ASTRON is responsible for the operations of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).


The astronomical research at ASTRON is closely aligned with the strengths of our facilities LOFAR and WSRT-APERTIF.

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ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and is part of the Institutes organisation of NWO.
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.

Famous fast radio burst FRB20180916B just barely lets itself be captured

Two international teams of astronomers (with significant Dutch involvement) have published two scientific papers with new information about the famous fast radio burst FRB20180916B.

Ultra-sensitive radio images reveal thousands of star-forming galaxies in early Universe

An international team of astronomers has published the most sensitive images of the Universe ever taken at low radio frequencies, using the International Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).

Europe’s radio and optical astronomy communities team up in new EC-funded project

A new project has kicked off to enhance cooperation between European astronomy facilities and promote transnational access among them. ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy), ILT (International LOFAR Telescope), JIV-ERIC (Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC), and NOVA (Netherlands Research School for Astronomy) are partners based in the Netherlands.

A starry sky made of more than 25,000 supermassive black holes
People of ASTRON: Paula Fusiara
SKAO is born - Launch of international Observatory signals new era for radio astronomy
People of ASTRON: Henk Vonk
People of ASTRON: Pieter Benthem
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The localization of FRB 20201124A gets precise with PRECISE

© B. Marcote

FRB 20201124A is a repeating Fast Radio Burst discovered by the CHIME/FRB Collaboration in November 2020 and with a surprisingly high activity, producing several bursts over time.

This triggered observations from multiple observatories to try to localize the source and associate it to its host galaxy, totalling almost 20 Astronomer's Telegrams within 15 days. ASKAP, VLA, and the GMRT detected bursts during their observations and localized the bursts to the arcsecond level. Additionally, the VLA and the GMRT also detected a persistent radio source consistent with this position, and with the position of the center of the host galaxy (located at redshift of ~0.098).

However, this precision was not enough to clarify where within the host galaxy FRB 20201124A is located, and if it is physically related to the observed persistent source.

We also observed the source with an ad-hoc array composed of dishes that are part of the European VLBI Network (EVN), as part of the PRECISE (Pinpointing REpeating ChIme Sources with EVN dishes) project. After detecting 13 bursts in one epoch conducted on 10 April 2021 (where six antennas participated: Onsala, Torun, Irbene, Westerbork, Noto, and Effelsberg), we were able to localized the bursts from FRB 20201124A with a precision of about 4 milliarcseconds (roughly three orders of magnitude better than the previously reported localizations).

At the same time, no persistent radio emission was reported on the milliarcsecond level, implying that such persistent source could be linked to extended regions of star formation in the host galaxy or former AGN activity. These results were reported in Marcote et al. ATel #14603

The figure shows the EVN dirty image on the left, compared to the previously reported localizations done by ASKAP, VLA, and GMRT. The right panel shows the absence of continuum radio emission compared to the positions of the source detected by the VLA and GMRT, and the optical galaxy.


Latest tweets

Congratulations @SKA_telescope with their new brand✨! We are proud that the Netherlands' investment in the largest radio telescope in the world will generate unique knowledge, employment, activity for our industry and innovation @minocw @ivanengelshoven

Elk jaar op 4 mei herdenken we de slachtoffers die voor onze vrijheid gevochten hebben. In bijgaand filmpje dat vorig jaar gemaakt werd kun je zien hoe onze Westerbork telescopen, net als vandaag, in de jaarlijkse rouwstand gaan: #4mei #Dodenherdenking

We congratulate our colleague Jason Hessels, who also works at ASTRON with this fantastic achievement!🎉

Daily Image of the Week: EUCARA-2021