European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 4/2022

Hubble Spots Farthest Star Ever Seen

Hubble Spots Farthest Star Ever Seen

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope detected the light of a star that existed within the first billion years after the universe’s birth in the big bang – the farthest individual star ever seen to date. The newly detected star is so far away that its light has taken 12.9 billion years to reach Earth, appearing to us as it did when the universe was only 7 percent of its current age, at redshift 6.2. The smallest objects previously seen at such a great distance are clusters of stars, embedded inside early galaxies. Read here the NASA article of March 30, 2022.

Image: This detailed view highlights the star Earendel's position along a ripple in space-time (dotted line) that magnifies it and makes it possible for the star to be detected over such a great distance—nearly 13 billion light-years. Also indicated is a cluster of stars that is mirrored on either side of the line of magnification. The distortion and magnification are created by the mass of a huge galaxy cluster located in between Hubble and Earendel. The mass of the galaxy cluster is so great that it warps the fabric of space, and looking through that space is like looking through a magnifying glass—along the edge of the glass or lens, the appearance of things on the other side are warped as well as magnified. Credits: Science: NASA, ESA, Brian Welch (JHU), Dan Coe (STScI); Image processing: NASA, ESA, Alyssa Pagan (STScI).

ESO: surprising changes in Neptune's temperatures

ESO: surprising changes in Neptune's temperatures

An international team of astronomers have used ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT), to track Neptune’s atmospheric temperatures over a 17-year period. They found a surprising drop in Neptune’s global temperatures followed by a dramatic warming at its south pole. This research was presented in the paper Sub-Seasonal Variation in Neptune’s Mid-Infrared Emission published on April 11, 2022 in The Planetary Science Journal (doi:10.3847/PSJ/ac5aa4).

Read the full ESO press release “ESO telescope captures surprising changes in Neptune's temperatures” here.

Image: © ESO/M. Roman, NAOJ/Subaru/COMICS; This composite shows thermal images of Neptune taken between 2006 and 2020. The first three images (2006, 2009, 2018) were taken with the VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope while the 2020 image was captured by the COMICS instrument on the Subaru Telescope (VISIR wasn’t in operation in mid-late 2020 because of the pandemic). After the planet’s gradual cooling, the south pole appears to have become dramatically warmer in the past few years, as shown by a bright spot at the bottom of Neptune in the images from 2018 and 2020.

Dr. Stéphane Basa appointed as new Coordinator of ORP

Dr. Stéphane Basa appointed as new coordinator of ORP

Dr. Stéphane Basa has been appointed with immediate effect as the new coordinator of the OPTICON-RadioNet Pilot (ORP).

Dr. Basa is currently Research Director at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM/AMU/CNRS/CNES) and CoPI of the SVOM space mission. This change of coordinator follows the appointment of the former coordinator Jean-Gabriel Cuby as Executive Director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).

The ORP is one of the European Commission's transnational access 'pilot' programs under EC H2020, launched in March 2021.

Read the ORP press release here.

EVN archive officially part of the VO

EVN archive officially part of the VO

JIV-ERIC is now running its own Virtual Observatory (VO) service that provides access to all the public data in the European VLBI Network (EVN) archive hosted by JIVE.

This VO service provides a searchable catalog of all EVN observations that were correlated at JIVE and a few correlated at the other EVN correlator at Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn. Access the service here and find here full information.

Image: © Mark Kettenis (JIVE)

First online EVN Users' Training Event

First online EVN Users' Training Event

On May 11, 2022, JIVE organises the first online EVN Users' Training Event with the aim to support first-time users of the network. EVN Support Scientists will guide participants through the different steps to allow them to prepare and submit an observing proposal as well as the scheduling of observations. Participation on the webinar is free for everyone but registration is mandatory.

Read here the entire JIV-Eric article.

Image: © 2022 JIVE

EVN series of online seminars: The sharpest view of the radio Universe

EVN series of online seminars: The sharpest view of the radio Universe

Mar Mezcua (Institute of Space Sciences / ICE-CSIC) will give the next talk of the online seminars of the  European VLBI Network (EVN) “The sharpest view of the radio Universe: VLBI – Connecting Astronomers Worldwide.

On May 5, 2022, 10:00 CEST M. Mezcua will talk about Intermediate-mass black holes in the era of radio astronomy and show how radio interferometric observations have been key to identify and characterize actively accreting IMBHs in the local Universe and out to z ~ 3.

Join via Zoom following this link at the time of the event (Meeting ID: 885 4531 2932)

Or join via YouTube in the streaming from the JIVE/EVN channel 

Image: © 2018 The European VLBI Network

Jodrell Bank: Opening of the First Light Pavilion

Jodrell Bank: Opening of the First Light Pavilion

The First Light Pavilion at Jodrell Bank will be open to visitors from June 4, 2022. Inside the new Pavilion, visitors will be able to engage with the site’s rich heritage in a brand new permanent exhibition. Exhibition audiences will be able to see a range of fascinating archive materials brought together for the first time, including audio, film, diaries, letters, plans, notebooks and photographs. Visitors will also be able to experience vivid planetarium-style shows in a custom-built auditorium, complete with a curved projection screen and an impressive nine digital projectors.

Read more here.

SKAO Signs Hosting Agreements With Australia And South Africa

SKAO news

France is to join the SKAO as a full member. The milestone is in sight after the French government signed an accession agreement with the Observatory on Monday April 11, 2022. 

