European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 2/2021

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Successfully Landed on Red Planet

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Successfully Landed on Red Planet

After a seven-month-long journey, on Feb. 18, 2021 NASA’s Perseverance Rover successfully landed on the red Planet. NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft blazed through the Martian atmosphere and touched surface of the Red Planet, in the area of the Jezero crater.

On the picture you see the first image NASA’s Perseverance rover sent back after touching down on Mars.

You can watch it here. For more information read here.

Image © NASA/JPL-Caltech 

SKAO Is Born – Launch Of International Observatory Signals New Era For Radio Astronomy

SKAO Is Born

The SKA Observatory, a new intergovernmental organization dedicated to radio astronomy, was launched on February 4, 2021 following the first meeting of the Observatory’s Council.

The new Observatory, known as SKAO, is the world’s second intergovernmental organization to be dedicated to astronomy. Headquartered in the UK on the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with sites in Australia and South Africa, SKAO is tasked with building and operating the two largest and most complex radio telescope networks ever conceived to address fundamental questions about our universe. Read more.


SKAO Publishes Construction Proposal And Delivery Plan For The SKA Telescopes

Following the first meeting of its Council, SKAO has published its Construction Proposal for the SKA telescopes as well as its Observatory Establishment and Delivery Plan. 

The two documents and their executive summary bring together the major outputs from several hundreds of documents that have been produced during the years of detailed planning for the SKA. 

The SKA Observatory will be one of the mega-science facilities of the 21st Century and will provide capabilities across the radio spectrum that will allow scientists to transform our understanding of the Universe.

White paper on “The Future of the Arecibo Observatory: The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope”

The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope

The Arecibo Observatory staff, together with members of the scientific community, prepared the white paper “The Future of the Arecibo Observatory: The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope”. This paper presents a proposal to replace the legacy 305-m Arecibo telescope with a new, unparalleled instrument that will push forward the boundaries of the Planetary Science, Space and Atmospheric Sciences, and Astronomy for decades to come. The white paper will be presented to the National Science Foundation and will be shared with key stakeholders. Find full information and the white paper here.

The community support of this white paper is a crucial factor:

• For organization ==> email a letter to pedrina.santos@ucf.edu

• For individuals ==> click here.

INAF: New series of online seminars - "Laura Bassi" Colloquium Series

Laura Bassi Colloquium Series

INAF announced a new series of online seminars, the "Laura Bassi" Colloquium Series. Laura Bassi, “woman of extraordinary intelligence”, was the first female University professor in the western world, teaching physics at University of Bologna in the XVIII century, a time when women could not pursue higher education nor learned professions, and universities and academies were reserved to men. This series is intended to Bassi’s legacy by showcasing and promoting the research work of talented young women astronomers.

The colloquium will be held on every second Thursday of each month and will be available via zoom connection and live streamed on Youtube channel. You can find all information on the series here.

Image © INAF

The EVN: New seminar from the series “The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide”

EVN seminar “The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide”

The European VLBI Network (EVN) on February 5, 2021 held a new seminar from the series of online seminars The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide.

Sandra Etoka (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics/University of Manchester) gave a talk about Distance of optically-obscured evolved stars. The talk was followed by a Q&A and discussion session. Full information about the webinars, which will be run using Zoom, can be found here.


MPIfR - Series RadioViews: Dr. Jae-Young Kim on the quasar 3C 279

MPIfR - Series RadioViews: Dr. Jae-Young Kim on the quasar 3C 279

RadioViews is a series of videos where fellow researchers present their results in compact form. See here the episode, where Dr. Jae-Young Kim explains his awesome work on the quasar 3C 279. 

Dr. Jae-Young Kim is a former post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and at present staff scientist at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). He studies the formation and the phenomenology of relativistic jets ejected from supermassive black holes using state-of-art observational techniques, as VLBI observations with the Event Horizon Telescope.

CAP 2021 on 24–27 May 2021 as virtual event

CAP 2021 on May 24–27

On May 24-27, 2021 the Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP2021) will take place as a virtual event. The central theme will be communicating astronomy with the public in the age of global crises. Thanks to the support from the Kavli Foundation registration will be free to all attendees.

The Scientific Organising Committee has invited some prominent science communicators and communication researchers. Additionally the SOC invites proposals for oral presentations, e-posters, workshops, and panel discussions on conference topics.

The submission deadline is March 15, 2021.  Find more information here.

