Trinity Launches I–LOFAR Alumni Campaign

Trinity has a long and distinguished tradition in astronomy and philanthropy. Dating back to the 1780s, a bequest from Provost Andrews funded the first Chair of Astronomy and the construction of Dunsink Observatory.

In recent years, astronomical research at Trinity has gone through a renaissance; the popular undergraduate degree in Physics and Astrophysics was established, and the School’s Astrophysics Research Group has grown to new heights. Such is the international reputation of Trinity Astrophysics, that a paper by the group was published on the front cover of the December 2013 issue of Nature Physics.

But this is just the start. The School now leads an all-Ireland consortium of universities that aims to bring a cutting-edge European radio telescope – LOFAR – to Ireland. We are asking for your support to make this happen.

LOFAR leads the way for a new generation of digital radio telescopes. These telescopes give astronomers fresh insights into the early universe after the Big Bang, find new planets, and enable us to better understand our closest star, the Sun. The current Earl of Rosse is so enthused by the Irish LOFAR project that he has generously donated the use of the remarkable site in the Birr Castle Demesne. This builds on Ireland’s great scientific heritage of the Birr Leviathan Telescope.

In order to realise an Irish LOFAR station, we need to raise €1.5 million. We have already received donations from alumni and leading figures in Irish business and we are now delighted to invite you to help bring LOFAR to Ireland.

Follow in the footsteps of Provost Andrews and help us to make LOFAR a reality in Ireland. Your gift will help build the LOFAR station, and will make a lasting difference to the School’s national and international reputation.

The LOFAR station will ensure that both Trinity and our young and emerging innovators can benefit from opportunities that the LOFAR project allows us to access.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. do hope that you can support this important project and share our ambitions with your friends and family.

With many thanks for your support, and best wishes for the New Year.
Professor James Lunney
Head of TCD School of Physics
Professor Peter Gallagher
Head of I-LOFAR

PS. If you make a gift today, your generosity will be recognised at and in the Trinity Donor Report. Thank you.