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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.

Diversity & Sustainability

ASTRON is committed to achieving a fair, welcoming, and sustainable work environment for all.


Met onze radiotelescopen nemen wij de meest zwakke signalen uit het heelal waar. Daardoor zijn zij kwetsbaar voor elektromagnetische storing. Met het tijdig treffen van de juiste maatregelen kan storing worden voorkomen.

Wireless Data Lab

Draadloze techniek lijkt vanzelfsprekend, maar de ontwikkeling ervan gaat niet vanzelf. Daarom hebben we bij ASTRON een proeftuin ingericht; het Wireless Data Lab.

Making discoveries
in radio astronomy

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

LOFAR ERIC: Distributed Research Infrastructure for European Astronomical Research Launched

LOFAR ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) has been officially launched at its first Council meeting today. The world-leading LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) Distributed Research Infrastructure has already revolutionised low-frequency radio astronomy research, resulting in an avalanche of scientific publications in the past decade. LOFAR ERIC is now a single legal entity across the European Union. The LOFAR ERIC statutory seat is in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands, hosted by NWO-I/ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy; the original designer of LOFAR).

Published by the editorial team, 22 January 2024

Telescope quartet reveals surprising statistics of cosmic flashes

Scientists led by Chalmers astronomer Franz Kirsten have studied a famous source of repeating fast radio bursts – a still unexplained cosmic phenomenon. Comparing with earlier measurements, the scientists draw a conclusion with far-reaching consequences: any source of fast radio bursts will repeat, if watched long enough and carefully enough. The research team, a unique collaboration between professional and amateur radio astronomers, used four telescopes in northern Europe, amongst which ASTRON’s Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope.

Published by the editorial team, 4 January 2024

Dutch astronomers prove last piece of gas feedback-feeding loop of black hole

Three astronomers from the Netherlands have proven that gas that was previously heated near a supermassive black hole and flowed to the outskirts of the galaxy and cooled down, is moving back towards the black hole. While there had been indirect evidence for this theory, this is the first time that the cooled gas moving toward the black hole has actually been observed.

Published by the editorial team, 7 December 2023

Super sharp images reveal a possible hypernebula powered by a source of fast radio bursts

A team led by astronomers in the Netherlands have confirmed a repeating FRB source to be linked to a potential ‘hypernebula’ – a dense and highly magnetised cloud of plasma that is illuminated by a powerful but still mysterious source.

Published by the editorial team, 30 November 2023

Astronomers discover ultra-fast radio bursts in archived data

ERC Starting Grant Awarded to Dr. Aditya Parthasarathy

Radio waves leaking from large satellite constellations could jeopardize astronomical exploration

Pulsar clocks open new window on gravitational waves

Astronomers discover Fast Radio Bursts that skewer nearby Galaxy

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Colloquium: Investigating magnetic launching of black hole jets at multiple scales

© Georgios Filippos Paraschos

AGN-launched jets are a crucial element in the study of super-massive black holes (SMBH) and their closest surroundings. The formation of such jets, whether they are launched by magnetic field lines anchored to the accretion disk (Blandford & Payne 1982) or directly connected to the black hole’s (BH) ergosphere (Blandford & Znajek 1977), is the subject of ongoing, extensive research. 3C 84, the compact radio source in the central galaxy NGC 1275 of the Perseus super-cluster, is a prime laboratory for testing such jet launching scenarios, as well as studying the innermost, sub-parsec AGN structure and jet origin. Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) offers a unique view into the physical processes in action, in the immediate vicinity of BHs, unparalleled by other observational techniques. With VLBI at short wavelengths particular high angular resolutions are obtained.

Utilising such VLBI observations of 3C 84 with the Event Horizon Telescope and the Global-EVN array, we study the magnetic field strength and associated accretion flow around its central SMBH. This is possible, as mm-VLBI measurements are capable of peering through the dusty torus surrounding the central engine of 3C 84, which is known to block the line of sight to the sub-parsec counter-jet via free-free absorption. We furthermore study the magnetic field’s signature in the core region, as manifested in polarised light. As part of this analysis we compare our observations to relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulations. In this talk I will present our most recent results and offer a comprehensive summary of BH jet launching in AGN

ASTRON daily image.

Girls’ Day

Wed 06 Mar 2024

Techniek en wetenschap voor jongens? Wát een onzin! Op woensdagmiddag 6 maart organiseren we daarom speciaal een dag voor meiden van 10 tot 12 jaar in onze Open Science Hub in het Huis van Drenthe. Een leuke middag vol met leuke activiteiten en leerzaamheden over de ruimte en over techniek. Kom jij ook? We openen […]


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