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.

Research and Innovation

Radio astronomy delivers important breakthrough technology for our society.

News & Events

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Making discoveries
in radio astronomy

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

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
Europe’s radio and optical astronomy communities team up in new EC-funded project
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
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Live-streaming the partial solar eclipse

© Tammo Jan Dijkema

On 10 June, we showed the partial solar eclipse from the Dwingeloo radio telescope in a live stream organized by volunteers and staff from the Oude Sterrewacht in Leiden that also showed the optical eclipse. Questions from viewers were relayed to the speakers by the two hosts, both astronomy students from Leiden.

During the broadcast, we presented the live signal of the Dwingeloo telescope (total intensity at 410MHz), which showed a clear dip. The new, crowd-funded heliostat at the Oude Sterrewacht in Leiden demonstrated its first non-cloudy eclipse. We showed live signals from a Lunt solar telescope, and piggy-backed on a livestream from Canada where an annular eclipse could (almost) be seen. The live stream lasted 2.5 hours, so there were also short talks on the scientific, biological and historical background of eclipses.

In Dwingeloo, dozens of passers-by could also get a glimpse of the eclipse: Harm-Jan Stiepel had brought a projecting telescope that clearly showed the Sun on a big piece of cardboard. There were also eclipse glasses, and a professional explanation from Pietro Zucca. Both were featured in the nice tv item on RTV Drenthe.

The live stream was a collaboration between Werkgroep Leidse Sterrewacht, Leidse Sterrewacht, the student association F. Kaiser from Leiden, and CAMRAS.

Thanks to media attention, the amount of live viewers was quite high: about 1500 people watched live, and the recording was played back 17000 times (so far).


Latest tweets

Morgen 10/6 is een gedeeltelijke zonsverduistering. De @radiotelescoop gaat dit in samenwerking met @OudeSterrewacht live volgen, livestream: Onze collega’s in Leiden zorgen voor beeld en @radiotelescoop meet de intensiteit van de zonsverduistering.

Congratulations to @AstroJoeC for winning the Louise Webster Prize @AstroSocAus for his @nresearchnews paper on ‘Wolf-Rayet' stars (a kind believed to explode as supernovae) ! 🎉

🏆 More on the prize:

📡 More on the paper:

Another impressive result for LOFAR! An international team of astronomers from @UniLeiden & @mediainaf discovered a galaxy that seems to be wagging it's tail, a tail of 2,5 million light years long! 💫

Another impressive result for @LOFAR! An international team of astronomers from @UniLeiden & @mediainaf discovered a galaxy that seems to be wagging it's tail, a tail of 2,5 million light years long! 💫