[ASA] eROSITA update and new call for proposals for joint projects

John O'Byrne john.obyrne at sydney.edu.au
Thu Apr 20 11:47:29 AEST 2017

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention on the ongoing partnership between the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) and the German eROSITA Consortium (eROSITA_DE), which will provide exciting new opportunities for multi-wavelength astronomy projects across the southern sky. While the MoU was signed by CAASTRO, this agreement covers all Australian astronomers. We are preparing the transition from the current eROSITA_DE-CAASTRO MoU to an agreement between eROSITA_DE and an entity representing the entirety of the Australian astronomical community. This transition will take place at the end of 2017, before the official ending date of CAASTRO on 31 March 2018.

Last year, we held a very successful meeting at Ringberg Castle, near Munich, where plans for current future wide-area surveys, and their synergies with eROSITA were laid down. Many scientists from CAASTRO and other Australian-led projects attended the meeting and took first contact with their eROSITA colleagues (presentations are available here: http://ringbergxray2016.weebly.com/).

On 20 January 2017, the completed eROSITA X-ray telescope boarded a cargo plane and was transported from Munich, where it had been built at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, to Moscow. It has now arrived in Moscow and the expected launch date is now in early 2018. For more information see:  http://www.mpe.mpg.de/6686210/news-20170120

In the meantime, significant progress has been made on eROSITA, and on a number of other projects, and we would like to give you a brief update on those.

Finally, given all the above development, we are now opening a new call for proposals for joint eROSITA_DE/CAASTRO projects. The Expression of Interest will be open until 15 May 2017 and the project template is attached.

** This call is open to all Australian-based astronomers, not just those affiliated with CAASTRO. **

Below, you’ll find information on all these three points.

We look forward to hearing your ideas, and to seeing new discoveries emerge from this partnership.

Best Regards,
Andrea Merloni and Paul Nandra (eROSITA_DE), Elaine Sadler and Kate Gunn (CAASTRO)

1) Project updates:
- eROSITA (http://www.mpe.mpg.de/eROSITA): all-sky X-ray imaging, 0.5-10 keV, 15"-30" angular resolution; eROSITA_DE covers Galactic longitudes 180 < l < 360. The telescope has been completed, assembled and shipped to Russia for final test and integration into the spacecraft (see http://www.mpe.mpg.de/6686210/news-20170120). Launch is foreseen in March 2018. The first scientific data from a Performance Verification phase, being planned now, will be taken in June-July 2018. The first all-sky survey should then be completed in January 2019, and it is anticipated that seven more passes of the whole sky will be completed by Summer 2022.
Point of contact for inquiries: eROSITA_DE Working Group chairs (http://www.mpe.mpg.de/455860/working_groups)

- ASKAP (http://www.atnf.csiro.au/projects/askap/index.html): early science began in 2015; all-sky (decl < +30) radio imaging & spectroscopy, 700-1800 MHz, 15" angular resolution. Contact person: Aidan Hotan <Aidan.Hotan at csiro.au<mailto:Aidan.Hotan at csiro.au>>

- MWA (http://mwatelescope.org/): fully operational; all-sky (decl < +30) radio imaging, 80-240 MHz, ~2.5' resolution, very large instantaneous field-of-view (30 degs), fast imaging cadence (timescale seconds) capable. Contact person: A/Prof Randall Wayth(R.Wayth at curtin.edu.au<mailto:R.Wayth at curtin.edu.au>)

- UTMOST (http//astronomy.swin.edu.au/research/utmost<http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/research/utmost>): operational 2014; searches for fast radio transients, 840 MHz, 45" angular resolution. Contact person: Prof Matthew Bailes (mbailes at swin.edu.au<mailto:mbailes at swin.edu.au>)

- ATCA (http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/) fully operational, baselines of 30m to 6km; radio imaging (full synthesis) and spectroscopy, 1.3-105 GHz, ~8" to ~0.1'' max. angular resolution respectively. Contact: Jamie Stevens <Jamie.Stevens at csiro.au<mailto:Jamie.Stevens at csiro.au>>

- PARKES (http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au/): fully operational; radio imaging (pointed and scanned), spectroscopy, high-time resolution observing (e.g. pulsars and FRBs), 0.7-22 GHz, ~23' to ~0.7' angular resolution respectively. Contact: Jimi Green<James.Green at csiro.au<mailto:James.Green at csiro.au>>

- SkyMapper (http://rsaa.anu.edu.au/observatories/telescopes/skymapper-telescope): operational 2014; all-sky (decl < 0) optical photometry & transients, uvgriz filters, 1"-2" angular resolution. Contact person: Dr Christian Wolf (christian.wolf at anu.edu.au<mailto:christian.wolf at anu.edu.au>)

- AAT (http://www.aao.gov.au/about/aat.html): fully operational; 3.9m telescope in Australia, focus on wide-field multi-fibre and multi-IFU spectroscopy, 1"-2" angular resolution. Contact person: Prof Andrew Hopkins (ahopkins at aao.gov.au<mailto:ahopkins at aao.gov.au>)

