News & Events

Vidi grant awarded to astronomer Harish Vedantham

Astronomer Harish Vedantham of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the University of Groningen has been awarded a ‘VIDI' grant of 800,000 Euros from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

What does the start of construction of SKA mean for the project and the Netherlands?

At a historic meeting of its Council on 25 June 2021, the SKA Observatory (SKAO) saw its Member States give the green light for construction of the SKA telescopes in Australia and South Africa to commence. We spoke to Michiel van Haarlem, head of the Dutch SKA Office at ASTRON, about what this important milestone means.

Green light given for construction of world’s largest radio telescope arrays

At a historic meeting of its Council last week, the recently formed SKA Observatory (SKAO) saw its Member States approve the start of construction of the SKA telescopes in Australia and South Africa.

Apertif survey wraps up at end of 2021

The Apertif/ARTS surveys will wrap-up at the end of 2021. The WSRT observatory will of course continue to be operated, amongst other activities, as part of the European VLBI network.

The galaxy with a wagging tail

One of the most massive galaxies at the centre of the Abell 1775 cluster has a 2.5 million light-year long tail – twice as long as previously thought – that appears to be “wagging”.

SKA Observatory Unveils New Brand For A New Era

The newly born SKA Observatory (SKAO) has unveiled its brand following approval by the SKAO Council at its second meeting.


Daily Image

Charging an electric car

© Astron

LOFAR is a pretty sensitive radio telescope, especially in the low band mode from 10 to 90 MHz. In the past we found RFI from LED lamps, air conditioner units, electric fence and other electronic equipment surrounding our LOFAR stations.

This time we were curious whether the charging of an electric vehicle would be noticeable. To evaluate this, the engineers from DE603 (Tautenburg) Michael Kehr and Ralf Neubert placed an electric car at an unknown position. The car borrowed from colleague Ulf Kypke-Burchardi, had an almost empty battery. During the charging of the car I recorded the crosslet statistics of the LBA for multiple subbands across the frequency band. From this data an all-sky (upper-right) and near-field (upper-left) image at 58.6 MHz was created.

The location of the car is indicated with the black circle. The RFI from the dome was mainly from a climate data converter box (lower-right). This box was disabled during the test. A smaller RFI source was still present during the recordings.

They also moved the car to a second position, but also well detected by LOFAR. After the coffee break, the car was fully charged and RFI was luckily gone! We also tried a second (hybrid) car but could not detect it.

The good news is that although LOFAR can detect this at about 100 meter distance, the level is still very low and undetectable in the all-sky image. This gives a good impression what we can expect from charging of electric vehicles.

Latest tweets

Working towards strategic partnerships, so that companies can benefit from our experience, knowledge, and expertise and we from theirs. That is why we are a member of @ICDrachten. Together, we are better. #innovatiecluster

Congratulations to our colleague Harish Vedantham who has been awarded a @NWONieuws #Vidi grant for his project e-MAPS! 🥳 With e-MAPS Harish will use @LOFAR to answer the question: what determines the magnetic field of an exoplanet?💫

Congratulations @AstroJoeC on winning the Louise Webster prize with the discovery of Apep, a unique binary star system with the hottest stars in the Universe.

What does the start of construction of @SKAO mean for the Netherlands? Michiel van Haarlem: "we are due to take on work in the following areas: software for the calibration of data and the creation of deep sky images, " read the full interview here: