ASTRON Newsletter May 2020  
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Institutes and NWO release 29 million for shared computing power for physicists and astronomers

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) will invest 12 million euros in FuSE: an initiative of research institutes Nikhef and ASTRON to ensure future data capacity exists for science in particle physics and radio astronomy. Nikhef and ASTRON have raised a total of 29 million euros, which they will invest over the next five years, along with the collaborating academic computer centres in SURF, towards new science with three major global research instruments.


Two ERC Advanced Grants for Dutch astronomers

Two Dutch astronomers each receive an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). They are Prof. Erwin de Blok from ASTRON (2.5 million euros) and Groningen Prof. Léon Koopmans (3.5 million euros).
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International consortium tasked with designing SKA-Low antennas completes work

The international engineering consortium tasked with designing the SKA’s low-frequency telescope (SKA-Low), to be sited in Western Australia, has completed its work after six years of international collaboration.
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LOFAR 10 years!

On 12 June, LOFAR celebrates its 10-year anniversary. A milestone we are very proud of. hat’s why we will publish a series of articles marking some of the highlights of LOFAR, starting 2 June. Keep checking our website and social media channels for the latest updates!

Humans of ASTRON

Caterina Tiburzi - Astronomer

Humans of ASTRON is a new series in which we will share stories about the people at ASTRON. Who are the people behind the discoveries and innovations and also, who are the people that make sure that everything runs smoothly? In this first part of the series, we’ll be sharing the story of Caterina Tiburzi, an astronomer at ASTRON since 2018.

Other stories

LOFAR4SW reaches an important milestone

The project LOFAR4SW (funded by the EC program H2020) will deliver a fully documented design to enable LOFAR to be used as a space weather instrument, in parallel to radio astronomy observations. In 2019, the project went through two main reviews: the Preliminary Design Review in Cardiff (January), and the mid-term review in Brussels (September).
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The timing stability of three Black Widow pulsars

Black widow pulsars are binary systems where the high energy emission from the millisecond pulsar is ablating the surface of their low-mass binary companion. The resulting matter, lost in the form of a wind, is usually observed to block or 'eclipse' the radio signal of the pulsar when the companion passes closest to the line-of-sight with the pulsar.
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Thumbs up for TMSS!

A team of software engineers and telescope scientists at ASTRON is realizing a brand-new software application for the specification, administration, and scheduling of LOFAR observations. The new platform is called TMSS: Telescope Manager Specification System. Its realization is crucial, as it will enable the required support for LOFAR2.0 use cases, while also streamlining LOFAR operations and improving the adaptability and maintainability of software for future extensions.
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Predictions for prompt low-frequency radio emission from gamma-ray bursts

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the explosive end states of massive stars and some compact binary mergers. The prompt pulses arise in a relativistic jet, but whether this jet is matter- or magnetically-dominated remains a central outstanding question.  
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Imaging RFI issues at RS210

Recently some intermittent interference was spotted at RS210 near Weerselo. Menno downloaded some single subband correlation matrices off the station, to diagnose the origin of the RFI. Using the imaging code by Vanessa Moss he quickly diagnosed that the source, with apparent brightness comparable to Cassiopeia A, was located at a farm about 600 meters from the station.
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The GLEAM 4-Jy (G4Jy) Sample: the ‘brightest’ radio-sources in the southern sky

Low-frequency radio emission allows powerful active galactic nuclei (AGN) to be selected in a way that is unaffected by dust obscuration and orientation of the jet axis. It also reveals past activity (e.g. radio lobes) that may not be evident at higher frequencies. Currently, there are too few ‘radio-loud’ galaxies for robust, detailed studies in terms of redshift-evolution and/or environment.
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The Galaxy Group HI Mass Function

Neutral atomic hydrogen (which astronomers call "HI", pronounced "H-one") is the most abundant atomic species in the Universe. It is a fundamental fuel for star formation and the presence of HI in part governs how galaxies evolve with time.
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Current job openings

All vacancies can be found on the Working at ASTRON website.

Media mentions we are proud of

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