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Bulletin #1
July-September 2018

The Sao Paulo Astronomy Network Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the São Paulo Astronomy Network (SPAnet) Newsletter. SPAnet is an alliance of institutions and professionals focused on developing astronomy and related instrumentation in the Sao Paulo State. Thanks to generous funding by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), SPAnet is involved in several ambitious projects covering more than fifteen decades of the electromagnetic spectrum. Some of the projects include the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope in the optical, the Cherenkov Telescope Array in gamma-rays and the LLAMA and BINGO telescopes in radio.

With this bulletin, our goal is to bring news from our scientific community such as technical and scientific developments, events, collaborations and visitors. We hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Rodrigo Nemmen
Newsletter Editor

Portrait of GMTO's Robert Shelton - Image credit: Léo Ramos Chaves (Pesquisa Fapesp)

GMTO President visits São Paulo

The President of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO), Dr. Robert Shelton, visited São Paulo on August 6 and 7. Robert Shelton gave an interview to FAPESP; see the video. The FAPESP’s “Revista Pesquisa” also published an interview with Shelton.

Reproduction of ARAA review

Prestigious astronomy review

Prof. Beatriz Barbuy (IAG) lead a recent review paper on the galactic bulge in the prestigious Annual Review of Astronomy & Astrophysics (ARAA). Authors of ARAA reviews are selected from the most distinguished experts in the field. ARAA publications are among the highest cited papers in astronomy with an impact factor of 37.8.

New faculty hiring on instrumentation development

Starting on August, Alessandro Ederoclite is the new faculty hired at the Astronomy Department in IAG. Prof. Ederoclite has worked at ESO, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and previously held a staff position at the Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (Spain). His research focuses on various aspects of classical novae. This has naturally led him to instrumentation development. 

CTA ASTRI prototype. Credit: Rodrigo Nemmen

Construction of CTA small size telescopes about to begin 

The mirrors of the 9 double-mirror small size telescopes (SST 2M)—which will be part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) mini-array—are already under construction by Media Lario Technologies. The first of the 3 telescope structures funded by FAPESP will be manufactured by the GEC consortium in the next few months and soon after will be deployed in the CTA South site in Paranal, Chile.

Hard rock excavation for the GMT 

The beginning of the Hard Rock excavation for the GMT on Cerro Las Campanas, Chile was announced on August 14, 2018.

LLAMA radio telescope construction makes progress 

The construction of the LLAMA radio telescope in the Andes—a collaboration between MinCyt (Argentina), FAPESP, USP, Mackenzie and INPE/MCT—is progressing. The containers with parts of the 12 m sub-mm antenna arrived at the site at 4800 m altitude. Due to an accident with a truck during transportation, an important piece—the Yoke traverse—has been damaged. A new one will be provided, covered by the transportation insurance.

Frame from news story - Reproduction/TV Globo

GMT in Rede Globo’s “Bom Dia Brasil”

The Rede Globo’s “Bom Dia Brasil” featured the GMT over four minutes on a national Brazilian TV primetime, watched by millions of people.

Picture of Yosuke Mizuno during lecture - Image credit: IAG/USP

Course on General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics: Aug 13-17

Yosuke Mizuno (Goethe University, Frankfurt) taught an advanced course on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics on August 13-17 at IAG. General relativistic magnetohydrodynamics is an essential tool to model high-energy astrophysical phenomena such as accreting black holes and relativistic jets.

Portrait of Roderik Overzier - Image credit: personal archive

New FAPESP Visiting Scientist

During the second half of 2018, Roderik Overzier will be joining IAG supported by a FAPESP visiting scholar grant. Prof. Overzier is a renowned researcher in the field of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology, and a staff scientist at the Observatório Nacional. At IAG, he will continue to pursue his research on the formation of galaxies at high redshift, plan future observations with JWST, the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph and GMT.

Study helps to understand the habitability of the ancient Earth

A recent study led by PhD student Raissa Estrela and Prof. Adriana Valio (CRAAM/Mackenzie) analysed the ultraviolet impact of superflares on a Earth-like planet orbiting a solar-analogous star. The study was accepted for publication in the journal Astrobiology and was presented recently in the IAU Symposium 345 “Origins: From the Protosun to the First Steps of Life” in Vienna.

Picture of participants at 2018 EAA - Image credit: IAG/USP

Advanced School on GMT science and instrumentation: Feb. 26-Mar. 1, 2018

An advanced school on the science and instrumentation of the next generation of optical telescopes was held at IAG on February 26 to March 1, 2018. The lecturers included Rebecca Bernstein (Carnegie), Andrew Szentgyorgyi (Harvard CfA), Matthew Colless (ANU) and Daniel T. Jaffe (UTexas).

Workshop: Science with Gemini and SOAR, May 21-22

On May 21-22, 2018 a scientific workshop was held at UNIVAP in São José dos Campos on the theme Science with the Gemini and SOAR Telescopes: Preparing for the GMT with speakers including Bruno Castilho (LNA), Rogemar Riffel (UFSM), Jorge Melendez (IAG), Luciano Fraga (LNA), Daniel Moser (IAG) and Hektor Monteiro (UNIFEI).

Annual meeting of the Brazilian Astronomical Society, July 9-12

On July 9-12, 2018 the annual meeting of the Brazilian Astronomical Society (SAB) was held at Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, São Paulo. Invited speakers included Joseph Silk (IAP), Marcelle Soares-Santos (Brandeis), Natalie Batalha (NASA AMES) and Vivian White (ASP).

Training for International Astronomy Olympiads, May-Sep.

From May to Sep. 2018, the Brazilian Astronomy and Astronautics Olympiad organized at Vinhedo (São Paulo state) a series of training sessions for high school students which will participate in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Brazil has participated in every edition of the olympiads, attaining a total of 97 medals and honorable mentions.

Upcoming events

The São Paulo Astronomy Network (SPAnet) is an alliance of institutions and researchers for the development of astronomy and instrumentation in São Paulo State, Brazil. If you have news or feedback for the newsletter, keep in touch with us.
Copyright © 2018 SPAnet, All rights reserved.

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Most SPANet research grants are supported by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)


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