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

Daily Image of the Week: New HBA tile prototype for LOFAR4SW works, the new tile will be capable of producing two beams, to allow parallel astronomy and space weather observations. https://bit.ly/2XbDz2J

Daily Image of the Week: Apertif and @LOFAR uncover a Fast Radio Burst: Last week’s @Nature publishes the paper “Chromatic periodic activity down to 120 MHz in a Fast Radio Burst”. Apertif (left) and LOFAR (right) play leading roles for this result. https://bit.ly/38k2rXW

A fantastic video by @drbecky_ with a great explanation about @LOFAR and the recent press release of @AstroRadioLeah and her team!

Amazing result for @LOFAR and Westerbork radio telescopes! Astronomers combined both telescopes and discovered that a simple binary wind cannot cause the puzzling periodicity of an FRB. The bursts may come from a magnetar, results published in @Nature https://bit.ly/3sF7Cek

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