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EVN/JIVE Newsletter - Edition 68 May 2024

Welcome to the May 2024 issue of the EVN/JIVE newsletter.


Advances in astrophysics increasingly come from gathering information at multiple wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum, from combining views at differing resolutions and now bringing together signals received by gravitational wave detectors and/or particle detectors. There is particular synergy between the EVN and high energy/multi-messenger detectors for events associated with compact objects. The EC-funded Opticon-RadioNet Pilot (ORP) has brought together transnational access and technical development for optical and radio facilities and had its first multi-facility call in March. A total of 13 proposals were received, covering science topics from planets to AGN and galaxies, and requesting 13 different facilities, including EVN. Some proposals requested up to 7 different facilities at once and 5/13 projects would combine optical and radio observations.

I’m pleased to see that two new series of online seminars are now running, one coordinated through ORP and the other is the re-start of the EVN Seminar series – thanks to Benito Marcote at JIVE and Anna Bartkiewicz for their work on this and welcome to Emmanuel Bempong-Manful, Kazi Rygl, and Javier Moldon who join the seminar organising committee.

Last time, I mentioned a number of anniversaries and last month the Metsahovi radio telescope in Finland celebrated their 50th anniversary. There were presentations from the JIVE Director, Aga Slowikowska, from the MPIfR Director Anton Zensus and from me. It was a pleasure to highlight the many scientific and technical contributions from the Metsahovi telescope and staff, from some of the earliest high frequency global VLBI observations to the revolutionary work of Ari Mujunen and Jouko Ritakari who changed the whole way we do VLBI – they demonstrated that we can treat VLBI data just like any other normal data and using normal computers, disks and networking to capture, store, transport and correlate the data. This seems obvious now, but this was a radical approach and very challenging  20 years ago. Ari & Jouko’s vision & architecture are now at the heart of how we do VLBI today.

And finally, we are looking forward to the next EVN Symposium which will be in Bonn between 2-6 September – thanks to Eduardo Ros and Andrei Lobanov who are organising that. Details are below but please note the deadline of 10 June for abstracts.


Simon Garrington
Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester

CfPObserving proposals are invited for the European VLBI Network (EVN). Deadline: 1 June 2024, 16:00:00 UTC. The EVN facility is open to all astronomers, but currently restrictions apply to teams with PIs and/or co-Is with affiliation to institutes in Russia and Belarus. Astronomers with limited or no VLBI experience are particularly encouraged to apply for observing time. Student proposals are judged favourably. Support with proposal preparation, scheduling, correlation, data reduction and analysis can be requested from the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE). Check details of the call for proposals here.


EVN Support+ programme: JIVE/EVN has a programme to provide extended support to teams new to the EVN, with little or no direct VLBI experience. This includes the scheduling of the VLBI run and the VLBI-specific parts of the data reduction (including a-priori amplitude calibration and fringe-fitting). Imaging, and the interpretation of the data is the responsibility of the team. We aim to support some standard VLBI projects, evaluated by the EVN Program Committee with the highest grades. See the call for proposals for more information. For further questions please contact the Chair of the EVN PC, Zsolt Paragi (


EVN-lite: EVN-lite is an initiative to support projects that may request hundreds of hours of observations outside of regular EVN sessions, but only requiring a small fraction of these to be correlated (e.g. based on a single dish detection of a rare event). Currently there is a background project selected for this, the PRECISE program led by Franz Kirsten (OSO, Sweden). Observations are typically done with a limited subarray of the EVN, strictly on a best-effort basis. In principle, trigger projects could be considered to override some of these EVN-lite observations. We welcome trigger proposals that would strongly benefit from the additional triggering opportunities outside of regular sessions,  with limited EVN subarrays. More information can be found under the EVN-lite item here.


EVN Service observations: The EVN may carry out service observations of (potentially) high-profile transient events that could attract attention from various groups. These initial observations could be done immediately, before proposals arrive. The data would be available to all teams successfully proposing for a follow-up program, but the EVN may attach conditions to releasing the data. Eventually, the data would be made publicly available through the EVN Archive. The data for the first EVN service observation (on the nearby supernova SN2023ixf in M101) can be downloaded here.


