Our Astronomy & Operations (A&O) department is engaged in frontline research ranging from the very nearby to the most distant Universe using world-class facilities. They are involved in the definition, development and scientific exploitation of current and new technology and instruments, notably ASTRON’s own facilities of LOFAR and Apertif/WSRT.

These instruments have been pioneering in their wavelength ranges and A&O members are playing an important role in the definition and preparation of the science and technology for future major facilities such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). These new telescopes will produce unprecedented amounts of data and the A&O department is involved in developing the software and hardware to enable a clever and timely processing of these data.

A&O has about 30 staff and postdocs, all with strong international and national connections, the latter through joint and adjunct appointments at the universities as well as student supervision. Major research areas in the group range are closely aligned with the strengths of ASTRON’s facilities and vary from trying to detect emission from the epoch of reionisation in the very early universe, to the evolution of gas and star formation in distant and nearby galaxies, to detecting and uncovering the nature of fast radio bursts as well as testing gravity through observations of compact objects. Members of A&O are involved in 150-200 peer-reviewed scientific papers each year. More information on the A&O science can be found here.

Scientific results are presented and discussed at weekly ASTRON/JIVE colloquia (Thursdays 15.30, see schedule) as well as more informal lunch talks on Wednesdays (12.30).

More information on visiting ASTRON and the Astronomy & Operations department can be found here or by contacting ao-secretariat@astron.nl

Latest tweets

How does a radio wave become a picture? Part III: Accelerators. LOFAR produces terabytes of data per second, how to process this? Supercomputers equipped with accelerators accelerate the calculations performed on the data. Read part 3 here: https://bit.ly/39goUq4

Congratulations to our former colleague and LOFAR scientist Heino Falcke with his prize! 🥳

How does a radio wave become a picture? Part II: Compact receivers. A radio wave that has travelled light years is picked up by a receiver on a telescope through an antenna. The (very weak) signal is then amplified and digitized. Read part 2 here: http://bit.ly/3aznntV

How does a radio wave become a picture? Planets, stars and nebula’s all emit radio waves, which are a form of invisible light waves. Read here the first part on what happens to those radio waves when they are received by a radio telescope! 📡🌠http://bit.ly/2YFDuQM