Tuesday 8 April 2014

LOFAR station Norderstedt

Guten Tag! This is Germany calling!

At the Hannover Messe (the world's largest industrial fair), ASTRON, the University of Hamburg and Bielefeld University will sign tomorrow a contract for construction of a new German LOFAR station for the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT).

The new station will be located at Norderstedt, close to the city of Hamburg.

Click map to enlarge (image based on an original by ASTRON)

The additional of another station to the ILT network is important not just for the resources it provides to local education, research and industry, but because of its important contribution to the ILT itself. Each LOFAR station adds valuable collecting area, thus allowing astronomers to detect ever-fainter signals. However, the placement of the new station is such that it provides critical intermediate baselines, thus improving the imaging capabilities of the ILT.

But there is also the knowledge factor as well. Each new station gives an opportunity for new researchers and new expertise to join the strong ILT community. This is vital for the local knowledge base and the advancement of science for participating regions and countries.

In the case of the new German station, researchers at the University of Hamburg, led by Prof. M. Brüggen, specialise in studying the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies from the early Universe to the present era. The group at Bielefeld University, led by Prof. D. Schwarz, studies the distribution of galaxies on the largest observable distances in the Universe, which carry imprints from the era of cosmological inflation.

Signing of the contract will take place tomorrow at the Holland High Tech Pavilion at the Hannover Messe, in Hall 2 booth D10 from 12:00 - 12:30 hours (CEST).


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