8 May, 2015
The ALMA Observatory’s Early Science Cycle 3 has attracted 1582 proposals for observation time submitted by the international scientific community during the application period (the deadline was 23 April 2015).
“This success is a result of the remarkable efforts and commitment of the JAO and the ALMA Support Centers for setting up and monitoring the submission process around the clock and the globe! It demonstrates the strong support for and interest in ALMA by the scientific community,” said Pierre Cox, Director of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
Geographic distribution of ALMA observation time proposals submitted for Cycle 3. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
Lars-Åke Nyman, Head of Science Operations at ALMA, highlighted that “the support for this new instrument is increasing with time, as we received 1382 proposals for Cycle 2.” He also emphasized the collaborative nature of the process, as there are proposals by groups of researchers from five different regions (see the attached map animation). In total 3608 astronomers participated in the process as either principal investigators or co-investigators on proposals.
Cycle 3 observations are scheduled to begin on 1 October 2015 for a period of one year.
Breakdown of ALMA Cycle 3 proposals by category. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
As shown in the figure, most of the proposals received involve research that falls within the Interstellar Medium (ISM), Star Formation, and Astrochemistry category (26%) and Galaxies and Galactic Nuclei (25%%). Of the proposals, 21% are in the Cosmology and the High Redshift Universe category, while 20% aim to conduct research on Circumstellar Disks, Exoplanets and the Solar System. Finally, the Stellar Evolution and the Sun category represents 8% of the proposals received.
In total, the applicants have requested 9037 hours of observation. The ALMA Observatory will now begin the evaluation process, in which 12 Review Panels comprising a total of 97 experts will analyze the proposals in relation to their scientific categories. The results of these evaluations are expected to be announced in mid-August 2015.
ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of South Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ.
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