receive additional support from the Transnational Access Program of RadioNet. Additionally to the access, this will entail reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses for one of the proposal team members to visit the telescope for the observations. Find here the Call for Proposals.

Deadline for Proposals - February 4, 2019, 15 UT

Image © N. Tacken (MPIfR)



- OSO — Staff Scientist at Onsala Space Observatory

- ASTRON/JIV-ERIC — Traineeships in science operations with massive arrays

- ESOALMA Regional Centre Astronomer

Check also EURAXESS



supported by RadioNet

• Planet-forming disks in the ALMA and SPHERE Era on March 4, 2019

• Multi-messenger astronomy with SKA precursors and pathfinders, a capacity building workshop on May 13, 2019

• Zooming in on star formation on June 10, 2019

• Astrochemistry: From Micrometers to Megaparsecs on June 24, 2019

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