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  • richardmitnick 5:54 pm on October 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astron, , , , , , Newly discovered 23.5-second pulsar, Source is a highly magnetised radio pulsar, The LOFAR telescope whose core is located in the Netherlands   

    Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy: “Super-slow pulsar challenges theory” 

    ASTRON bloc

    Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

    23/10/2018

    1
    Artist’s conception of the newly discovered 23.5-second pulsar. Radio pulses originating from a source in the constellation Cassiopeia are seen travelling towards the core of the LOFAR telescope array. This source is a highly magnetised radio pulsar, shown in the inset image. The pulses and sky image are derived from the actual LOFAR data. Credit: Danielle Futselaar and ASTRON.

    Women in STEM-Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discovered pulsars with radio astronomy. Jocelyn Bell at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge University, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1968. Denied the Nobel.

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell 2009

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943 – ), still working from http://www. famousirishscientists.weebly.com

    An international team of astronomers have discovered the slowest-spinning radio pulsar yet known. The neutron star spins around only once every 23.5 seconds and is a challenge for theory to explain. The researchers, including astronomers at the University of Manchester, ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam, carried out their observations with the LOFAR telescope, whose core is located in the Netherlands.

    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands

    ASTRON LOFAR Radio Antenna Bank, Netherlands

    Their findings will soon appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

    Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that produce electromagnetic radiation in beams that emanate from their magnetic poles. These “cosmic lighthouses” are born when a massive star explodes in a supernova. Thereafter, a super-dense ball of material is left behind – rapidly spinning, and with a diameter of only about 20 kilometers. The fastest-spinning pulsar rotates once each 1.4 milliseconds. Until now, the slowest-spinning pulsar known had a period of 8.5 seconds. Now researchers have discovered a much slower, 23.5-second, pulsar, which is located in the constellation Cassiopeia.

    “It is incredible to think that this pulsar spins more than 15.000 times more slowly than the fastest spinning pulsar known.” said Chia Min Tan a PhD Student at the University of Manchester who discovered the pulsar. “We hope that there are more to be found with LOFAR”.

    The astronomers discovered this new pulsar during the LOFAR Tied-Array All-Sky Survey. This survey is searching for pulsars in the Northern sky. Each survey snapshot of the sky lasts for one hour. This is much longer compared to previous surveys, and gave the sensitivity needed to discover this surprising pulsar.

    Not only did the astronomers ‘hear’ the regular ticks of the pulsar signal, they could also ‘see’ the pulsar in LOFAR’s imaging survey. Co-author Cees Bassa (ASTRON): “This pulsar spins so remarkably slowly that we could see it blinking on and off in our LOFAR radio images. With faster pulsars that’s not possible.”

    The pulsar is approximately 14 million years old, but still has a strong magnetic field. Co-author Jason Hessels (ASTRON and University of Amsterdam): “This pulsar was completely unexpected. We’re still a bit shocked that a pulsar can spin so slowly and still create radio pulses. Apparently radio pulsars can be slower than we expected. This challenges and informs our theories for how pulsars shine.”

    Moving forward, the astronomers are continuing their LOFAR survey for new pulsars. They are also planning to observe their new find with the XMM-Newton space telescope. This telescope is designed to detect X-rays. If the super-slow pulsar is detected as a source of X-rays, then this will give important insights into its history and origin.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LOFAR is a radio telescope composed of an international network of antenna stations and is designed to observe the universe at frequencies between 10 and 250 MHz. Operated by ASTRON, the network includes stations in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., France, Poland and Ireland.
    ASTRON-Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)

    ASTRON was founded in 1949, as the Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way (SRZM). Its original charge was to develop and operate radio telescopes, the first being systems using surplus wartime radar dishes. The organisation has grown from twenty employees in the early 1960’s to about 180 staff members today.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:15 pm on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astron, , , , , , , ,   

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy Astron: “This morning party at ASTRON-Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy in westerbork (actually hooghalen)” 

    ASTRON bloc

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy Astron

    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, an aperture synthesis interferometer near World War II Nazi detention and transit camp Westerbork, north of the village of Westerbork, Midden-Drenthe, in the northeastern Netherlands

    The radio telescope has existed for 50 years and 12 out of 14 devices are equipped with new technique that has increased the range 37 times! This new project is called Apertif. In addition to lofar and ska a new development that teaches us even more from the universe and that with thr Dutch province of Drenthe as the center of the world!!

    Astron Lofar radio telescope

    ASTRON LOFAR Map

    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands

    To me the honor apertif officially open, following the welcome of director professor Carole Jackson.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ASTRON-Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)

    ASTRON was founded in 1949, as the Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way (SRZM). Its original charge was to develop and operate radio telescopes, the first being systems using surplus wartime radar dishes. The organisation has grown from twenty employees in the early 1960’s to about 180 staff members today.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:52 pm on July 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astron, , , , , , , New images from a super-telescope, ,   

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy: “New images from a super-telescope” 

    ASTRON bloc

    From Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

    1

    New images from a super-telescope bring astronomers a step closer to understanding dark matter.

    Astronomers using a global network of radio telescopes have produced one of the sharpest astronomical images ever. The resulting image demonstrates that dark matter is distributed unevenly across a distant galaxy.

    The image was created by combining data from a global radio telescope network, comprised of the European VLBI Network, and the Very Long Baseline Array and Green Bank Telescope in the United States, in an effort to address some of the fundamental questions about dark matter. The international team of astronomers aim to determine how much dark matter is present in galaxies and how it is distributed. According to current theories, a galaxy, such as our Milky Way, should have thousands of dwarf galaxies orbiting around it, yet to date only approximately 100 have been found.