The latest issue of the SKAO magazine is out, with a look at the progress of construction activities and recent exciting results from SKA Pathfinder and Precursor telescopes around the globe.



ERC Advanced Grants: 253 top researchers awarded

The European Research Council announced the winners of its 2021 Advanced Grants competition. The funding, worth in total €624.6 million, will go to 253 leading researchers across Europe.

Read the EC press release here.

EC Q&A document on the UK´s participation in Horizon Europe

See here the Q&A document on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe published by the European Commission.


The European Union, its Member States and Europeans across the continent are mobilised in support of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. The ERA4Ukraine initiative aims to support researchers of Ukraine by providing them with an overview of all existing actions at European and national levels.

The Commission and EU Member States work together at all levels to channel humanitarian and civil protection support to Ukraine and neighboring countries. An overview of the most useful information can be found here. All information is available in Ukrainian.



e-MERLIN Call open for Cycle 13

e-MERLIN Call open for Cycle 14

The e-Merlin call for proposals for Cycle 14 is now open. Details specific to Cycle 14 are available in the Cycle 14 proposal call PDF.  Use the e-MERLIN proposal tool to submit your proposal.

Access/funding is offered through the ORP (Opticon RadioNet Pilot) project.

Submission deadline: May 18, 2022 13:59:59 UT.

The 100-m radio telescope of the MPIfR: Call for Proposals open

The 100-m radio telescope of the MPIfR: Call for Proposals open

Access to the 100-m radio telescope of the MPIfR, one of the World’s largest fully steerable instrument is open to all qualified astronomers. Use of the instrument by scientists from outside the MPIfR is strongly encouraged. The institute can provide support and advice on project preparation, observation, and data analysis. Access/funding is offered through the ORP (Opticon RadioNet Pilot) project. See the full call information here.

Deadline: June 1, 2022 (15:00 UT)

European VLBI Network: Call for Proposals open

European VLBI Network: Call for Proposals open

The call for proposals for the European VLBI Network (EVN) is open. EVN access and travel support is possible through the OPTICON RadioNet Pilot project (ORP). All regular proposals should be submitted through the Northstar submission tool.

Deadline: June 1, 2022 (16:00 UTC)

APEX: Open Call for Proposals

APEX: Open Call for Proposals

Proposals are invited for observations with the APEX telescope. Observations on Swedish time on APEX are supported by the ORP Transnational Access programme. Find more information about the call for proposals here.

Deadline: Friday 13 May 2022 (23:59:59 UTC)

SARAO: MeerKAT 2022 Call for Proposals

SARAO: MeerKAT 2022 Call for Proposals

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) invites users to apply for observing time on MeerKAT. More details here.

Deadline: May 3, 2022, 14:00 SAST (12:00 UTC)

Image:  © South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

EAVN call open

EAVN call open

Call for Proposals for the East Asian VLBI Network for the 2022B semester is open.

Proposals should be submitted via the EAVN website.

Deadline: June 1, 2022

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. 

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. The access/funding offered through the ORP project.



• FORTH – Soon 2 postdoctoral and 2 PhD student positions funded by the ERC – position & info – 01.05.2022

• SARAO – Software Engineer X 3 – Supervisor – position – deadline 03.05.2020,  Facilities Management – position – deadline 05.05.2022

• SKAO - Network Architect – position - deadline 13.05.2022, Data Processing Software Engineer – position deadline 23.05.2022, Head of International Relations – position -   deadline 06.05.2022

• University of California/L.A. - Assistant Adjunct Professor Positions in Physics & Astronomy – position – deadline 11.05.2022

• ESO - Detector Systems Electronics Engineer – position – deadline 01.05.2022, ESO Studentship Programme Chile 2022/2023 – position – deadline 31.05.2022

• University of British Columbia – Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy - position

• University Oslo - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in extragalactic astrophysics – position

• University of Bern - Post-Doctoral Research Assistant/Space Research and Planetology- position

• Vanderbilt University - Assistant Professor in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics – position

Check also EURAXESS



• 18th Synthesis Imaging Workshop -  May 18-25, 2022 - virtual

• Living planet symposium – May 23-27, 2022, Bonn/DE

• 240th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, June 12-16, 2022, Pasadena/US

• LOFAR Family Meeting 2022 - June 13-17, 2022, Cologne/DE

• EAS Annual Meeting 2022 - June 27 - July 1, 2022 - Valencia/ES

• The National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2022 - July 11-15, 2022 - Warwick/UK

• 2022 EVN Symposium - July 11-15, 2022 - Cork/IE

• ESOF2022 – July 13-16, 2022 – Leiden/NL

• COSPAR 2022 – July 16-24, 2022 – Athens/GR

• PARI2022 – July 18-20, 2022 – hybrid (Manchester, UK or online)

• XXXI IAU General Assembly - August 2-11, 2022 - Busan/KR & virtual (hybrid)

• ERIS2022 - September 19-23, 2022 - Dwingeloo/NL

• ICRI2022 - October 19-21, 2022 - Brno, CZ

• ADASS XXXII - October 31- November 4, 2022 - Victoria/CA

• IAU Symposium 365: Dynamics of Solar and Stellar Convection Zones and Atmospheres - August 21-25, 2023 - Moscow/RU

 See also the Calendar




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