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

Read all our latest news here.

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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Our King Willem-Alexander opens largest solar park

© Astron; Solarfields (Photo)

On Friday afternoon the 19th of May, our King opened the largest solar park in the Netherlands. With 120 Megawatt and 288.000 solar panels on an area as large as the the provincial capital Assen. This solar park is in the backyard of the core of the LOFAR radio telescope. It is a special dual usage location. The original function is to store waste water from potato processing onto the "vloeivelden Hollandia". The water level was about 2 meter high during the opening. The second function is to generate power for the Avebe potato facility.

What was special for Astron and myself was that I was invited to speak with the King. I took the opportunity to mention Astron and LOFAR, and explained some details about Faraday cages and blocking EMI from the electrical inverters of solar panels.

In August 2019 I gave a presentation to solar plant builders, about how to block unwanted EMI generated by solar inverters. This was successfully implemented by Solarfields and the German company IBVogt. They passed the EMC lab and field test with a large margin w.r.t. the covenant limit.

Between 600 and 700 large (185 kW) inverters had to be modified. We can be proud that not only wind turbines (project DMO) but also large solar parks can become virtually invisible in LOFAR's astronomical observations.


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! 💫