Image © INAF/IAU Commission C2

EAS 2021: Symposium SS5 - Data-intensive radio astronomy: bringing astrophysics to the exabyte era

EAS2021/SS5: Data-intensive radio astronomy: bringing astrophysics to the exabyte era

The special session SS5 Data-intensive radio astronomy: bringing astrophysics to the exabyte era of the European Astronomical Society virtual meeting EAS 2021 will be held on June 28, 2021. The SS5 session will cover the challenges and current state faced by radio astronomy in handling large data volumes, and technical solutions and applications within and outside astronomy. The main aim is to bring together different communities to discuss current tools and ideas for the future development of data management. This meeting will enhance knowledge-bank through various different approaches to tackle the challenges that current and future (SKA) radio telescopes are facing. Read more.

EAS2021/SS11: Extreme astrophysics at extremely high resolution on June 29, 2021

EAS2021/SS11: Extreme astrophysics at extremely high resolution 

The Special Session SS11 Extreme astrophysics at extremely high resolution on the European Astronomical Society virtual meeting EAS 2021 will be held on June 29, 2021. The SS11 session focusses on highlighting the latest scientific results of high-resolution radio instruments, such as the European VLBI Network (EVN) and similar arrays, with particular focus on the synergies with high resolution and high energy phenomena across the electromagnetic spectrum. 

A platform for early career and minority researchers would be very welcome and participants who identify as such are encouraged to apply for a contributed talk. Poster submissions are accepted for this session, it is intended to allocate poster pitch presentations of one minute. 

Submission deadline is March 2, 2021. Read more.

Image © O.S.  Salafia & G. Ghirlanda

European Research and Innovation Days 2021 on June 23 and 24 – online event

European Research and Innovation Days 2021 announced

European Research and Innovation Days will take place online on June 23 and 24, 2021. It is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event, bringing together policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate and shape the future of Research and Innovation in Europe and beyond.

This year marks the start of Horizon Europe, the most ambitious EU Research and Innovation Programme ever and will be a decisive moment to strengthen the European Research Area.

For more details see the event page.

Mentoring network for women in the natural sciences: Possibility of becoming a Elisabeth Schiemann fellow

Possibility of becoming a Elisabeth Schiemann fellow

Within the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg, scientific members of the Max Planck Society foster the careers of excellent female scientists after their postdoc phase. The Schiemann Kolleg supports activities, which help its fellows successfully establish themselves in the scientific community. Additionally, the Kolleg offers a platform for trans disciplinary scientific exchange.

Recommendations for new members of the Kolleg are now possible until March 31, 2021 More details here.



Launch of Horizon Europe, February 2, 2021 – virtual event

On February 2, 2021 the launch of Horizon Europe, the EU’s most ambitious Research and Innovation (R&I) framework programme ever and the largest transnational programme of its kind worldwide has taken place in Lisbon/PT. It was organized as online event by the Portuguese EU Council Presidency, together with the European Commission.

The event brought together speakers from all over Europe and included interventions by researchers, business leaders and political and governmental officials. Read her the speech by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. More here.


H2020: EC opened a publishing venue for rapid & transparent publishing 

Find here the EC publishing platform for open peer review for research stemming from Horizon 2020 funding across all subject areas – for H2020 beneficiaries at no cost to them.

You can follow also on Twitter: @OpenResearch_EU



The Westerbork Apertif Long Term Archive (ALTA) is a brand new facility offering 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.



• ALMA: Technical Lead – Control Specialist position

• JIV-ERIC: Support Scientist, Near-Field VLBI Support Scientist, Science Communication Officer -positions - Deadline March 1, 2021

• ESO: IT Specialist position - Deadline February 28, 2021

• ILT/LOFAR: Policy Officer International LOFAR Telescope/ERIC position - Deadline March 8, 2021

• Observatoire de Paris: Research Engineer in Scientific Computing position

Check also EURAXESS



• AfAS 2021: Conference of the African Astronomical Society - March 8-12, 2021 -  virtual

• 2021 SMA interferometry school - March 14-19, 2021 – virtual

• A Precursor View of the SKA Sky - March 15-19, 2021 – virtual

• 6th LOFAR DATA Processing school - March 22-26, 2021 – virtual

• GBT@20 – The Celebration - April 21, 2021 - virtual

• 6th Workshop on CSS and GPS Sources - May 10-14, 2021 – virtual

• CAP2021 - May 24-27, 2021 - virtual

• ICRI 2021 - June 1-3, 2021 - virtual

• European Research and Innovation Days -  June 23 and 24, 2021 – online event

• EAS2021 - June 28 – July 2, 2021 – virtual

• 3rd ESO Summer Research Programme - July 5 – August 13, 2021 – Garching/DE

• 15th EVN Symposium and User´s meeting on July 12-16, 2021, virtual/Cork/IR

• The URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (GASS) - August 28 – September 4, 2021, Rome/virtual

See also the Calender




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