The Open Day 2010 of ASTRON, JIVE and the NOVA Optical/Infrared group at ASTRON, held on Sunday 24 October at the Westerbork telescope, was a big success. The activities were visited by a broad audience: families with young kids, teenagers and adults visited the astronomical institutes en masse.

Published by the editorial team, 25 October 2010

The activities were divided over two tents, a lecture tent and a tent with the other activities. Here the comet show, the famous Pretlab and Making your own pulsar were the biggest hits.




the pretlab in action




In the tent, ASTRON staff built a complete miniature control room. In the real control room in Dwingeloo, observers of ASTRON control the Westerbork telescope and the LOFAR telescope. In the tent visitors could see how this works.

A visit to the Westerbork telescope is not complete without steering the telescope yourself. This is exactly what visitors could do, using a joystick. Not just a big hit for kids, also adults could pretend to be an astronomer for a minute!

The number of visitors on this open day lied between 1500 and 2000. Other organizations that participated in the open day were: CAMRAS and the department Noord-Drenthe of the Dutch society for Weather and Astronomy.

Click here to see a film of the open day 2010.

Pictures of the open day 2010 can be seen here.


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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.