- TAIPAN is a new facility on the UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, to be used for two major survey programs, starting in mid-2017: the Taipan galaxy survey (http://taipan-survey.org/) of more than a million galaxies brighter than i<17, and the FunnelWeb stellar survey (http://funnel-web.wikispaces.com/) of more than 3 million stars brighter than V<12.  Contact personTAIPAN: Prof Andrew Hopkins (ahopkins at aao.gov.au<mailto:ahopkins at aao.gov.au>)  Contact person FUNNELWEB: Prof Chris Tinney (c.tinney at unsw.edu.au<mailto:c.tinney at unsw.edu.au>)

2) Transition to a new MoU, and extension thereof
CAASTRO has commenced discussions with a national body to consider the transition arrangements for the eROSITA_DE and CAASTRO MoU.  These discussions are ongoing however we would anticipate a new MoU signed by the end of 2017 which will encompass all Australian astronomers.

3) Call for Proposals:
CAASTRO and eROSITA_DE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that enables collaboration on projects requiring combined data from eROSITA and from Australian wide-field facilities (including ASKAP, MWA, SKAMP, Parkes, ATCA, SkyMapper, AAT, TAIPAN). To briefly summarise, this will oversee science projects that:

- require the use of both eROSITA_DE and CAASTRO/AUS data
- involve at least one member from each of eROSITA_DE and CAASTRO/AUS
- do not conflict with existing eROSITA_DE or CAASTRO/AUS projects
- (optionally) allow participation by undergraduate and postgraduate students
- adhere to the existing policies for the individual facilities involved (e.g. proprietary periods, data access, survey teams, observing time, publications)

Such projects will be formally proposed to, approved by and monitored by a joint CAASTRO/eROSITA_DE Management Committee, as per the details in the attached MoU. The CAASTRO/eROSITA_DE Management Committee currently consists of Prof Paul Nandra (eROSITA_DE), Prof Elaine Sadler (CAASTRO), Dr Andrea Merloni (eROSITA_DE) and Ms Kate Gunn (CAASTRO).

At this time, we wish to invite proposals for joint eROSITA_DE/CAASTRO/AUS projects.

- If you wish to propose a fully-formed project, please read clause 9 of the attached MoU, complete the attached project template form, and send to coo at caastro.org<mailto:coo at caastro.org>. Proposals should be submitted by May 15, 2017 in order to be considered at the next MC meeting on May 31st.
We strongly encourage potential proposer to get in touch with their corresponding partners early on. If you are generically interested in a facility, but do not know who to contact specifically, do not hesitate to ask either the members of the Management Committee, or the contact persons listed below.

4) List of European Contact points
eROSITA PI: Peter Predehl (MPE; predehl at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:predehl at mpe.mpg.de>)
eROSITA Project Scientist: Andrea Merloni (MPE; am at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:am at mpe.mpg.de>)

eROSITA_DE Science Working Group Chairs:

Clusters and Cosmology
A. Finoguenov (MPE; alexis at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:alexis at mpe.mpg.de>)
J. Mohr (USM; jmohr at USM.LMU.de<mailto:jmohr at USM.LMU.de>)
T. Reiprich (AIfA, Bonn; reiprich at astro.uni-bonn.de<mailto:reiprich at astro.uni-bonn.de>)

AGN, Blazars:
K. Nandra (MPE; knandra at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:knandra at mpe.mpg.de>)
A. Georgakakis (MPE; age at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:age at mpe.mpg.de>)
M. Salvato (MPE; mara at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:mara at mpe.mpg.de>)

Normal Galaxies:
F. Haberl (MPE; fwh at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:fwh at mpe.mpg.de>)

Compact objects:
A. Schwope (AIP; aschwope at aip.de<mailto:aschwope at aip.de>)
A. Santangelo (IAAT; andrea.santangelo at uni-tuebingen.de<mailto:andrea.santangelo at uni-tuebingen.de>)

J. Robrade (UH; jrobrade at hs.uni-hamburg.de<mailto:jrobrade at hs.uni-hamburg.de>)
J. Schmitt (UH; jschmitt at hs.uni-hamburg.de<mailto:jschmitt at hs.uni-hamburg.de>)

Solar System:
K. Dennerl (MPE; kod at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:kod at mpe.mpg.de>)

Diffuse emission, SNR:
W. Becker (MPE; web at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:web at mpe.mpg.de>)
M. Freyberg (MPE; mjf at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:mjf at mpe.mpg.de>)
M. Sasaki (IAAT; sasaki at astro.uni-tuebingen.de<mailto:sasaki at astro.uni-tuebingen.de>)

Time Domain Astrophysics:
J. Wilms (ECAP; joern.wilms at sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de<mailto:joern.wilms at sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de>)
A. Rau (MPE; arau at mpe.mpg.de<mailto:arau at mpe.mpg.de>)

Australia :
See contact details above under projects.
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