ALMA Matters


By / par Gerald Schieven (ALMA)
(Cassiopeia – Winter / hivers 2018)

ALMA Campaign Provides Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets

The release of the spectacular ALMA image of rings in the protoplanetary disk around HL Tau in 2014 was a game changer in the study of planet formation. Now an international team led by S. Andrews of the CfA has reported that this kind of structure is the rule rather than the exception. Their Cycle 4 ALMA Large program mapped 20 nearby protoplanetary disks (see image), and the results have just been released in a series of ten papers to appear in ApJLetters. For the full press release, see ALMA-campaign-provides-unprecedented-views-of-the-birth-of-planets.

ALMA Cycle 7 Development Studies

You are invited to submit a study proposal to the ALMA North America Cycle 7 Development program. The ALMA Operations Plan envisages an ongoing international program of development and upgrades that may include hardware, software, or data analysis tools. With a modest investment, ALMA will continue to lead astronomical research through the current decade and beyond. The call for proposals is open to the NA ALMA Operations Partnership, which is defined as the community of astronomers and scientists in related fields from North American ALMA partner countries (which includes Canada). General Studies (funded for 1 year up to US$200,000 per individual award) are to be funded in this call. Proposals can be submitted until May 1st, 2019. We also encourage prospective PIs to submit Notices of Intent (deadline March 15th, 2019), followed by Study Proposals. For full details, please see here.

In The News

ALMA press releases in 2018 which involve Canadians:

Galaxy-Scale Fountain Seen in Full Glory, B. R. McNamara, A. N. Vantyghem (UWaterloo); C. P. O’Dea, S. A. Baum (UManitoba)

Fierce Winds Quench Wildfire-like Starbirth in Far-flung Galaxy, S. C. Chapman, T. B. Miller (Dalhousie); M. Cunningham (St Mary’s)

ALMA Discover Exciting Structures in a Young Protoplanetary Disk That Support Planet Formation, R. Dong (UVictoria)

ALMA and VLT Find Too Many Massive Stars in Starburst Galaxies, Near and Far, V. Hénault-Brunet (NRC Herzberg)

Ancient Galaxy Megamergers, T. Miller, S. C. Chapman, R. Perry, K. M. Rotermund (Dalhousie); A. Babul (UVictoria); D. J. M. Cunningham (St Mary’s); K. Lacaille (McMaster); E. Pass (UWaterloo); D. Scott (UBC)

New Horizons in Planetary Systems

Registration is now open to the conference: “New Horizons in Planetary Systems”, to be held in Victoria from 13-17 May 2019. Registration and more information is available here.

The meeting is planned to have a broad scope, including planetary systems in formation within protoplanetary disks, minor objects in the solar system, debris disks and exoplanets. Experts will be asked to provide insights from all these fields to enhance our understanding of how planets form and evolve. Though co-organized by NRAO and the NRC Herzberg millimetre astronomy group, the meeting is not ALMA-centric, and has a strong focus on the impact of the New Horizons mission flyby of a KBO in January 2019, plus experts from TESS and other facilities who will be asked to provide a multi-chromatic picture of the current understanding in their fields. Invited speakers have been asked to provide broadly accessible talks.

Confirmed invited speakers include:

Diana Dragomir (MIT Kavli Inst): Early results from the TESS mission

Brett Gladman (UBC): theory of planet formation

Grant Kennedy (U Warwick): debris disk constraints on planet formation

Heather Knutson (Caltech): exoplanet atmospheric composition

Emmanuel Lellouch (Observatoire de Paris): solar system objects, constraints on formation

Karin Öberg (Harvard U): protoplanetary disk composition and chemistry

John Spencer (SWRI): New Horizons KBO flyby: first results

Zhaohuan Zhu (UNLV): protoplanetary disk structure

We will also host a public talk on New Horizons by Deputy Mission Scientist Kelsi Singer (SWRI).

The number of participants is limited, so register today.

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