Tonight RTE 1 screens a documentary on how Ireland built part the largest radio telescope in the World. LOFAR (The Low-Frequency Array) is an international effort to study the Universe at the lowest radio frequencies, straddling either side of the familiar VHF band. Historical resonances abound in that the radio telescope is on the same site as the famous Leviathan of Parsonstown, once the largest optical telescope in the World. Amazingly there is so little radio interference nearby, that it is the radio equivalent of a pristine site high in the Andes when it comes to seeing the stars!
DIAS is a partner in LOFAR and will use it to study the birth of stars and planets. We will also contribute to the complex software required to operate such a telescope across the European continent with our international partners.
The LOFAR Telescope in Birr, County Offaly. DIAS is part of the Irish consortium that constructed it and we will use it to study how stars like our Sun are born and also how they die.