ALMA Update

1. ALMA Current Status
ALMA construction continues to ramp down. With the end of construction (and thus the end of commissioning, which is a construction activity) approaching, a new group has been formed called “Extension and Optimization of Capabilities (EOC)”. The role of this group is to lead and increase ALMA’s instrumentational capabilities, such as extended source polarization, long baseline observations, and high frequency observing. As of April 1, 2014, ALMA moved to a mode of two weeks of Early Science observations followed by one week of focused EOC activities. The new EOC group is being led by Tony Remijan (on secondment from NRAO) with Cat Vlahakis as his deputy.The software required for ALMA Cycle 2 observing was accepted on May 30, 2014. This software includes significant improvements in things like polarization, multi-resolution correlator modes, and higher precision ephemeris tracking. At their face-to-face meeting, the Pipeline Working Group recommended conditional acceptance of the calibration pipeline by the Joint ALMA Observatory. The plan is for much of Cycle 2 data calibration to be accomplished by the pipeline; the pipeline will be critical to deal with the faster flow of data and larger data sets in Cycle 2.Cycle 2 observing began on June 3, 2014. There will be a break in Cycle 2 observing for 3 months from September to November 2014 to focus on implementing observing on the longest ALMA baselines. Such a break is needed because of the time required to move antennas out to the largest configurations and the fact that once the antennas are spread out to 5-10 km, the antennas remaining nearer the center of the array are not sufficient to populate any of the Cycle 2 configurations. There will be a second break of two months in February-March 2015 for the usual engineering and computing activities; this break corresponds with some of the worst observing conditions at the ALMA site associated with the altiplanic winter.

Figure 1: 12 m and 7 m antennas in the compact centre of the ALMA array. Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ) C. Padilla

2. ALMA Cycle 2 has begun!

Results of the Cycle 2 proposal review process were sent to the PI on April 9, 2014 and the full list was released May 2, 2014. A full listing of the 353 highest priority proposals is available here. Science observing for ALMA Cycle 2 projects began on June 3, 2014 and will continue until October 2015. The 12 meter array is currently in an extended configuration (C32-5) and will move to the two more extended configurations by August 2014. Observations in the more compact configurations of Cycle 2 will take place after the long baseline commissioning campaign. PIs with projects using the compact configurations can expect to be contacted by ALMA staff during the next few months to review the Phase 2 setup for their projects. Proposals for Director’s Discretionary Time with Cycle 2 capabilities can be submitted at any time.Top priority ALMA Cycle 1 projects that were not completed by June 2014 will carry over and be observed during Cycle 2. This carry-over time is estimated to be 466 hours and to involve 146 projects; these projects will be executed with a priority intermediate between Cycle 2 “A” and “B” graded proposals (see ALMA status report: March 2014).  Cycle 1 filler projects that were not completed will not be transferred to Cycle 2. Eleven filler projects were completed in Cycle 1 and a further 22 obtained partial data.Unfortunately, in the review for the Cycle 2 software, the software for the Total Power observing mode was not accepted. Therefore, PIs of Cycle 1 Atacama Compact Array projects that transfer to Cycle 2 will be asked whether the total power component of the observations can be dropped without significantly affecting their science goals. If so, these components will be descoped so that the project can be completed earlier. All remaining total power observations (including the components of Cycle 2 projects) will be delayed until the total power software is accepted.

3. New ALMA Science Verification Targets
Three new ALMA Science Verification targets are listed on the Science Verification web page. 3C286 is a polarization target. The Galactic protostar IRAS 16293 will be observed in the CH3CN and CH3OH lines to demonstrate ALMA capabilities in Band 4 (2 mm). The luminous infrared galaxy NGC 3256 will be observed in the CO J=4-3 transition to demonstrate ALMA capabilities in Band 8 (650 microns).

4. New ALMA papers since my last update
Here is a summary of the ALMA papers that have been published in the last three months. By my count, there are now at least 113 refereed papers published using ALMA data, either Cycle 0 data or Science Verification data. (A perk of years of writing this eCass report is to point out that my first ALMA paper appears at the top of this quarter’s list!)

