Telescopes

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

Astronomy

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

Research and Innovation


Radio astronomy delivers important breakthrough technology for our society.

News & Events


Read all our latest news here.

Making discoveries
in radio astronomy
happen.

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and is part of the Institutes organisation of NWO.
STORIES
Ultra-sensitive radio images reveal thousands of star-forming galaxies in early Universe

An international team of astronomers has published the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies, using the International Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).

Europe’s radio and optical astronomy communities team up in new EC-funded project

A new project has kicked off to enhance cooperation between European astronomy facilities and promote transnational access among them. ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy), ILT (International LOFAR Telescope), JIV-ERIC (Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC), and NOVA (Netherlands Research School for Astronomy) are partners based in the Netherlands.

A starry sky made of more than 25,000 supermassive black holes

An international team of astronomers has produced the largest and sharpest map of the sky at ultra-low radio frequencies, using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope. The map published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics reveals more than 25,000 active supermassive black holes in distant galaxies.

People of ASTRON: Paula Fusiara

In People of ASTRON we share stories about the people at ASTRON. Who are the people behind the discoveries and innovations and also, who are the people that make sure that everything runs smoothly? Design engineer Paula Fusiara has been working at ASTRON since 2016.

SKAO is born - Launch of international Observatory signals new era for radio astronomy
People of ASTRON: Henk Vonk
People of ASTRON: Pieter Benthem
ASTRON reveals life cycle of supermassive black hole
Humans of ASTRON: Carin Lubbers-Leering
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DAILY IMAGE
Colloquium: MaserDB.net: star formation signposts archive and statistical analysis tool

© Image credit: Dmitry A. Ladeyschikov / Maserdb.net

Maser emission is proven to be an efficient probe of star formation, however, accessing this rich source of information takes some work. Due to the variability of maser emission, a single observation does not provide sufficient information on each source. Moreover, only interferometric studies can reveal spatial distribution and kinematic structure of a maser cluster. Usually a combination of single-dish monitoring and interferometric study is required to reveal the nature of maser emission in a source.

Gathering of such information for all known maser sites (~7000 and counting) is impossible due to limited observation time and resources. However, since the maser emission discovery, the science community has already conducted many maser observations. Analysis of the archival data allows us to study the astrophysical sources in many different maser species (e.g. CH3OH, OH, H2O), transitions, and observational epochs. When combined, this information provides a comprehensive view of each star formation region. The catch is that there has been no effective way of searching and comparing data from the literature.

We present the MaserDB (http://maserdb.net/) database of astrophysical masers which is designed to study published maser data using graphical interface and capability of structured query language (SQL). Currently the database contains ~98% of published data on methanol masers and ~85% of data on water masers in the star formation regions. The maser database can be effectively used to study individual astrophysical objects, prepare interferometric proposals, and obtain statistics of maser emission in different samples of sources.

In this talk, the primary functionality of the web interface and possibilities of using the maser database for science research will be covered.

The work on the water maser database is supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant 20-72-00137.

EVENTS

Applied RF technology course

Mon 17 May 2021 - Thu 20 May 2021

The RF course is an excellent introduction for Digital / Analog engineers who are or will be involved in the development of RF systems.

CAREERS

Latest tweets

Proud to have worked with an international team of astronomers to create the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies✨. The use of @LOFAR reveals images of Milky Way like galaxies in the most distant parts of the Universe https://bit.ly/3cRUWKE

Proud to have worked with an international team of astronomers to create the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies✨. The use of #LOFAR reveals images of Milky Way like galaxies in the most distant parts of the Universe https://bit.ly/3cRUWKE

What is the best experience you had at #ASTRON? Astronomer Michiel Brentjens shares his once in a lifetime experience with us: https://youtu.be/6BxWR0POYZk #PeopleofAstron

Daily Image of the Week: International Women's Day 2021 https://tinyurl.com/2bxezyfh

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