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).

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.

ASTRON reveals life cycle of supermassive black hole

For the first time LOFAR and WSRT-Apertif have been used together to measure the life cycle of supermassive black holes emitting radio waves.

First direct detection of a brown dwarf with a radio telescope

Astronomers at ASTRON  have discovered a brown dwarf with LOFAR. The discovery of the object dubbed Elegast, opens up a new path that uses radio telescopes to discover faint objects that are close-cousins of Jupiter-like exoplanets.

Simultaneous optical and radio observations of Perseids

From today (August 11th) up until Friday the yearly Perseids meteor shower will have its peak. This phenomenon is not only interesting for amateur astronomers, professional astronomers will be observing them as well.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: Live warning system to study solar eruptions

The Sun’s activity appears not only in the well-known 11-year Sunspot cycle, but also in short duration eruptions as flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: Habitability of alien worlds

The Earth receives its life-sustaining energy from Sunlight, but “explosions” on the Sun can also be life-threatening. Explosions on the Sun’s surface, called flares, can spew out large masses of plasma and harmful radiation towards the planets.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: Cranking up LOFAR’s robustness

In order to receive radio signals from across the Universe, LOFAR needs to be very sensitive. The downside of that sensitivity is susceptibility to radio interference: other sources that produce radio signals that LOFAR detects, but does not want to measure.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: LOFAR expands to Italy

In 2018, Italy officially joined the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) and in the near future the LOFAR station in Italy will become operational.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: A new specification and scheduling system

In 2021, ASTRON will deliver TMSS (Telescope Manager Specification System), which is a brand-new platform for the specification, administration, and scheduling of LOFAR observations.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: High-precision clock to all Dutch stations

In the LOFAR radio telescope, the observation data is synchronized over time for accurate processing of the received signals. Until now, the telescope uses GPS techniques to synchronize the observation data, achieving an accuracy between 1 ns and 10 ns.

What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: Detecting SMBH particles

Supermassive black holes can leave a trail of energetic particles that astronomers are able to detect using radio telescopes.

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Daily image of the week

On June 13-17, the LOFAR Family Meeting took place in Cologne. After two years LOFAR researchers could finally meet in person again. The meeting brings together LOFAR users and researchers to share new scientific results.

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.