NRAO: National Radio Astronomy Observatory
December 2008 eNews Volume 1, Issue 7
The NRAO Very Large Array near Socorro, New Mexico.
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Upcoming NRAO Events

  • December 16-18, 2008: The EVLA Vision: Galaxies through Cosmic Time
  • December 22, 2008: NRAO Tenure Track Astronomer Application Deadline
  • January 5-8, 2009: National Radio Science Meeting
  • January 7, 2009: NRAO Town Hall & Reception
  • January 26, 2009: NRAO Summer Student Research Assistantships Deadline
  • February 2, 2009: NRAO Proposal Deadline (GBT, VLA, VLBA)
  • April 20-22, 2009: 20th International Symposium on Space THz Technology


Summer Student Research AssistantshipsSummer Student Research Assistantships Now in its 50th year, the NRAO Summer Student Research Program seeks qualified applicants for its 2009 summer program. NRAO summer students conduct research under the supervision of an NRAO staff member at one of three NRAO sites (Socorro, New Mexico; Green Bank, West Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia), on a project in the supervisor's area of expertise... Read more...

Student Observing SupportStudent Observing Support The NRAO Student Observing Support (SOS) Committee met in April and August 2008 to discuss the proposals that were submitted during the previous trimesters. The SOS committee, composed of five faculty members from U.S. universities, discussed the science case and student support application for each proposal... Read more...

Undergraduate Interns The NRAO recently created the Undergraduate Student Internship Program. This program is intended for students enrolled in an undergraduate program at a U.S. university who are interested in pursuing research in radio astronomy, instrumentation development for radio astronomy, or areas of electrical engineering or computer science that are closely related to radio astronomy observing techniques or data analysis... Read more...

Visitors ProgramVisitors Program The Office of Science and Academic Affairs (OSAA) oversees the NRAO Visitors Program. The program provides Ph.D. scientists and engineers in radio astronomy and related fields the opportunity to visit any of our sites at times other than while observing in order to interact with NRAO staff and carry out research programs, e.g., during sabbatical or summer leave from their home institutes... Read more...

Career OpportunitiesCareer Opportunities

  • NRAO Tenure Track Astronomer
  • ALMA Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Software Engineer (KFPA)
  • Software Engineer
  • Deputy Assistant Director, Green Bank Operations (Scientist/A)
  • Assistant Scientist (CASA Scientific Software Developer)
  • Software Engineer
  • CASA Group Supervisor
  • System Engineers
  • Lead Systems Engineer
  • Head of GBT Science Operations
  • NAASC Scientist - CASA Scientific Software Developer
  • NAASC Scientist - Commissioning Liaison
  • NAASC Postdoctoral Fellow - Splatalogue
  • NAASC Postdoctoral Fellow - CASA


Exploration of the Solar CoronaExploration of the Solar Corona The solar corona is one of the most beautiful objects in astronomy, whether seen by the fortunate few in a total solar eclipse, or on the Internet with current spacecraft pictures. The corona is shaped into loops, streamers, and arcs... Read more...

Expanded Very Large Array StatusExpanded Very Large Array Status Antennas continue to be converted to the EVLA design. A total of 18 antennas are now used for scientific observations. EVLA antennas accounted for 62.5% of all antenna hours used in scientific observations at the array in October 2008... Read more...

WIDAR Correlator TestingWIDAR Correlator Testing The WIDAR Prototype Correlator for the EVLA has been undergoing tests in New Mexico ahead of ordering the full production hardware. Since September 25 this prototype has had four Station Boards, enabling 4-antenna tests... Read more...

ALMA ConstructionALMA Construction Eight Vertex antennas and four Mitsubishi Electric Company (Melco) antennas are now at the Operations Support Facility (OSF) in Chile; major parts of the eighth Vertex antenna arrived on Thanksgiving Day. Tests continue on the antennas, with the first acceptance of an antenna, a Melco antenna, expected within days... Read more...

Taiwan Welcomed as New North American ALMA PartnerTaiwan Welcomed as New North American ALMA Partner NRAO has announced a formal agreement enabling Taiwanese astronomers to participate in the North American component of the international ALMA partnership, alongside American and Canadian astronomers. Taiwan's efforts will be led by the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA)... Read more...

VLBA 22 GHz Amplifier Upgrade ProjectVLBA 22 GHz Amplifier Upgrade Project Efforts are under way to significantly improve the sensitivity of the VLBA. The major element of this effort is the bandwidth upgrade that has been reported elsewhere. But there are also opportunities for significant improvement in some of the receivers, especially at the higher frequencies... Read more...

Lab Notebook: Low-Loss Materials Critical to Radio AstronomyLab Notebook: Low-Loss Materials Critical to Radio Astronomy The minimization of dissipative losses in radio astronomy receivers is a never-ending engineering task. Any resistive loss also adds noise to the system. Just 1% (0.04 dB) of loss in an RF component at room temperature at the input of a receiver will add 3 Kelvin of noise to the system temperature. With a typical system temperature of 20 K, this translates to 15% loss of sensitivity and a 32% increase in the required observing time... Read more...


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

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