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Submillimeter Array (SMA) Newsletter August 2011

Blundell, Raymond

Submillimeter Array (SMA) Newsletter August 2011
Blundell, Raymond

Submillimeter Array Newsletter   |   Number 12   |   August 2011

CONTENTS
1      From the Director

SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:

2      Faint Submillimeter Sources behind Massive Lensing Clusters

5      Millimeter Imaging of the β Pictoris Debris Disk: Evidence for a Planetesimal Belt

7      Physical Properties of the Circumnuclear Starburst Ring in the Barred Galaxy NGC1097

TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

9      Wideband Receiver Development for the SMA

FROM THE DIRECTOR

Dear SMA Newsletter readers,

We have made substantial changes to our newsletter, which we hope improve the product that we offer to you. Please note that details regarding our call for proposals for the November 2011-May 2012 period are now included in the Other News section.

Since the last issue, two major developments have occurred that will enable us to maintain strong leadership in both submillimeter astronomy and instrument development. Firstly, I am happy to announce that the long-standing and fruitful partnership between the SAO and ASIAA, established with the construction and operation of the SMA on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, will continue well into the future as both partners have recently agreed to support the development and operation of the SMA for an additional fifteen years. This extension comes at an exciting time for submillimeter astronomy with the numerous successes of the Herschel satellite and pending Cycle 0 observations at ALMA; and is due in large part to the continued high oversubscription rate, solid publication record, and expanded user base reflected by observations made towards non-traditional submillimeter targets: GRB’s and supernovae, for example, and demonstrates the SMA partner institutes desire to invest in the future. Secondly, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, in collaboration with ASIAA, was recently selected by the NSF as the recipient of the 12-meter diameter US prototype ALMA antenna. This antenna was built to the high standards required of submilimeter interferometry; and will be used as part of a network of telescopes for mm wavelength VLBI, for single dish submillimeter observations, and as a platform to support submillimeter instrument development for astronomy. Indeed, work has already begun at the VLA site in New Mexico to bring this antenna back on line in order to verify and improve performance.

Finally, we hope that you enjoy the new format and the information provided to you in our latest newsletter.

Ray Blundell

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