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

Research Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Breakthrough Listen sponsored Summer Internship with I-LOFAR Would…

Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Would you like to spend the summer working at a world-class radio…

February Mid-Term Guided Tours - Astronomy in Birr

This walking tour takes you through nearly 180 years of astronomy…

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

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

Summer Astronomy Tours in Birr

As part our AstroLands programme we are offering FREE guided…
June 7, 2019/by Aine Flood

Launch of I-LOFAR Education Centre & AstroLands Education Programme

Trinity College Dublin, Birr Scientific & Heritage Foundation,…
May 28, 2019/by Peter Gallagher

Astronomers Publish New Map of the Sky Detecting Thousands of Previously Unknown Galaxies

- Team includes researchers from University College Dublin

-…
February 19, 2019/by Aoife Ryan

Latest All Sky Images with I-LOFAR

The latest all sky images observed by I-LOFAR show the radio…
February 7, 2019/by Pearse Murphy

LOFAR Radio Telescope Reveals Secrets of Solar Storms

Dublin, Ireland, February 18, 2019: An international team of…
February 1, 2019/by Peter Gallagher

LOFAR Minecraft – LOFAR Enters the Virtual Universe

https://youtu.be/AVqLDZ-Kwzk
LOFAR Minecraft



Fionn (11)…
December 16, 2018/by Peter Gallagher

The Astronomical Midlands: Engaging Rural Communities with Astronomy

We are delighted to launch a new engagement project in 2019 -…
December 3, 2018/by Peter Gallagher

Offaly County Council confers Civic Recognition Award on Professor Peter Gallagher

Press Release from Offaly County Council:

Professor Gallagher…
October 23, 2018/by Peter Gallagher

First Pulsar Light with I-LOFAR!

Pulsars are rotating neutron stars that beam radiation into space…
September 24, 2018/by Peter Gallagher

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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