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Call for ``Letters of Intent''

Observations of high-redshift gravitationally lensed objects -- Coordination of future observations -- Call for ``Letters of Intent'' to participate

This Newsletter contains an abstract reporting a discovery of CO from the Cloverleaf, a gravitationally lensed quasar with a redshift of 2.6. The discovery, made with the IRAM interferometer, and confirmed at the 30m telescope, is likely to prompt further searches for mm-wave transitions in other gravitationally lensed objects.

Such observations are undoubtedly of high scientific interest. However, they are particularly delicate and require a lot of telescope time, especially if the redshifts at which the molecular transitions should occur are not well known. The only way to minimize this risk is to carefully prepare the observations, usually involving spectroscopic studies at other wavelengths (e.g. optical and/or infrared), as well as the choice of the best observing technique (30m telescope or interferometer).

Because of these special requirements, we would like to encourage coordination and cooperation among those users who have an interest in this particular kind of work. IRAM is willing to organize such collaborative effort.

I am therefore inviting ``Letters of Intent'' to participate in the study of high-redshift gravitationally lensed objects with the IRAM telescopes. The letters should be addressed to me and should contain information about the special contribution which the proposer wants to make to prepare and execute future observations at either the 30m telescope or the Plateau de Bure interferometer.

There will be no deadline for such ``Letters of Intent'' but IRAM will establish as quickly as possible a small advisory/steering group on an experimental basis for a limited period of time that will be charged with defining the best observing strategy and with selecting the most promising gravitationally lensed objects.


Robert Lucas
Thu Mar 9 14:24:13 MET 1995