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

Engineers Week 2021

2021 Research Summer Internship Programme with I-LOFAR

Breakthrough Listen sponsored Summer Internship with I-LOFAR Would…

Winter Solstice 2020

Science in the Movies: Fact vs Fiction with OFFline

I-LOFAR are delighted to team up with OFFline Film Festival here…

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

I-LOFAR in Government’s Midlands Action Plan for Jobs

On June 29, 2015 the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation,…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Irish Astronomer Searching for Exoplanets using LOFAR

An international team of scientists lead by Irish astronomer…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Sunspotter Workshops for the Midlands Science Festival

Several Sunspotter workshops took place in a number of Midlands…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Radio Bursts from the Sun Imaged using LOFAR

The Solar Physics Group at TCD are excited to report that they…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Big Day For Birr With Launch Of Solar Observatory

AN IMPORTANT day in the history of Birr Castle took place on…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Trinity’s New Observatory in Birr to Illuminate the Sun-Earth Connection

The Rosse Solar-Terrestrial Observatory, which will be opened…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

LOFAR Test Array Back Up and Running Better than Ever

The LOFAR Test Array is operational once again in the midlands…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

All-sky Movie Recorded by a Single LOFAR Station

During the weekend of 30th of may - 1st of June, the Solar Physics…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Clear Skies in Birr for Radio Astronomy

The Trinity Solar Physics Group has been working hard over the…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

LOFAR Colloquia at UCC and UCD

LOFAR Colloquia will take place at UCC and UCD in February, where…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Engineers Ireland Lecture: “The Radio Universe: Astronomy at Long Wavelengths”

“An Chruinne Raidió: Réalteolaíocht ag Tonnfhaid…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

Trinity Launches I–LOFAR Alumni Campaign

Trinity has a long and distinguished tradition in astronomy and…
April 9, 2017/by Hannah Currivan

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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