On 18 September 2019 the Royal couple visited ASTRON and the Dwingeloo Telescope as part of their 'Streekbezoek' to the province of Drenthe. The Royal Couple was welcomed at the Dwingeloo Telescope by ASTRON director Carole Jackson. Tammo Jan Dijkema, employee at ASTRON and volunteer at CAMRAS, the organization that manages the Dwingeloo Telescope, then explained about the history and current use of the Dwingeloo Telescope that attracts many visitors every year and is regularly used by high school students to conduct research.
After this they continued their visit to ASTRON where ASTRON Deputy Director Marco de Vos was waiting to receive them. Astronomer Joeri van Leeuwen then explained about CORTEX, an international collaboration which researches the explosive universe through artificial intelligence. The research and the results that follow from it will be widely applicable in society and science. This project attracts international talent for ASTRON with members of the CORTEX team from all over the world.
As part of attracting new talent, the Royal Couple then spoke with Daniëla Mikkers, project leader of the Open Science Hub Dwingeloo. She told how children come into contact at a young age with the science and technology involved in building and using a radio telescope. In addition to this educational and public function, the Open Science Hub also contributes to the development of local entrepreneurs. The Royal Couple also got to know the builders of the scale model of the Dwingeloo Telescope, which is in the Open Science Hub, Jorrit Siebenga and Sjouke Kuindersma. The Open Science Hub is an initiative of ASTRON with investment and support from the municipality of Westerveld and Rabobank Het Drentse Land.
At the farewell, director Carole Jackson offered a special gift to commemorate the visit. ASTRON can look back on a special and very successful day.