Wednesday 2 February 2011

Amazing new images from LOFAR

There's been some major developments on the LOFAR project. As announced in a flurry of press-releases yesterday, LOFAR has managed to combine many of its international stations which, along with the core stations in the Netherlands, have resulted in some stunning images of the radio sky. These images demonstrate the enormous capabilities of this new generation of radio receiver technology and it provides a great encouragement for all of us here working on KAIRA and the EISCAT_3D projects.

A small portion of a wide field radio image (30-34 MHz), taken by the ASTRON/LOFAR commissioning teams led by Olaf Wucknitz (Bonn) and Reinout van Weeren (Leiden Observatory).

Not only do these images reveal the wide-field capabilities of the LOFAR system, but they are also at extremely high-resolution — especially at the higher frequencies — as fine as 0.2 arcseconds (close to 1/10000 of the diameter of the moon)!

As this resolution is a factor of the baseline (distance) between stations, the possibilities of linking KAIRA and LOFAR are even more exciting.


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