LOFAR Solar and Space Weather KSP meeting, Dublin 2020

The LOFAR Solar and Space Weather KSP will hold their next meeting at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) from 30th March – 1st April 2020. This meeting will focus on recent scientific results from the KSP as well as a business meeting. We also plan 0.5-1 day informal workshop on the analysis of LOFAR data related to the Parker Solar Probe mission.


The meeting will be held at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Burlington Rd., D04 C932. Note there are a few DIAS sites around the city, double check you’ve got the right one when organising transport, hotels etc.


To register please email eoin.carley@dias.ie by 25th January 2020 with the following info:

  • Name:
  • Affiliation:
  • Talk title (if you wish to give one):
  • Dietary restrictions:
  • Attending the LOFAR-PSP workshop on day 3 (yes/no?):

Preliminary Schedule

  • Day 1 (Mar 30)

14:00 – 15:30 Welcome and science talks

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee

16:00 – 17:30 Science talks

  • Day 2 (Mar 31)

09:00 – 11:00 Science talks

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 Science talks

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 Science talks

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee

16:30 – 17:30 KSP business meeting. Agenda TBD.

19:00 – Dinner

  • Day 3 (Apr 1): LOFAR-PSP workshop

09:00 – 11:00 LOFAR-PSP Workshop 1

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 LOFAR-PSP Workshop 2

[Meeting end]


There are plenty of hotels located close to DIAS, Burlington Rd. The two closest:

We recommend booking as early as possible.

Getting to DIAS, Burlington Rd.

There’s multiple options for getting from Dublin Airport to DIAS Burlington Rd:
  • A taxi from Dublin Airport to DIAS-Burlington will cost approximately €35.
  • By coach, take Aircoach no. 700 at Dublin Airport and get off at Leeson St. Lower (next to the Clayton Hotel), after which DIAS Burlington Rd. is a 3 minute walk.
  • Dublin Bus express 747 to O’Connell St., then 38, 38a, 38b or 38d to Burlington Rd.
  • From Dublin city centre you can also take the LUAS Green Line (tram) to the Charlemont stop, which is a 10 minute walk from Burlington Rd.

I-LOFAR Radio Telescope Reveals Secrets of Solar Shockwaves

The Sun may appear to be a constant force in our solar system, but it’s not as sleepy as you may think. In fact, our Sun can produce giant explosions that release vasts amount of electromagnetic radiation and electrically charged particles into space. These explosions, often referred to as solar storms, can be so fierce that they produce shock waves that propagate towards the Earth. Ultimately these shockwaves can cause a variety of potentially dangerous ‘space weather’ effects including interruptions to telecommunications and power, damage to satellites, and astronauts and passengers on commercial aircraft exposed to potentially lethal  doses of radiation. 

A new paper published in the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics by members of the I-LOFAR consortium has provided new insights into how solar storms drive shockwaves.

“On  September 2, 2017, soon after the Irish LOFAR station was turned on, the Sun produced a solar storm that drove a shock wave. We used data from the  NASA and NOAA spacecraft to track the shock wave as it moved through the Sun’s atmosphere, while I-LOFAR was able to detect radio bursts generated by the shock.” said Trinity College Dublin postgraduate student Ciara Maguire, the lead author on the publication.

Caption The Sun’s magnetic fields together is an ultraviolet image of the Sun from NOAA’s GOES spacecraft. The blue arcs tell us where the shock was when a radio burst was observed by I-LOFAR.

These observations enabled scientists to work out how the shock wave accelerated electrons and generated radio bursts. This gives us a detailed insight into how shock waves form and evolve over time. These shocks are a phenomenon found throughout the Universe, including in supernovae, black holes, and distant stars so understanding shocks triggered by the Sun could help to unveil more details about the physics at play.


Additional Notes

I-LOFAR is owned and operated at Birr Castle by Trinity College Dublin on behalf of the I-LOFAR Consortium, which includes Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, University College Dublin, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Galway, and Athlone Institute of Technology.

I-LOFAR is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The I-LOFAR fibre link is sponsored by open eir.


Ciara Maguire

Postgraduate Research Student

Trinity College Dublin & Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Mobile: +353 86 263 5970


Prof. Peter Gallagher

Head of Irish LOFAR Consortium

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies & Trinity College Dublin

Mobile: +353 87 656 8975