Technology Chile , Atacama, Thursday, March 13 of 2014, 16:53

Experts from around the world review more than 1,300 observation proposals for ALMA

78 world-leading experts in their area of astronomical research are meeting near Toronto, Canada

ALMA/DICYT This week, 78 world-leading experts in their area of astronomical research are meeting near Toronto, Canada, to scientifically evaluate the 1,381 proposals received for Cycle 2 Early Science observations with the radio telescope, which represent a demand of more than 7.000 hours of observation. In this cycle, about 1,700 hours of observation are to be distributed among the selected proposals.


From March 10 to 14 the panels are meeting at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Center in London, Ontario, to review proposals received from all over the world. Eleven specialized panels will each review a set of proposals for one of the five ALMA scientific categories: Cosmology and the high redshift Universe; Galaxies and galactic nuclei; Interstellar medium, star formation and astrochemistry; Circumstellar disks, exoplanets and the Solar System; and Stellar evolution and the Sun.


"This is the most competitive observation selection process ever for any astronomical observatory in regular operations. No other observatory has received so many proposals in a single process," said Mr. Gautier Mathys, lead astronomer of the Proposal Handling Team. "Although it is hard to compare different selection processes, the high number of proposals received for Cycle 2 is fantastic and reflects the enormous interest ALMA is triggering among the scientific community."


The proposals will be classified through secret voting by panel members. Subsequently, the panel chairpersons will meet as the ALMA Proposal Review Committee (APRC), which will consolidate the selection process. The APRC chairperson for Cycle 2 is Ms. Françoise Combes of Paris Observatory.


The results of the selection process will be released in mid-April 2014, in order to start Cycle 2 observations in June 2014 and continue delivering amazing discoveries.