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LOw-Frequency ARray

LOw-Frequency ARray:

Astronomers recently discovered a new radio galaxy using the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR).

  • LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a highly innovative, pan-European distributed radio interferometer and the first of its kind.
  • It observes the Universe at low radio frequencies, close to the FM radio band, from 90 to 200 MHz.
  • It was developed by the Dutch Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) with the goal of exploring the early, distant universe, solar activity, and the terrestrial atmosphere.
  • LOFAR can observe in several directions simultaneously, which allows for a multi-user operation.
  • For this reason, LOFAR is novel in its design because it is the first telescope that can look at the entire sky at the same time, unlike other telescopes which you have to point.
  • LOFAR does not have moving parts; steering and tracking across the sky are achieved by treating the signal from the individual antennas in each station with advanced digital beam-forming techniques that make the system agile, allowing for rapid repointing of the telescope as well as giving the potential for multiple simultaneous observations in different directions.
  • The LOFAR main core is based in the north of the Netherlands, with other stations located in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
  • Radio Galaxies, also known as radio-luminous galaxies or radio-loud galaxies, are a particular type of active galaxy that emits more light at radio wavelengths than at visible wavelengths.
  • These happen through the interaction between charged particles and strong magnetic fields related to supermassive black holes at the galaxies’ center.