    European VLBI

    NRAO/VLBA

    Green Bank Radio Telescope, West Virginia, USA

    “It has been suggested that these dwarf galaxies could be dark matter dominated and, therefore, highly difficult to observe. However, throughout the distant Universe, we can discover the presence of these small mass structures only by using the gravitational lensing effect,” explains Cristiana Spingola, lead author on the paper, from the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen.

    Gravitational lensing allows astronomers to observe incredibly distant radio sources that cannot be directly detected.

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA

    By observing how the radio emission from the distant source is bent by the gravitational field of a massive object – the lens – located between the source and the Earth, it is possible to determine information about both the distant source and the lens. In this study the researchers used the radio source MG J0751+2716, at such great a distance that it has taken the light 11.7 billion years to reach the Earth. This object is comprised of a black hole with a powerful ejection of material, known as a jet. The lens consists of a group of galaxies located at a look-back time of 3.9 billion years from Earth.

    In the study, the astronomers were able to determine the distance, brightness and projected size of the radio source, together with the composition of dark matter across the lens, which appeared clumpy and uneven.

    “For the first time we were able to observe large gravitationally lensed arcs on extremely small angular scales. The background source – the black hole with radio jets – is distorted into these arcs on the image because of the gravitational effect of the foreground galaxies (the lens). It is a rare possibility to get such an extended arc.” Spingola added, “the unprecedented detail of these extended gravitational arcs allowed us to infer with high precision the distribution of the matter of the galaxy acting as a lens.”

    It is only possible to obtain such high-resolution data by coordinating multiple telescopes to observe the same radio source simultaneously. In this case, 24 radio antennas from across the globe were connected using a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Data from all the telescopes was collated in a process known as correlation, at a super computer housed at the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands.

    To better understand the properties for dark matter, the team are now applying sophisticated numerical algorithms to quantify the nature of the clumpy dark matter. But, they are also on the hunt for more extended gravitational arcs just like this.

    “There are only a limited number of gravitational lenses suitable for this study, and while we have started this search using the European VLBI Network and the Very Long Baseline Array we expect that there will be more giant radio arcs in the future,” explained John McKean, project lead from the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute.

    This study was led by John McKean from the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Dwingeloo on behalf of the international research team SHARP (Strong Lensing at High Angular Resolution Project) led by Chris Fassnacht (University of California, Davis), and also including Matt Auger (University of Cambridge), Leon Koopmans (University of Groningen), David Lagattuta (University of Lyon) and Simona Vegetti (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics). Their findings can be found in Issue 4, Volume 478 of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, published by Oxford University Press.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LOFAR is a radio telescope composed of an international network of antenna stations and is designed to observe the universe at frequencies between 10 and 250 MHz. Operated by ASTRON, the network includes stations in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., France, Poland and Ireland.
    ASTRON-Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)

    ASTRON was founded in 1949, as the Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way (SRZM). Its original charge was to develop and operate radio telescopes, the first being systems using surplus wartime radar dishes. The organisation has grown from twenty employees in the early 1960’s to about 180 staff members today.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:40 am on July 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astron, , , , , Lofar Ireland,   

    From Astron: “LOFAR Ireland officially launched” 

    ASTRON bloc

    Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

    ASTRON LOFAR Map

    ASTRON LOFAR Radio Antenna Bank

    New antenna station further increases sensitivity of the world’s largest radio telescope

    On 27 July 2017, the newly built Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) station in Ireland will be officially opened.

    1
    Astron Lofar Ireland Section

    This extends the largest radio telescope in the world, connecting to its central core of antennas in the north of the Netherlands, now forming a network of two thousand kilometres across. Astronomers can now study the history of the universe in even more detail. The station will be opened by the Irish Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan.

    The international LOFAR telescope (ILT) is a European network of radio antennas, connected by a high-speed fibre optic network. With the data of thousands of antennas together, now including the Irish antennas, powerful computers create a virtual dish with a diameter of two thousand kilometres. The telescope thus gets has an even sharper and more sensitive vision.

    More detail

    Rene Vermeulen, Director of the ILT, is very excited about this new collaboration. “Thanks to the new LOFAR station in Ireland, we can observe the universe in even more detail. For example, we can look more closely at objects near and far, from our Sun to black holes, magnetic fields, and the emergence of galaxies in the early Universe. These are important areas of research for astronomers in the Netherlands and other ILT partner countries.”

    The Irish LOFAR team is led by Professor Peter Gallagher (Trinity College Dublin), an expert on Solar astrophysics. Vermeulen: “Studying the Sun, including solar flares, is an important branch of astronomical research. In this and other areas Irish researchers bring important reinforcement to our partnership.”

    Successful tests

    LOFAR was designed and built by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Earlier this month, a team from ASTRON conducted the final delivery tests of the Irish station on the Birr castle estate. The antennas, which conduct measurements at the lowest frequencies that can be observed from the earth, perform according to specification. The fibre optic network has already been successfully connected to the supercomputer in the computing centre in Groningen, which combines the data of the thousands of antennas.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    ASTRON-Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
    Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)

    ASTRON was founded in 1949, as the Foundation for Radio radiation from the Sun and Milky Way (SRZM). Its original charge was to develop and operate radio telescopes, the first being systems using surplus wartime radar dishes. The organisation has grown from twenty employees in the early 1960’s to about 180 staff members today.

     
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