German ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) Node

The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a revolutionary interferometer for mm and submm astronomy in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. It is operated by a global collaboration between Europe (ESO), North America (NRAO) and East Asia (NAOJ), in cooperation with Chile. The interface between ALMA and the user communities is provided by three ALMA Regional Centres (ARCs) in Europe, North America and East Asia.

The European ARC (EU ARC) is organized as a coordinated network with a central node at ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München and regional nodes located in Bologna(I), Bonn/Cologne(D), Grenoble(F), Leiden(NL), Manchester(GB), Ondrejov(CZ), and Onsala(S). The concept and the implementation of the EU ARC network has been described in an article in the ESO Messenger (Hatziminaoglou et al. 2015, Msngr. 162, 24).

The German ARC node is a collaboration of the universities of Bonn and Cologne. Its headquarters are located at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie in Bonn. The German ARC node provides services to ALMA operations, the local astronomical community and the general public:

Newsletters and Announcements

Recent News

Cycle 9 Call for Proposals now open!

[24 March 2022]

The ALMA Director, on behalf of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) and the partner organizations in East Asia, Europe, and North America, is pleased to announce the ALMA Cycle 9 Call for Proposals (CfP) for scientific observations to be scheduled from October 2022 to September 2023. The proposal submission facility is now open. The proposal submission deadline is 21 April 2022 at 15:00 UT.

For this CfP, the JAO anticipates having 4300 hours of approved science time on each of the 12-m, 7-m, and the Total Power arrays. Projects with observations in the highest-frequency Bands 8, 9, and 10 are strongly encouraged. Cycle 9 will not include a Supplemental CfP for stand-alone ACA observations. The community is encouraged to submit ACA standalone projects, especially in the LST range of 20h to 10h, for the April 2022 deadline.

Help with proposal preparation can be requested from the local ARC nodes. The proposal preparation support provided by the German node is listed here.

The full Call for Proposals, including links to the comprehensive documentation, can be found here.

Training opportunity: ALMA data reduction

[18 March 2022]

The German ARC node offers hands-on training in the reduction and analysis of ALMA data in their online Master-level course Radio Interferometry 2022 in the months of April to July 2022.

Starting on 06 April 2022, the participants will be guided through the various steps necessary to create fully calibrated data cubes from ALMA raw data. In the second part of the course, the participants learn how to construct image data cubes and maps from the calibrated data and how to analyze the data. The hands-on work is complemented by short presentations on the basic concepts of radio interferometry and on various special cases of radio interferometric data. Detailed information can be found at the course home page.

Primer on ALMA archival data released

[18 March 2022]

ALMA has released a new document called Using ALMA archival data - A Primer. This document provides basic introductory information of how to use the ALMA data available through the ALMA Science Archive (ASA), including how to query, extract and scientifically exploit the content of the ASA. The aim is to assist readers with the exploitation of archived ALMA data by providing a concise summary of the data and practical examples that include CASA tasks.

NEW DATE: European ALMA Regional Centre community assembly

[last update: 15 March 2022]

The European ALMA Regional Centre invites European ALMA users to a virtual community assembly on March 24 at 11:00 CET, in connection with the Cycle 9 call for proposals. At this meeting, we will update you on the current and upcoming observing cycles and on the support from the European ARC network. In the dedicated Q & A session you will have the opportunity to ask your questions. The meeting can be accessed at this link.

Let's get ready for Cycle 9! Proposal Preparation Support at the German ARC node

[last update: 03 March 2022]

In response to the Cycle 9 2021 Call for Proposals, the German ARC node will offer specialized user support focusing on the preparation of ALMA observing projects in March and April 2022.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the traditional all-day community event will be replaced by a series of pre-recorded video tutorials that can be watched conveniently at any time and location of choice. The tutorials cater to astronomers with different levels of expertise, from introductory tutorials for scientists new to ALMA to a concise update for experienced ALMA users. The video tutorials will be complemented by an online community meeting on 07 April 2022, and by individual one-on-one help.

For details on the tutorials, the community meeting and the one-on-one support, please refer to the Proposal Preparation homepage.

Virtual talk series: ALMA recounts of Cosmic Conundrums

[last update: 03 March 2022]

The European ARC network organizes the virtual talk series "ALMA recounts of Cosmic Conundrums". In every talk of this series a major astronomical question is discussed. The invited speaker will describe the context of the question and then focuses on the ALMA contribution to the field, past and future. The aim of the series is to highlight the unparalleled contribution of ALMA to the broader astronomical landscape and to provide an outlook towards the future.

The next talk of this series will take place on 06 April 2022 at 14:00 CET. The talk will be broadcast through the Youtube channel of the European ALMA Regional Centre network.

Upcoming talks:
  • 06 April 2022, 14:00 CET - What is the role of filaments in star formation and how are they shaped? (Alvaro Hacar, University of Vienna)
  • 04 May 2022, 14:00 CET - How and when does planet-formation happen in disks? (Marco Tazzari, University of Cambridge)
  • 01 June 2022, 14:00 CET - What do comets tell us about the origin of Earth? (Nicolas Biver, Observatoire Paris-Site de Meudon)

I-TRAIN 13: Writing & Reviewing ALMA proposals

[02 March 2022]

The European ARC Network invites users to an online training on good practices for writing and reviewing ALMA proposals on March 18th, 11:00 CET at this link.

This training is organised in view of the upcoming ALMA proposal deadline in April, and will serve as a guideline for writing ALMA proposals and in particular anonymous proposals. The training will also offer guidelines on reviewing proposals, how to best give feedback and the ALMA Reviewer Tool. It will include some tips and tricks and plenty of time for discussion and questions at the end. No preparation will be needed for this session, but we encourage everyone to bring plenty of questions for the Q & A.

More information on this event can be found here and at the I-TRAIN homepage.

Interactive previews now available in the ALMA Science Archive

[14 February 2022]

The ALMA Science Archive now offers fully interactive previews which can be accessed directly from the result table of the archive interface. For each spectral window, the main FITS file is identified and its preview displayed if available.

The previews show the continuum image, the peak-flux map, and if strong lines exist the moment 0 and moment 1 image of the strongest line. Three spectra are shown through the data cubes: the full flux spectrum as well as two spectra at the locations of the peak in the continuum image as well as of the peak in the moment 0 of the line cube, respectively.

More details on this new feature in the ALMA Science Archive are given here.

Now available for PIs: Sneak preview of observed data

[31 January 2022]

SnooPI now allows PIs a sneak preview of their recently observed data. The so-called QA0+ results are part of the QA0 report, which can be found in the Scheduling Blocks (SB) detailed view.

QA0+ is one of the stages of Quality Assurance (QA) which runs a simplified and rapid scripted calibration and imaging pipeline of the channel-averaged data, producing continuum-only images of the science target, phase calibrator, and check source (for more information, please read Sec. 11.3 of the ALMA Technical Handbook). As well as the images, QA0+ also provides the beam size and shape for different robust parameters (from the phase calibrator), and the science target image peak and integrated flux, and image RMS.

Please note that QA0+ results are only to be used as a guide to assess the data quality, and are not for scientific use.

Early deadline for GMVA+ALMA proposals

[21 January 2022]

The phased ALMA array is expected to participate in Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA) observations during ALMA Cycle 9 (October 2022 - September 2023). An introduction to the GMVA+ALMA observing mode including a link to all current capabilities and restrictions can be found here.

If you are planning to submit a GMVA+ALMA proposal, please note that it must be submitted to the GMVA before the GMVA deadline on 01 February 2022. In addition, a separate proposal must be submitted to ALMA by the deadline on 21 April 2022.

News archive