The astronomical research at ASTRON is closely aligned to our facilities LOFAR and WSRT-APERTIF and contributes to the development and definition of the scientific programme and capabilities of the next generation of major international facilities such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Topics include the detection and characterisation of fast radio bursts, the evolution of gas and star formation in distant and nearby galaxies, the detection of radiation from the epoch of reionisation, testing theories of gravity and detecting gravitational waves with compact objects.

Gravitational lensing

Gravitational lensing is observed when light from a star or galaxy is deflected by the gravity of a massive object, typically a galaxy or cluster of galaxies.

Space Weather

The Earth’s magnetic field shields us from the constant stream of charged particles emitted from the sun known as solar wind.


As the Universe evolves, gravity brings together hundreds, sometimes thousands of galaxies together to form galaxy clusters.

Low Frequency Surveys

The LOFAR telescope is used to conduct wide and deep surveys with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity at low radio frequencies.


A prominent research theme at ASTRON involves the study of Cosmic Dawn (CD) and Epoch of Reionization (EoR) with LOFAR.

Compact objects

Pulsars are fast rotating neutron stars that emit narrow beams of electromagnetic radiation at highly regular intervals.

Active Galactic Nuclei

At the center of most galaxies lies a supermassive black hole that swallows material and in the process produces the brightest radiation in the universe across multiple wavelengths.

Radio Transients

The universe is teeming with objects that exhibit drastic variations in brightness over time scale from milliseconds to years.

Nearby galaxies

A core area of research for astronomers at ASTRON is the study of the formation and evolution of nearby galaxies.

Astronomy Publications

Scientific publications of ASTRON astronomers from the current year back to 2008.

Latest tweets

We have completed the design of DISTURB, a solar radio telescope that warns us of solar eruptions.

Daily image of the week: This summer we held a workshop Open-Source Software Lifecycles as part of the ESCAPE project.

Throwback Thursday (14-09-1995): The 25th anniversary of the Westerbork Synthese Radio Telescoop (WSRT).

Throwback Thursday (10-09-1991): The real start of SKA.
@SKA_telescope #radioastronomy