ASTRON is responsible for the operations of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).


The astronomical research at ASTRON is closely aligned with the strengths of our facilities LOFAR and WSRT-APERTIF.


Met onze radiotelescopen nemen wij de meest zwakke signalen uit het heelal waar. Daardoor zijn zij kwetsbaar voor elektromagnetische storing. Met het tijdig treffen van de juiste maatregelen kan storing worden voorkomen.

Wireless Data Lab

Draadloze techniek lijkt vanzelfsprekend, maar de ontwikkeling ervan gaat niet vanzelf. Daarom hebben we bij ASTRON een proeftuin ingericht; het Wireless Data Lab.

Making discoveries
in radio astronomy

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and is part of the Institutes organisation of NWO.
Volcanic ‘activity’ in black holes blows monumental bubbles spanning hundreds of thousands of light years

An international team of researchers, which included astronomers from the Netherlands Institutes for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and Space Research (SRON) as well as Leiden University, observed the full extent of the evolution of hot gas produced by an active black hole for the first time.

Inheemse blik op de hemel in Leiden tentoongesteld

Op zaterdag 16 oktober opent de bijzondere tentoonstelling Onder onze hemel (origineel Shared Sky), een culturele blik op de sterrenhemel door Aboriginal Australische en Zuid-Afrikaanse artiesten, in de Oude Sterrewacht in Leiden.

Aurorae discovered on distant stars suggest hidden planets

Using the world’s most powerful radio telescope, LOFAR, scientists have discovered stars unexpectedly blasting out radio waves, possibly indicating the existence of hidden planets.

Periodic Fast Radio Burst found bare, unobscured by strong binary wind

By connecting two of the biggest radio telescopes in the world, astronomers have discovered that a simple binary wind cannot cause the puzzling periodicity of a Fast Radio Burst after all.

Most detailed-ever images of galaxies revealed using LOFAR
Vidi grant awarded to astronomer Harish Vedantham
What does the start of construction of SKA mean for the project and the Netherlands?
Green light given for construction of world’s largest radio telescope arrays
Apertif survey wraps up at end of 2021
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Colloquium: Periodic variability of 6.7GHz methanol maser emission in high mass star-forming regions

© Image credit: Mateusz Olech (Space Radio-Diagnostics Research Centre, University of Warmia and Mazury)

High mass stars are very important in the chemical and physical evolution of our galaxy, yet their earliest stages of life are still not well understood. One of the earliest tracers of high-mass star-forming regions is the emission of Class II 6.7GHz methanol masers.

High resolution observations using Very Long Baseline Interferometry suggest that they emerge in the small portion of gas and dust on the transition between accretion disc and envelope. Due to the nature of stimulated emission they are highly sensitive to changes in local physical conditions. This gives us an opportunity to study in great detail the environment of HMYSO's.

In my talk I will present my work on investigating a small group of maser sources that was recently identified showing unusual, periodic behavior. Many theories have been proposed trying to explain this behavior but to this day there is no agreement on what process could cause periodicity.

Recent studies showing synchronicity of IR and 6.7 GHz emission and discovery of an unique source with alternating methanol and water maser flares gives us new insight into this problem.


Latest tweets

Een werkgroep van de Raad van de Astronomie heeft de CO2-uitstoot van het sterrenkundig onderzoek in Nederland geschat over 2019. Het resultaat is gepubliceerd in Nature Astronomy, lees het hele nieuwsbericht op:

A suprising find for an international team of astronomers: galaxy AGC 114905 has no dark matter. Their results are published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, read the full press release here:

Shared sky: Canvases of the Universe opened in October in Leiden's Old Observatory. In this exhibition you can view indigenous astronomy art by Aboriginal Australian and South African artists. You can read all about it in @SKAO's latest Contact magazine:

Are you an astronomy, physics or computer science student and do you want to spend the summer at a world-leading research institute? Apply now for our joint summer research programme with @jivevlbi!