SKA Precursor Telescope MeerKAT Inaugurated In South Africa

Built and operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), and a decade in design and construction, the MeerKAT facility has already begun science operations. A stunning new panorama obtained by the telescope was unveiled during the event, revealing extraordinary detail in the region surrounding the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy.Lees verder

LOFAR rapidly responds to mysterious astronomical events

On Friday 6 July 2018 at 10:25 am (CEST), ASTRON’s Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) automatically responded to a transient astronomical event for the first time. A bright burst of gamma-rays was detected by a NASA satellite and an urgent message was sent to observatories on the ground. Within a few minutes, LOFAR stopped what it was doing and started a new observation of the exploding astrophysical object. This LOFAR rapid response mode is important to help identify the sources of mysterious short-duration astronomical events. Lees verder

Einstein’s theory still passes the test

Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity, predicts that all objects fall in the same way, regardless of their mass or composition. But does this principle also hold for objects with extreme gravity? An international team of astronomers have tested this using three stars orbiting each other: a neutron star and two white dwarfs. Their findings, published in Nature on 5 July 2018, prove that Einstein’s theory still passes the test in such extreme conditions. Lees verder

Planet formation starts before star reaches maturity

A European team of astronomers has discovered that dust particles around a star already coagulate before the star is fully grown. Dust particle growth is the first step in the formation of planets. The researchers from the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark publish their findings in Nature Astronomy. Lees verder

Surprise discovery provides new insights into stellar deaths

Astronomers, working on a project to detect supernovas, made a surprise discovery when they found that one supernova explosion was actually a star being pulled apart by a supermassive black hole. Lees verder

ASTRON and Nikhef collaborate

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, joins the OpenCores.org membership program and partners up with Oliscience (Open Logic Interconnects Science), a new start-up originating from the CERN Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at Nikhef, to collaborate on the engineering of tools that are essential to achieve scientific discoveries in the fields of particle physics and astronomy. Lees verder

ASTRON zet eerste stap naar Science Data Centre

ASTRON, het Nederlands instituut voor radioastronomie, zet een belangrijke stap naar de vestiging van zijn Science Data Centre. Het komt in d’ Root, het in aanbouw zijnde data competence center van Bytesnet. Op woensdag 23 mei ondertekenden ASTRON’s managing director Marco de Vos en Bytesnet-CEO Peter de Jong de overeenkomst. Lees verder

ASTRON develops heart of new supercomputer

ASTRON, the Netherlands institute for radio astronomy, has developed the heart of the new supercomputer for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the future largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. On 4 June, ASTRON presents this heart, the computer board called Gemini, to Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Dutch Minister of Education Culture and Science, during an introductory visit in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands. Lees verder

First SKA-Low Prototype Station Completed On Site

A complete prototype station of antennas for the future SKA-low telescope has been completed and is being tested at the SKA site in Western Australia.

In an important engineering milestone, a full station of 256 low-frequency antennas has been deployed and is undergoing tests at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in outback Western Australia. Lees verder

Dutch radio antenna to depart for the Moon on Chinese mission

On 21 May 2018*, the Chinese space agency will launch the relay satellite Chang’e 4 to an orbit behind the Moon. On board will be a Dutch radio antenna, the Netherlands Chinese Low-Frequency Explorer (NCLE). The radio antenna is the first Dutch-made scientific instrument to be sent on a Chinese space mission, and it will open up a new chapter in radio astronomy. The is instrument developed and built by engineers from ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy in Dwingeloo, the Radboud Radio Lab of Radboud University in Nijmegen, and the Delft-based company ISIS.Lees verder

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