Science Highlight




Completion of Cycle 1 and start of Cycle 2 Early Science Observations

The ALMA Cycle 1 Early Science observing season ended in May 2014. As of June 3, a total of 36 of the 198 High Priority (HP) projects (including DDT) have been completed and delivered to the Principal Investigators (PIs). An additional 16 HP projects are nominally completed, pending final quality assessment. The unobserved components of the remaining 146 HP projects, estimated to require a total of 466 hours on the ALMA 12-m array, have been transferred to Cycle 2. They will be executed in parallel to the Cycle 2 approved program (see ALMA Early Science Cycle 2: outcome of the proposal review process and a forthcoming detailed report at the Science Portal), with an intermediate priority between Cycle 2 “A” and “B” graded proposals (see ALMA status report: March 2014). Of the Cycle 1 Filler projects eleven were completed and 22 partially observed. These data will be processed and delivered to PIs over the next few months. Under no circumstances will uncompleted Filler projects be transferred to Cycle 2.


Cycle 2 science observations started on the 3rd of June 2014 and will extend until October 2015. There will be a pause in Early Science observing for three months in September-November 2014 and two months in February- March 2015, which will be dedicated to the commissioning of long baselines, and the annual engineering and computing activities, respectively.


The ALMA 12-m Array is currently in an extended Cycle 2 configuration and will move to the more extended configurations by August and to a compact configuration after the long baseline campaign. PIs of projects requesting compact configurations will be contacted by staff from one of the ALMA Regional Centers (ARCs) or their affiliated nodes during the next few months, when the “Phase 2” materials for their projects are ready for review and approval. The Phase 2 process will closely follow that from Cycle 1. Proposers of approved Target of Opportunity (ToO) projects are now able to submit triggers via a dedicated form at the ALMA Science Portal for observations that fulfill the selection criteria specified in their proposal. Proposals for Director Discretionary Time (DDT) to be performed with Cycle 2 capabilities can also be submitted.


For information on the execution of an accepted project, PIs and Co-Investigators can consult the Project Tracker. Starting with this cycle, PIs and PI-delegated investigators can modify their user profile at the Science Portal to receive e-mail notifications whenever a component of a project is first observed, fully observed, or successfully processed. In addition, an on-line interface to the ALMA calibrator source catalogue is now available at the Science Portal (see the March 155 edition of The Messenger for a description on the ALMA calibrator survey).