Marijke Haverkorn, astronomer at ASTRON, has received a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO. With this grant, Marijke will investigate the magnetic field of the Milky Way using the LOFAR telescope. Due to its low frequency range, LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array, is sensitive to low magnetic field strength far away from the Galactic disk, a regime that has hardly been probed before.

Published by the editorial team, 24 November 2009

With the 800,000 Euro awarded, Marijke will be able to hire a PhD student (based at Leiden) and two PostDocs (based at ASTRON). In addition, the grant allows her to purchase additional hardware for computing power and storage of LOFAR data.

Haverkorn's group will help commissioning of LOFAR, analyse Galactic polarisation observations, develop methods for interpretation of the data (i.e. rotation measure synthesis cubes of the diffuse Galactic interstellar medium) in order to be able to characterise the magnetic field in the Milky Way halo. The goal is to determine the origin and evolution of the Galactic magnetic field and its interaction with the rest of the Galaxy.


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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.