Long Range Plan / Plan à long terme 2020

From / de Pauline Barmby, Bryan Gaensler (LRP2020 co-chairs / co-présidents PLT2020)
(Cassiopeia – Summer / été 2019)

La version française suit

Long Range Plan 2020

LRP2020 is underway! By the time you read this, the first in-person events, at the 2019 CASCA annual meeting in Montreal, will have taken place. These include an overview presentation by the co-chairs and “state of the field” presentations by CASCA standing committees. Over 70 teams submitted expressions of interest for white papers, which are due on September 30, 2019. Following the white paper deadline, a series of town halls, including a special town hall focused on space astronomy, will take place in October and November.

As always, the latest news on LRP2020 is available from the webpage and the Slack workspace. The panel can be contacted at panel@lrp2020.groups.io and the co-chairs at chairs@lrp2020.groups.io.

Plan à long terme 2020

Le PLT2020 est en cours! Au moment où vous lisez ceci, les premiers événements en personne, lors de la réunion annuelle de la CASCA en 2019 à Montréal, auront déjà eu lieu. Celles-ci incluent une présentation générale des coprésidents et des présentations sur l’état du terrain par les comités permanents de la CASCA. Plus de 70 équipes ont manifesté leur intérêt aux livres blancs, qui doivent être remis au 30 septembre 2019. Après la date d’échéance pour les livres blancs, une série d’assemblées publiques, notamment une assemblée spéciale sur l’astronomie spatiale, aura lieu en octobre et novembre.

Comme toujours, les nouvelles sur PLT2020 peut être trouvé sur la page Web et à Slack. La groupe peut être contacté à panel@lrp2020.groups.io et les co-présidents à chairs@lrp2020.groups.io.

News from the JCMT

By / par Chris Wilson, McMaster University (JCMT Board member for Canada)
(Cassiopeia – Summer / été 2019)


There have been a lot of exciting new scientific results from the JCMT in the last 6 months. Probably the most famous of these was the announcement by the team from the Event Horizon Telescope (of which JCMT is a component) of the imaging of the black hole shadow in M87. This black hole also has a Hawai`ian name, Powehi, largely due to outreach efforts by the Deputy Director of the JCMT, Dr. Jessica Dempsey.

Another big splash was the discovery of rapidly spinning jets from the V404 Cygni black hole in our own Galaxy, recently published in Nature (Miller-Jones et al., 2019). Previous work by Dr. Alex Tatarenko and her collaborators with the JCMT and the SMA had demonstrated the rapidly evolving nature of this jet and laid the groundwork for the recently-published VLBA observations.

Results continue to pour out from the JCMT large programs, including the second paper from the JINGLE nearby galaxy survey by Dr. Matt Smith et al., which describes in detail the data reductions methods used to process SCUBA-2 observations of faint but somewhat extended targets.

Observing and Proposals

The weather has improved significantly in the 19A semester, ending a period of extremely poor weather that had lasted for more than a year.

The next call for proposals (for 20A) will come out in August and will be due 15 September 2019. This call will include both PI and Large Programs. Details about the large program call can be found here.

I anticipate that Canadians will be eligible to apply for PI time on the JCMT for semester 20A. (We were not eligible in 19B because of the ramp down of operations contributions due to the end of the NSERC RTI Operations and Maintenance grant.) Band 5 weather continues to be undersubscribed and so good ideas to use this weather are strongly encouraged. By 20A we should again have a working 230 GHz-band receiver on the JCMT (see next section).

New and Future Instrumentation

The 230 GHz-band receiver, RxA3m, was retired from the telescope in June 2018 due to increasing problems with helium leaks in its cryostat, among other problems. A replacement receiver called Namakanui was originally scheduled to be on the telescope by March 2019 but due to various issues is now expected to be available in semester 19B. This receiver is based on the 3-band receiver design being used at the Greenland Telescope; the 230 GHz-band cartridge is known as U’u.

The EAO held a very successful “Submillimetre Futures” meeting in Nanjing May 20-23, 2019. A major focus of this meeting was plans for a new 850 micron camera to replace SCUBA-2. Preliminary designs suggest that a camera with a 12 arcminute-wide field of view and higher sensitivity detectors would have a mapping speed up to 20 times faster than SCUBA-2. It will also have excellent polarization capabilities. All talks from the meeting can be viewed at the meeting web site.

The EAO is soliciting White Papers in support of this new 850 micron camera, with a deadline of June 30, 2019. More information can be found on the JCMT web site and on the EAO futures discussion wiki.

A team of Canadian universities led by McMaster is preparing a proposal for the CFI 2020 Innovation Fund competition to seek to contribute funding to this new 850 micron camera.

Upcoming Meetings

The 2019 JCMT Users Meeting will be held in Taipei, Taiwan November 6-7, 2019. A JCMT workshop covering from proposing to data analysis will be held November 5 and November 8 will be set aside for Large Program side meetings. For more information, please visit the large program website.

JCMT website

Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Multi-Messenger Astrophysics

Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec (www.ubishops.ca) has an opening for a tenure-stream Tier II Canada Research Chair position in multi-messenger astrophysics. The Department of Physics & Astronomy welcomes applications in this broad field, with specialization in one or more of the following areas: gravitational waves, compact objects, cosmology, and gravitational physics; astroparticle physics; radio, optical, and X-ray astronomy; big data and astronomical instrumentation.

The CRC program was created by the Government of Canada to cultivate world-class research and development. The Tier II Chair will be awarded for a five year period, renewable once upon approval from the CRC program. Tier II Chairs are intended for exceptional emerging scholars (i.e., candidates must have been active researchers in their field for fewer than 10 years at the time of nomination). Applicants who completed their highest degree more than 10 years ago (and where career interruptions exist) may have their eligibility for a Tier II CRC assessed through the program’s Tier II justification process. The legitimate impact that leaves (e.g., maternity leave, sick leave) can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process. Please contact Bishop’s Research Office for eligibility details and consult the CRC Foundation for full program information, including further details on eligibility criteria (http://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/program-programme/nomination-mise_en_candidature-eng.aspx).

Applicants for this position should possess a PhD (or equivalent) and have postdoctoral experience and a superior research profile in one of the proposed areas. Successful candidates will demonstrate the ability to obtain external funding and the potential to emerge as internationally recognized scholars. Teaching duties consist of two (3 credit hours each) semester-length courses per academic year. A strong teaching record is also beneficial. Bilingualism/multilingualism is an asset.

The successful candidate will join a thriving research team comprised of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students. Bishop’s commits to building and enhancing an environment that supports outstanding research and creative activity. Astrophysics and Relativity are long-standing research strengths at Bishop’s University and are prominent in its Strategic Research Plan (https://www.ubishops.ca/wp-content/uploads/Strategic-Research-Plan2017-2022-FINAL.pdf).

Bishop’s University welcomes diversity in the workplace and encourages applications from all qualified members of equity-seeking groups, including women, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, people with diverse gender identities, and people with disabilities. Members of these groups are encouraged to identify themselves. Although, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, all qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Bishop’s University implements an equal access employment / program under the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies for women, visible minorities, ethnic minority, Aboriginal and disabled people (including the possibility of accommodation during the selection process). Candidates who anticipate needing accommodation for any part of the process may contact Human Resources at HR@ubishops.ca.

Application packages, including a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, statement of research achievements and future objectives, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and the names and contact of at least three referees, must be sent as PDF files to researchoffice@ubishops.ca

Review of the applications will begin on August 30, 2019 and will continue until a nominee is chosen. Ideally, a full application package will be submitted to the CRC program in April 2020. The start date is negotiable.