European Radio Astronomy Consortium

Newsletter Issue 11/2022

Webb Reveals an Exoplanet Atmosphere as Never Seen Before

Webb Reveals an Exoplanet Atmosphere as Never Seen Before

The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope just scored another first: a molecular and chemical portrait of a distant world’s skies. While Webb and other space telescopes, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have previously revealed isolated ingredients of this heated planet’s atmosphere, the new readings provide a full menu of atoms, molecules, and even signs of active chemistry and clouds. The latest data also give a hint of how these clouds might look up close: broken up rather than as a single, uniform blanket over the planet.

Read the ESA press release here.


Image: © NASA, ESA, CSA, J. Olmsted (STScI); Description: Image Description: This image shows an artist's impression of the planet WASP-39 b and its star. The planet has a fuzzy orange-blue atmosphere with hints of longitudinal cloud bands below. The left quarter of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star is bright yellowish-white, with no clear features.

To the Heart of 3C 273: International Team Observes Innermost Structure of a Quasar Jet

To the Heart of 3C 273: International Team Observes Innermost Structure of a Quasar Jet

An international group of scientists including astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and ALMA present new observations of the first quasar ever identified.  Its name is 3C273 and it is located at a distance of approx. 1.9 Billion light years  in the Virgo constellation. The new high-resolution radio images trace the jet down to the jet formation region and show how the width of the jet varies with distance from the central black hole.
The results are published in the current issue of the Astrophysical Journal with the titel Collimation of the Relativistic Jet in the Quasar 3C 273.

Image: © Hiroki Okino and Kazunori Akiyama; GMVA+ALMA and HSA images: Okino et al.; HST Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA. The views of the 3C 273 jet from the deepest to farthest ends. The left image shows the deepest look yet into the plasma jet of the quasar 3C 273, which will allow scientists to further study how quasar jets are collimated, or narrowed. The powerful, collimated jet extends for hundreds of thousands of light-years beyond the host galaxy, as seen in the right panel optical image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists use radio images at different scales to measure the shape of the entire jet. The radio interferometer arrays used are the Global Millimeter VLBI Array (GMVA) joined by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the High Sensitivity Array (HSA). 

IAU symposium 378: Black hole winds at all scales, Haifa/IL, March 12-16, 2023

IAU symposium 378: Black hole winds at all scales, Haifa/IL, March 12-16, 2023

On March 12-16, 2023 the IAU symposium 378: Black hole winds at all scales will take place in Haifa/IL. The goal of this IAU symposium is to better understand black hole winds by seeking common physical grounds for different outflows, in both stellar/X-ray binaries and AGN/active galactic black holes, in all wavelengths, and in the context of competing theoretical models. Read more here.

Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech

ALMA Services Affected by Cyberattack

ALMA Update on the Recovery from Cyberattack 

On October 29, 2022, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suffered a cyberattack on its computer systems, forcing the suspension of astronomical observations and the public website. This event is under investigation by local authorities.

The Computing team quickly isolated the Antennas and Correlator systems and the Science Archive data systems. However, communication and other operational clusters were affected, forcing ALMA to stop all observations.

Since then, email communication has been restored safely, along with new collaboration tools that enable the staff to continue their regular work.

The Crisis Management Team has developed a full-recovery plan in consultation with cyber security officers from ESO/NAOJ/NRAO. Our highest priority is to work hard to resume observations before the end of the year.

Further updates will be posted on the Science Portal when new information becomes available regarding return of services and operations.
If you have any questions, or have comments or concerns, please contact your local ALMA Regional Center via the ALMA Helpdesk at https://help.almascience.org/.




Horizon Europe info day – Infrastructures

The EC info day on the Research Infrastructures Work Programme will take place on December 6, 2022. It will focus on the 2023 calls of the Work programme 2023-2024, for its main destinations. More here.

European Research Council awards €636m in grants to emerging science talent across Europe

Four hundred eight researchers have won this year’s European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. The funding is worth in total €636 million and is part of the Horizon Europe programme.

The grants will be invested in scientific projects spanning all disciplines of research from engineering to life sciences to humanities.

The laureates of this grant competition proposed to carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 26 countries across Europe. The call attracted nearly 3,000 proposals, which were reviewed by panels of renowned researchers from around the world. The grants will create more than 2,000 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff at the host institutions. See more statistics here.

Read here the ERC press release from November 22, 2022.

Guideline on lump sums grants published

The EC published on October 15, 2022 the document How to manage your lump sum grants.

EC signed the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and endorsed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

On November 8, 2022, the  EC signed the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, which sets a common direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers and research organisations, with the goal to maximise the quality and impact of research. That day also marked the EC´s endorsement of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which sets recommendations to improve the evaluation of researchers and the outputs of scholarly research. Read more here.

DRAFT Horizon Europe WP 2023-2024 - Part 7. Digital, Industry and Space

EC published the draft version of the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023-2024/7. Digital, Industry and Space.

ECA Annual report on EU Joint Undertakings for the financial year 2021 published

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has signed off the 2021 accounts of all the EU's Joint Undertakings, and confirmed the positive results reported in previous years. See the ECA press release here and the report here.



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.

Find the call here.

Deadline for proposal submission: 02 February 2023 (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. 

The 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.



• ESO – Safety Engineer – position – deadline 02.12.2022, Project and administrative assistant – position - deadline 05.01.2023, ALMA Regional Centre Astronomer – position – deadline 10.01.2023, Engineering Internship – position – deadline 31.12.2023, Internship: Science Communication – position – deadline 31.12.2023

• SARAO – Senior Software Developer – position – deadline 05.12.2022, Senior System Engineers – position – Deadline 08.12.2022

• The University of Tokyo/Institute for Cosmic Ray Research – Call for Postdoctoral Fellowship – position – deadline 13.12.2022

Check also EURAXESS



• The SARAO / Breakthrough Listen MeerKAT Grand Tour Data Science Workshop – January 15-21, 2023 – Makhanda/ZA

• IAU Symposium 378: Black hole winds at all scales – Haifa/IL, March 12-16, 2023

• IAU Symposium (IAUS) 380 Cosmic Masers: Proper Motion toward the Next-Generation Large Projects – March 20-24, 2023 – Kagoshima City/JP (hybrid)

• New Eyes on the Universe: SKA & ngVLA – April 30-May 5, 2023 – Vancouver/CA

• Bologna-VLBI: Life begins at 40! New frontiers and scientific challenges with enhanced frequency/time/space – May 22-26, 2023 – Bologna/IT

• EAS 2023 – July 10-14, 2023 – Krakow/PL

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

• ALMA at 10 years: Past, Present, and Future – December 4-8, 2023 –  Puerto Varas/CL

 See also the Calendar




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