Short course on Radio astronomy: Science with JCMT


The Department of Space and Applications will organize a 1-day course on Radio Astronomy which is titled: Science with James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), on July 29th, 2019.

The course aims to provide very basic of radio astronomy, to demonstrate what science one can do with JCMT at sub-millimeter wavelength, and a hands-on session about JCMT data retrieval and reduction.

Lectures will be delivered by Mark G. Rawlings, a Support Scientist and a Scheduler at East Asian Observatory - JCMT.

Registration is free but mandatory: thanks to register and fulfill this form.


Operated by the East Asian Observatory (EAO), the JCMT is one of the largest single-dish astronomical telescopes in the world designed specifically to operate at submillimeter wavelengths, and is available for use by the Vietnamese astronomical user community. The JCMT is routinely used to study our Solar System, interstellar and circumstellar dust and gas, and distant galaxies. It is situated close to the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii, at an altitude of 4092m.

This full-day session will introduce attendees to the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). Lectures presented in the morning will provide (i) a general introduction to radio/sub-millimeter astronomy, (ii) a guide to the JCMT and its available instrumentation and (iii) a description of the typical experience of being a JCMT summit observer.

Tutorials taking place during the afternoon will introduce participants to the standard data reduction procedures for data from the JCMT’s suite of instruments. Subject to time constraints and the level of participant interest, an introduction to the processes involved in the preparation of JCMT proposals and observations may also be presented.
IMG 6436 1024x683

The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. Image Credit: William Montgomerie, East Asian Observatory

Proposed program

(1 day on Monday, July 29th, 2019, room 811, A21 USTH building, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay)


Morning (9h00'-12h00'): Lectures

  1. An Introduction to Radio/Sub-mm Astronomy
  2. An Introduction to the JCMT & Its Instrumentation
  3. Using the JCMT

Afternoon (1h30'-17h00'): JCMT Data Reduction Tutorials

Work through some/all of the following:
  1. SCUBA-2 Data Reduction/Analysis Tutorial 1
  2. SCUBA-2 Data Reduction/Analysis Tutorial 2
  3. Heterodyne Instrument Data Reduction/Analysis Tutorial 1

The above tutorials should provide a good start for anyone wishing to gain basic familiarity with JCMT datasets. If any members of the class work through them very quickly, there are also more advanced tutorials included on the above-listed parent page that build upon the knowledge gained from the more basic ones. Alternatively, if there is significant audience interest in learning more about preparing JCMT proposals/observations, Lecturer would be happy to spend some of the time during the afternoon session briefly discussing those topics, too.



In order to participate in the tutorials effectively, attendees will need a computer running Linux (preferably CentOS is preferred, but RHEL, Ubuntu, etc. may work too) or a recent version of Mac OS. They should already have a working installation of the latest version of the Starlink data reduction software suite from here: Starlink Software Releases, and have downloaded the relevant tutorial datasets from here: Datasets for Tutorials. They will also (ideally) need an internet connection and modern web browser in order to refer to the EAO web pages and other documentation during the tutorial session.

If attendees are also interested in learning more about proposal preparation, they will just need a web browser and an internet connection. If they would also like to experiment with preparing observing projects for execution at the telescope, then they should also install the JCMT Observing Tool (OT). Full details and download links regarding the JCMT OT are available here: Observing Tool.


Nguyễn Thị Trà
Academic Assistant to Space and Aeronautic Department
University of Science and Technology of Hanoi
(Vietnam France University)

R.412, Floor 4, A21 USTH Building 
18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi
Tel: (+84-4) 32 12 15 72
Email : [email protected]
Website :