I-LOFAR – Exploring the Radio Universe from Ireland

Welcome to the Irish Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) website. I-LOFAR is the Irish station in a European-wide network of state-of-the-art radio telescopes, used to observe the Universe at low frequencies (10-240 MHz). With the award of €1.4 million from Science Foundation Ireland, the I-LOFAR consortium have built a cutting-edge astrophysics observing facility in Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland. This facility connects Ireland to the International LOFAR Telescope, which is one of the most sophisticated and advanced astrophysics research projects in the world. The integration of Irish astrophysics into such a large scale international astrophysics research facility allows Irish researchers to make ground-breaking advances in numerous fields of physics and data science, and inspire young scientists and engineers to pursue the advancement of Irish astrophysics for decades to come.

I-LOFAR

I-LOFAR is a low frequency radio telescope based at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly in Ireland. It connects to the International LOFAR Telescope network which stretches nearly 2,000 km from Ireland to Poland.

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Team

The I-LOFAR Consortium primarily includes researchers from Ireland and Northern Ireland, but also includes leading scientists from the UK, the Netherlands and the US.

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Education

I-LOFAR represents a great opportunity to engage with school children of all ages and teach them about the exciting I-LOFAR research in physics, engineering and data science.

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Support

I-LOFAR are seeking Donors to support this exciting project, following generous donations from Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien and Joe Hogan. Please contact Professor Peter Gallagher for further details.

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Focus on

Culture Night 2020: Astronomy in Birr Virtual Tour

Explore the historic and modern astrophysics research happening…

Consortium

Big Questions That LOFAR Could Answer

Are we alone in the universe?

LOFAR will enable scientists to search for planets in other star systems, and also to detect very weak radio signals from far away, perhaps indicating intelligent life.

How do clusters of galaxies, galaxies, stars and planets form?

LOFAR will provide clues to the processes forming the Universe today, including the origins of magnetic fields and cosmic rays, the birth of stars and planets, and perhaps the origin of life.

How does the sun affect the earth?

Solar storms can produce spectacular auroral displays, but large events can interrupt GPS, damage satellites, and disrupt power grids. LOFAR will track these disruptive storms, enabling us to better forecast their impacts at Earth.

What did the universe look like soon after the big bang?

LOFAR will take radio images of the Universe soon after the Big
Bang, enabling us to understand its origins and early evolution.

What are black holes?

These enigmatic objects were predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. LOFAR will enable us to study black holes in the centre of distant galaxies with more detail than ever before.

Where can I see all of this?

Birr Castle, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland!

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Latest News

AstroLands Interns 2020- Blog One

June 12, 2020/by Nathan Simoncini

Research Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Breakthrough Listen sponsored Summer Internship with I-LOFAR
Would…
March 18, 2020/by Aine Flood

Continual Professional Development for Teachers – Junior Cycle Science ‘Earth and Space’

February 25, 2020/by Aine Flood

Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Would you like to spend the summer working at a world-class radio…
February 21, 2020/by Aine Flood

February Mid-Term Guided Tours – Astronomy in Birr

This walking tour takes you through nearly 180 years of astronomy…
February 14, 2020/by Aine Flood

A New Perspective on I-LOFAR

This Guest Blog was written by a local secondary school student…
January 10, 2020/by Aine Flood

I-LOFAR science & techniques workshop 2020

December 13, 2019/by eoin carley

I-LOFAR Radio Telescope Reveals Secrets of Solar Shockwaves

The Sun may appear to be a constant force in our solar system,…
December 9, 2019/by Ciara Maguire

Learn how to code with CoderDojo and I-LOFAR!

Join I-LOFAR and Coderdojo for a CoderDojo Taster Session in…
August 1, 2019/by Aine Flood

A Journey Through the Last 100 Years of Astronomy, Coming to Birr in August 2019!

The International Astronomical Union’s 100th Anniversary Exhibition…
August 1, 2019/by Aine Flood

AstroLands Launch and I-LOFAR Education Centre Opening

On Thursday 30th May 2019, the I-LOFAR Education Centre was opened…
July 11, 2019/by Aine Flood

Space Camp 2019 is Go for Launch!

The I-LOFAR Education Team are excited to announce the launch…
July 4, 2019/by Aine Flood

Supporters

Birr Kids Space Ireland
Birr Scientific & Heritage Foundation
Grant Engineering
Joe Hogan (Openet)
Dermot Desmond
Denis O’Brien
Birr Lions Club
Birr Chamber of Commerce

Funders

Science Foundation Ireland
Enterprise Ireland
Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation
Offaly County Council
Dept. of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural, and Gaeltacht

Consortium Members

TCD
Armagh
UCD
DCU
UCC
NUIG
DIAS
AIT

Location

Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre
Rosse Row, Birr,
County Offaly,
R42 VO27

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