Astronomy and Space Science, Engineering and Technology: Aerospace and Aeronautical, Physics: Astrophysics
Next-Generation Event Horizon Telescope Postdoctoral Position
At Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), a partner in the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) with Harvard University. The EHT is an international project to study event horizon scale physics at the boundary of the supermassive black holes at the center of the Milky Way (SgrA*) and in Virgo A (M87) using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry. The EHT group at SAO is located close to Harvard University at 160 Concord Ave. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is closely affiliated with the Harvard Black Hole Initiative (BHI), the first interdisciplinary research center worldwide to focus on the study of black holes.
On April 10, 2019, the EHT announced the first images of M87 that revealed the predicted black hole ‘shadow’: a ring of light, bounded by the photon orbit of a 6.5 billion solar mass black hole, encircling a dark region where light paths to Earth cross the event horizon. Postdocs in the EHT group have access to EHT data and are encouraged to take leading roles in all aspects of the project, including observations, instrument development, analysis algorithms, and studies of accretion, jet physics and black hole space-times.
The specific postdoctoral position announced here focuses on the next-generation EHT (ngEHT) project. This initiative is pursuing a number of specific long-range developments to increase the capability of the array, enabling real-time movie making of supermassive black holes. The project will prototype dual-frequency millimeter-wave radio receivers and surface control of very large millimeter-wave radio dishes. It will modernize and accelerate large-scale data processing infrastructure (hardware and software). It will refurbish existing large radio telescopes, and enhance imaging fidelity using many small, replicated, designed-to-purpose radio dishes. It will create new analysis algorithms to draw new physics from next-generation data. It will also architect the next generation EHT at a global level. The postdoctoral appointee will join a team designing, analyzing and documenting game changing advances in millimeter- and submillimeter-wave very long-baseline-interferometry (VLBI) astrophysical instrumentation. This international team includes engineers, theoreticians, software developers, astronomers, and imaging algorithm experts, all united by a common science vision.
We are looking for highly motivated and excellent applicants with experience in the areas of radio interferometry, software, astronomy data pipelines, digital signal processing, mm/submm instrumentation, and black hole theory/simulation/modeling. There are multiple opportunities for the successful candidate to take on leading roles within the EHT. The fellowships can start as early as winter 2019-20.
Applicants must have a recent PhD in astronomy, engineering, or a related field. The grant-funded position is for three years. A generous stipend, starting at $71,274/year, as well as full SAO benefits, research and travel funds, and laptop/desktop computers will be provided.
To view the complete vacancy announcement, qualification requirements and application procedure, please view our website at https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hr/postings/20-17.html
For further information about the EHT or BHI, please go to www.eventhorizontelescope.org or https://bhi.fas.harvard.edu.
Please direct any questions about projects or programs to Shep Doeleman (email@example.com), EHT Founding Director.
Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. AAE/EOE.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.
Internal Number: 20-17
About Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy. The long relationship between the two organizations, which began when the SAO moved its headquarters to Cambridge in 1955, was formalized by the establishment of a joint center in 1973. The CfA's history of accomplishments in astronomy and astrophysics is reflected in a wide range of awards and prizes received by individual CfA scientists.
Today, some 360 Smithsonian and Harvard scientists cooperate in broad programs of astrophysical research supported by Federal appropriations and University funds as well as contracts and grants from governmen...t agencies. These scientific investigations, touching on almost all major topics in astronomy, are organized into the following divisions, scientific departments and service groups.
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