Scientists and engineers from all over the world in the field of radio astronomy meet each other from 9 to 16 June in conference centre the Hof van Saksen near the small town Nooitgedacht in Drenthe and in the city of Assen and surrounings, in the North of the Netherlands. Together with industry, politicians, funding agencies and policy makers from different countries they discuss a new revolutionary radio telescope: the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Published by the editorial team, 9 June 2010

During an opening reception, all guests were welcomed by prof. Mike Garrett, general director of ASTRON, on Wednesday 9 June in the Hof van Saksen. ASTRON, together with the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) are host to all the participants this week.

New golden age for astronomy

The week kicks off on Thursday 10 June and Friday 11 June with a meeting of the international astronomical community in the Hof van Saksen, where the scientists discuss a new golden age for astronomy.
ASTRON's new LOFAR telescope will officially be opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on Saturday 12 June.
On Monday 14 June, a meeting will take place of the Agencies SKA Group, which has been set up to give scientific advice about the SKA project. On this day, representatives of industry, science and education from all over the world meet during the workshop ‘Connect Industry, Science and Society', organised by the regional innovation platform Sensor Universe.

On Tuesday 15 June, the actual SKA Forum takes place in the TT-hall in the city of Assen. The theme of the forum is ‘SKA beyond astronomy' and discusses the impact of a telescope as the SKA on industry, education and society as a whole. The SKA Forum welcomes many delegations of the SKA partner countries. The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs, Maria van der Hoeven, will address the participants, as well as Jos Engelen, chairman of NWO. Delegates of the ministries of Australia, New-Zealand and South Africa will also take part in the forum.

The International SKA Forum 2010 is organised by ASTRON and NWO, the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research.

Click here for a high resolution version of the top photo.

Click here for a high resolution version of the second photo.

For more information, please contact:

Femke Boekhorst, PR & Communication ASTRON. Tel.: 0521 595 204 and 06 21 23 42 43. E-mail:

David Redeker, NWO. Tel.: +31 (0)70 344 07 14. E-mail:

You can find more about the International SKA Forum on


Latest tweets

Our renewed ‘Melkwegpad’ (Milky Way Path) is finished! The new signs have texts in Dutch on the one side and in English on the other side. The signs concerning planets have a small, 3D printed model of that planet in their centre.
#Melkwegpad @RTVDrenthe

Daily image of the week

The background drawing shows how the subband correlator calculates the array correlation matrix. In the upper left the 4 UniBoard2s we used. The two ACM plots in the picture show that the phase differences of the visibilities vary from 0 to 360 degrees.

Daily image of the week: Testing with the Dwingeloo Test Station (DTS)
One of the key specifications of LOFAR2.0 is measuring using the low- and the highband antenna at the same time. For this measurement we used 9 lowband antenna and 3 HBA tiles.

Ook ASTRON is onderdeel van De Verhalen van Drenthe. Ons Melkwegpad in Westerbork, de Open Science Hub en radiotelescoop in Dwingeloo en de Telescopen-puzzelroutes in Dwingeloo, Westerbork en Exloo vertellen boeiende verhalen over onze Melkweg.