ALMA Cycle 8 2021 Pre-announcement

The Joint ALMA Observatory has made a pre-announcement for the next ALMA observing Cycle, which is expected to start in October 2021. Because of the postponement of Cycle 8, the next observing call will be named "Cycle 8 2021". The formal Call for Proposals (CfP) with detailed information for observing in Cycle 8 is expected in March 2021 with a deadline in April 2021. The information provided in the pre-announcement is published to highlight features of the upcoming CfP to assist with early proposal planning.

The full pre-announcement includes details on new ALMA capabilities for Cycle 8, expected array configurations and important information on the updated Proposal Review Process, which will differ from previous ALMA Cycles.

The UK ARC Node is available to help all UK based astronomers with their ALMA proposal planning and submission. If you have any questions related to a proposal for Cycle 8 2021, please get in touch with us.


ALMA Science Operation Status

Progress continues to be made in returning ALMA to science operations. ALMA Staff are actively inspecting key systems such as the correlator electronics and the antennas themselves. Power, water and fibre connections have all been re-established with both the Operations Support Facility and the Array Operations Site. Following successful inspections, the next step will be to systematically power-on the systems. The return to science operations is anticipated for March 2021. The intended resumption of science observations in March would see the restart of Cycle 7 observations almost exactly a year after they were halted.

Timeframes for returning to science and how the remaining Cycle 7 programs are completed are, of course, subject to the changing status of the global pandemic and the results of work and inspections currently being carried out at the ALMA site. More information will be available via the ALMA Portal as the situation becomes clearer.


ALMA Early 2021 Virtual Workshop

The UK ARC Node is planning to offer a second ALMA Virtual Workshop in the Spring of 2021. This workshop, aimed at new ALMA users, will be a comprehensive overview of ALMA, including an introduction to the observatory, a review of interferometry, a demonstration of using the Observing Tool for proposal preparation, an overview of using the ALMA Archive, and hands-on work with calibrating and imaging ALMA data. People can express their interest as well as indicate their preferred dates for the workshop in the pre-registration poll.


Season's Greetings and Happy New Year from the UK ALMA Regional Centre

As 2020 draws to a close and we look forward to the resumption of ALMA observations in the new year, the UK ARC Node would like to take this opportunity to wish all UK ALMA users, past, present and future, a pleasant holiday season and a happy and healthy 2021!