IC 485: a LINER galaxy with an elusive accretion disc!
Elisabetta Ladu

Masers are a unique tool with which to investigate the emitting gas in the innermost regions of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and to map accretion discs and tori orbiting around supermassive black holes (SMBHs). This is possible thanks to the high-angular-resolution measurements made with the very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) technique. So far, the majority of the H2O masers have been found in radio-quiet AGNs (Seyfert 2 or LINERs) in the local Universe (z ≤ 0.05), although there are some exceptions (Tarchi 2012; Braatz et al. 2018). Read More


Searching for high-brightness temperature AGN cores in surveys using high-resolution radio data

Ann Njeri

Extragalactic Survey fields provide a rich hunting ground for Active nuclei, but multiple resolution interferometers are needed to tell them apart from star formation. Deep radio surveys of extragalactic legacy fields trace a large range of spatial and brightness temperature sensitivity scales, and therefore have differing biases to radio-emitting physical components within galaxies. This is particularly true of radio surveys performed at ≲1 arcsec angular resolutions, and so robust comparisons are necessary to better understand the biases present in each survey. Read More


High-resolution radio imaging of the two particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries HD 167971 and HD 168112

Michaël De Becker 

Massive stars (typically O-type stars and their Wolf-Rayet evolved counterparts) produce powerful winds carrying a lot of kinetic power. In binary systems made of massive stars, the winds collide. These colliding-wind binaries (CWBs) allow us to investigate various aspects of shock physics. Among them, some systems show compelling evidence for the existence of a population of relativistic particles. This subset of CWBs is referred to as Particle-Accelerating Colliding-Wind Binaries (PACWBs). In such systems, populations of relativistic particles are accelerated through the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism. Read more


Proper motion of the radio jets in two blazars at redshift above 3

Máté Krezinger 

Jet kinematic studies have always been important for understanding the nature of active galactic nuclei (AGN).  The technique of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) provides milliarcsecond-scale resolution (pc scales in linear resolution) at cm wavelengths to trace the radio emission coming from the innermost regions of the jets. With long-term monitoring, the apparent proper motion of the jet components can be directly measured. In contrast to low redshifts, jet proper motion studies at high redshifts are still rare, and usually deal with only a few sources at a time. Read more


Milliarcsecond Localisation of the Hyperactive Repeating FRB 20220912A

Danté Hewitt 

While most fast radio bursts (FRBs) are observed as one-off, millisecond-duration radio pulses originating from extragalactic distances, a small fraction (~3%) of these sources are known to repeat sporadically and infrequently and are called repeaters. In contrast to most repeaters, FRB 20220912A, discovered by The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment FRB project (CHIME/FRB), is extraordinarily active. Read more.


Navigating the Cosmos: Mastering PRIDE-JUICE VLBI Operations

Vidhya Pallichadath

Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) was launched on April 14, 2023, on an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. JUICE is the first large-class science mission of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 program. As JUICE continues its orbit around the gas giant, the Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) project, led by JIVE and Delft University of Technology as PI and co-PI organisations, respectively, stands at the forefront of scientific exploration, employing Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) techniques to unravel the mysteries of Jupiter's moons. Read more.


Optimising the design of a space-based VLBI mission

Ben Hudson

Expansion of VLBI systems into space is crucial for overcoming the inherent limitations of angular resolution defined by the atmosphere's opacity at sub-mm wavelengths and baseline length of ground-based arrays (practically equal to the Earth's diameter). Two dedicated space VLBI missions have flown as of the time of writing: VSOP-HALCA and RadioAstron. Read more.

OtherThe EVN online seminars are back  

Benito Marcote

In February, the European VLBI Network (EVN) introduced the third edition of its online seminars series, aiming to "explore the sharpest view of the Universe with the EVN". These talks focus on the capabilities of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and its significant contributions to various astronomical fields. The seminars cover diverse scientific topics with different speakers, providing an insightful introduction to cutting-edge research tailored for the broader astronomical community. All talks are targeted at a wide astronomical audience, allowing ample time for questions and discussions. Read more. For info about the past and upcoming seminars and how to watch them, visit the EVN's website.


News from ORP


ORP Multi-Facility Call for Proposals 

Announced on February 29th, the ORP's Multi-Facility Call for Proposals invited submissions for observing programs requiring the use of multiple astronomical observing facilities. With a deadline of April 9th, this call streamlined the process, allowing researchers to request observing time across both radio and optical facilities via a single proposal and review mechanism. Access was provided to over eighteen individual facilities, promising enhanced collaboration and efficiency in pursuing groundbreaking astronomical research. Read more. Also, watch the video with Rob Beswick’s brief presentation of the call.   


ORP Science Talks 

ORP launched the "ORP Science Talks" series, aiming to foster scientific exchange and collaboration. These Zoom-based events provide a platform for researchers within the ORP community and beyond to showcase their work and engage in discussions. The first session happened on April 3, with the next scheduled for June 5th. Watch the first talks.   



Radioblocks recently completed its first year with critical milestones and project results achieved. Period 1 reporting was recently submitted, marking an essential step in solidifying the work in the project. From Tuesday, June 4, to Thursday, June 6, the first all-hands meeting of the project will take place in Madrid, ES. This meeting will serve as a vital platform for sharing and exchanging the knowledge gained through our collaboration. 




EVN/JIVE newsletter editorial team: Agnieszka Slowikowska (JIVE Director), Zsolt Paragi (JIVE Head of User Support), Ioanna Kazakou (JIVE Communications Officer).

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