By Cees Bassa

During the 10 years since the LOFAR opening, the telescope has proven itself as an excellent instrument for the study of radio pulsars, rotating neutron stars whose radio beams act as lighthouses. LOFAR has discovered over 80 new pulsars, from the slowest spinning pulsar, rotating once every 23.5 seconds, to one of the fastest, rotating 707 times each second.

Published by the editorial team, 15 June 2020

Thanks to the exquisite depth of the LOFAR imaging survey, searching for new and more extreme pulsars will enter a new era, where instead of blindly searching for periodic signals, pulsar candidates can be identified from point sources with (ultra-) steep radio spectra and/or high degrees of linear or circular polarization. These new pulsars, as well as previously known pulsars will allow radio astronomers to map the electron density and the topology of the Galactic magnetic field, use the Solar wind for space weather forecasts, study the emission properties of pulsars and probe the physics of ultra-dense matter.

LOFAR discovered the slowest spinning pulsar, rotating once every 23.5 seconds. The black line shows the average radio pulse, where the pulsar is only visible for a fraction of each rotation. The rotation is slow enough that the pulsed emission can be seen in LOFAR images. (copyright: ASTRON)

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Daily image of the week

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.