  1. Wilson et al. 2014, “Extreme dust disks in Arp 220 as revealed by ALMA”, ApJL, in press
  2. Sanchez-Monge et al. 2014, “A necklace of dense cores in the high-mass star forming region G35.20-0.74N: ALMA observations”, A&A, in press
  3. Takano et al. 2014, “Distributions of molecules in the circumnuclear disk and surrounding starburst ring in the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 observed with ALMA”, PASJ, in press
  4. Ricci et al. 2014, “Brown dwarf disks with ALMA”, ApJ, in press
  5. Garcia-Burillo et al. 2014, “Molecular line emission in NGC1068 imaged with ALMA. I An AGN-driven outflow in the dense molecular gas”, A&A, in press
  6. Tokuda et al. 2014, “ALMA observations of a high-density core in Taurus: dynamical gas interaction at the possible site of a multiple star formation”, ApJL, in press
  7. Lindberg et al. 2014, “ALMA observations of the kinematics and chemistry of disc formation”, A&A, in press
  8. Muller et al. 2014, “An ALMA Early Science survey of molecular absorption lines toward PKS1830-211 -- Analysis of the absorption profiles”, A&A, in press
  9. Thomson et al. 2014, “An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: radio properties and the far-infrared/radio correlation”, MNRAS, in press
  10. Tokuda et al. 2014, “ALMA Observations of a High-density Core in Taurus: Dynamical Gas Interaction at the Possible Site of a Multiple Star Formation”, ApJ, 789, L4
  11. Imanishi & Nakanishi 2014, “ALMA Observations of Nearby Luminous Infrared Galaxies with Various AGN Energetic Contributions Using Dense Gas Tracers”, AJ, 148, 9
  12. Pineda et al. 2014, “Resolved Images of the Protoplanetary Disk around HD 100546 with ALMA”, ApJ, 788, L34
  13. Simpson et al. 2014, “An ALMA Survey of Submillimeter Galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: The Redshift Distribution and Evolution of Submillimeter Galaxies”,  ApJ, 788, 125
  14. Higuchi et al. 2014, “ALMA View of G0.253+0.016: Can Cloud-Cloud Collision form the Cloud?”, AJ, 147, 141
  15. Xu et al. 2014, “ALMA Observations of Warm Molecular Gas and Cold Dust in NGC 34”, ApJ, 787, 48
  16. Carpenter et al. 2014, “An ALMA Continuum Survey of Circumstellar Disks in the Upper Scorpius OB Association”, ApJ, 787, 42
  17. Lee et al. 2014, “ALMA Results of the Pseudodisk, Rotating Disk, and Jet in the Continuum and HCO+ in the Protostellar System HH 212”, ApJ, 786, 114
  18. Combes et al. 2014, “ALMA reveals the feeding of the Seyfert 1 nucleus in NGC 1566”, A&A, 565, 97
  19. De Breuck et al. 2014, “ALMA resolves turbulent, rotating [CII] emission in a young starburst galaxy at z = 4.8”, A&A, 565, 59
  20. Wiklind et al. 2014, “Properties of Submillimeter Galaxies in the CANDELS GOODS-South Field”, ApJ, 785, 111
  21. McNamara et al. 2014, “A 1010 Solar Mass Flow of Molecular Gas in the A1835 Brightest Cluster Galaxy”, ApJ, 785, 44
  22. Perez et al. 2014, “Large-scale Asymmetries in the Transitional Disks of SAO 206462 and SR 21”, ApJ, 783, L14
  23. Van der Marel et al. 2014, “Warm formaldehyde in the Ophiuchus IRS 48 transitional disk”, A&A, 563, 113
  24. Decarli et al. 2014, “An ALMA Survey of Sub-millimeter Galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: Sub-millimeter Properties of Color-selected Galaxies”, ApJ, 780, 115
  25. Hunt et al. 2014, “ALMA observations of cool dust in a low-metallicity starburst, SBS 0335-052”, A&A, 561, 49
I apologize if I have missed any papers that should appear on this list. 

5. ALMA Meetings

There are two major ALMA meetings and one workshop planned in the next year.Registration is still open for “Transformational Science in the ALMA Era: Multi-Wavelength Studies of Galaxy Evolution”, which will be held from August 4-7, 2014,  in Charlottesville, Virginia. The web site is“Revolution in Astronomy with ALMA: The Third Year” will be held from December 8-11, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan. Registration will begin in May and the deadline for abstracts for oral contributions will be in late August, 2014. The deadline for poster abstracts and payment will be in October 2014. The web site is NAASC workshop on “The Filamentary Structure in Molecular Clouds” is planned for 10-11 October 2014 in Charlottesville Virginia. A web site for this conference should be available soon.

6. Further InformationA good source for monthly updates on the ALMA project is the electronic NRAO newsletter And don't forget the ALMA observatory web site which contains wide range of information about the observatory, including details about science and technology, infrastructure, geographical location. An email list has been created for Canadian astronomers interested in ALMA.  This moderated list will periodically send out updates on ALMA's status, news of software releases, notices of upcoming ALMA science meetings and workshops, etc., which would be of interest to Canadian astronomers. Those who wish to be subscribe to the alma-users list are encouraged to visit the web page or send an email to Gerald.Schieven(at) Chris Wilson wilson(at)physics.mcmaster.caCanadian ALMA Project Scientist(with material from the NRAO newsletters and the ALMA web site)