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09-07-2013
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Fáilte! - the I-LOFAR event at Space EXPO

Submitter: Michael Garrett
Description: Earlier this month, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) was home to the European Space Expo - a giant transportable dome in which visitors can learn all about the European space programme and engage with interactive exhibits for free. TCD solar physicist Prof. Peter Gallagher, PI of the I-LOFAR initiative, organised the Dublin Space Expo event, and on the final evening a special evening was held in order to highlight Ireland's ambition to build an international LOFAR station at Birr castle.

Speeches were made by Peter, Lord Rosse, and Declan Kirrane, Director of ISC Intelligence in Science (coordinator of AERAP, together with the South African Mission to the EU). Lord Rosses' speech was particularly inspiring - he noted that the great telescope of Birr (the "leviathan") that first discovered the spiral nature of nearby galaxies, was also built during a very challenging period in Ireland's history. As part of the European Space Expo programme at TCD, Dr. Anna Scaife (a LOFAR KSP member, former post-doc at TCD and a recent ERC award recipient) gave a public lecture entitled Exploring the Radio Universe with LOFAR. Various large companies were also there to show their support, including IBM Ireland - Barry O'Brian (IBM Gov. Prog. Executive) is pictured together with the AJDI author.

During the LOFAR evening event, there was a special message from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield who recently sprang to fame with his cover version of "Major Tom" performed in space. Chris' daughter, Kristin Hadfield a student a TCD was present on his behalf. After the event finished, several of the participants retired to the nearby Irish pub scene, in order to consider the day's success and make plans for the future. Hopefully Peter Gallagher will visit ASTRON in the autumn, in order to continue discussions on LOFAR and to give a colloquium on some recent solar results.
Copyright: ASTRON
 
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