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LOFAR Stone Art

Submitter: Peter Bennema
Description: The core of the (much larger) LOFAR radio telescope is located on the slopes of the Hondsrug, a unique geological landscape that will (hopefully) be acknowledged by the UNESCO as an official Geopark at the end of this year. The LOFAR "superterp" is one of the identitying features of the Geopark Hondsrug.

Harry Wolters of the Hunebed Centrum (Borger), an expert on the geological history of the Hondsrug, and Peter Bennema (ASTRON) were invited to open a Stone Art project consisting of rows of "Vlints" (stones in the Drenths language) which camping guests have artfully arranged during their stay at the Camping Exloo, 3 km from the LOFAR Core. Before the official opening, short lectures were given on the LOFAR project, and on the geological formation of the Hondsrug.

The Stone Art project was inspired by two crucial links with its location. One is the Hondsrug itself, the 70 km long sand ridge in the east of Drenthe, which runs from Emmen to Groningen city. It was formed during the last ice age(s). Scientific studies have established that the stones were carried by the ice from the area where Helsinki is now located. Stones found more to the west, for example near Dwingeloo, originate from an area near present-day Stokholm.

The other link is the LOFAR project. According to the camping guests, the stones represent the LOFAR antenna stations, the stars, the Milky Way and the Mysteries of the Universe(*). Although the result may raise some eyebrows in scientific circles, it is nice to see how entrepreneurs in the vicinity of the LOFAR Core are inspired by the LOFAR project in their backyard.

(*) In other words, they represent Life, the Universe and Everything. Thus, they might offer a clue to the Question, even though there are more than 42 stones.
Copyright: bennema
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