First Management Committee Meeting

The EuroCal project Management Committee (consisting of the University of Crete representative and project PI Prof. V. Charmandaris, the Max-Plank Institute for Radioastronomy representative Prof. J.A. Zensus, and Caltech representative Prof. A.C.S Readhead) held its first meeting in January of 2013, in Pasadena, CA, USA. 

The Committe agreed on a road map for attacking the EuroCal project tasks. The road map focuses on the two main themes of the project: Active Galactic Nuclei, and Exceptionally Luminous Galaxies. It was agreed that networking activities should focus on three targets: A) transfer of knowledge between the participating institutions; B) strengthening of existing collaborative projects and starting of new collaborative projects; and C) bringing together theorists and observers working on each of the two themes of the project.  

The collaborative activities on the Active Galactic Nuclei theme naturally relovles around our joint monitoring of a common sample of AGN, using radio facilities of Caltech and MPIfR, and optical facilities in Crete, including a novel optopolarimeter (RoboPol) jointly developed by our institutions, in collaboration with the Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU) in Poland and the Intra-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India (IUCAA). Our efforts are both observational and theoretical. To birng these studies to their speediest and most productive conclusion, the following actions were agreed upon: 

  • Caltech and MPIfR scientists and students (as well as scientists from IUCAA) are to visit the University of Crete during RoboPol commissioning in May of 2013, to assist with instrument installation and commissioning observations. In particular, Dr. O. King from Caltech, Dr. E. Angelakis and Mr. I. Myserlis from MPIfR, and Prof. A. Ramaprakash from IUCAA will visit Crete for RoboPol comissioning. 
  • Caltech, NCU, and MPIfR scientists will visit Crete during the Sinakas Observatory 2013 observing season, to assist with RoboPol observations as well as the analysis and the interpretation of these observations. In particular, Dr. Hovatta from Caltech, Mr. Myserlis from MPIfR, Ms. Pazderska and Prof. Kus from NCU will visit Crete for this purpose. All these scientists will also be expected to give talks and/or closely interact with scientists and students at the University of Crete to maximize transfer of knowledge.
  • In the opposite direction, Prof. Papadakis from U. of Crete will visit Caltech during the summer of 2013 to on one hand collaborate with Caltech scientists on the NuStar mission and on the other hand brief Caltech collaborators on the progress of RoboPol observations. 
  • Every effort will be applied to have the first publications from RoboPol data submitted before the end of the first Skinakas observing season. We reasonably expect three papers: one describing the design of the RoboPol instrument, one on the RoboPo control and analysis pipeline, and one on a single-epoch linear polarization survey. 
  • Scientists and students from Crete and MPIfR will visit Caltech in January of 2014, after the end of the Skinakas observing season, to revisit pending studies of the 1st observing season data. In particular, Dr. Angelakis from MPIfR and Prof. Pavlidou and Prof. Tassis from the University of Crete will visit Caltech for this purpose. 

The collaborative activities on the Exceptionally Luminous Galaxies theme revolve around the analysis and interpretation of infrared observations obtained with Herschel Space Observatory, both for the GOALS sample as well as other sources.To advance these studies, the following actions were agreed upon: 

  • Members of the FORTH/U. of Crete team will be trained in the reduction of Herschel data. To this end, Prof. Charmandaris and Mr. Bitsakis from U of Crete/FORTH will be seconded to  Caltech for 2 and 7 months respectively. 
  • Additional training in the analysis and scientific interpretation of the data will take place at FORTH. To this end, Dr. T. Diaz-Santos from Caltech will be seonded to FORTH for 2 months.
  • It is expected that Mr Bitsakis will complete his PhD thesis during the first year of the program, and that his PhD research results will result in several publications expected in the 2013/2014 timeframe. 
  • On the theory side, Prof. Tassis will be recruiting a graduate student to work with him on the chemodynamical analysis of starforming regions. This student will eventually be joining the EUROCAL project, and will be trained on interfacing theory and observations during secondments of Caltech members to Crete as well as during a secondment of her/his own to Caltech at some later project year, after she/he has obtained enough research experience to maximize the benefit of the secondment. 

Project EUROCAL is supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, through an International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) Marie Curie Action, under grant agreemen PIRSES-GA-2012-316788.