Consortium of scientists set for Offaly telescope project

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Consortium of scientists set for Offaly telescope project

Consortium of scientists set for Offaly telescope project

Some of the greatest scientific minds in the country have been named to form part of a consortium tasked with running and managing a new €2 million radio telescope at Birr.

SEE ALSO: GALLERY: New telescope puts Birr on the map

A large group of Irish astrophysics, computer engineering and data science organisations have been enlisted for the I-LOFAR project, which is led by Trinity College Dublin. 

The group includes astrophysicists and computer scientists from University College Dublin, NUI Galway, Dublin City University, Athlone Institute of Technology, University College Cork, the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. 

The I-LOFAR (Irish Low Frequency Array) is part of the Europe-wide LOFAR project, a €150 million network of 38 radio telescope stations, built by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, spread across seven European countries.

LOFAR will be used to study the universe, including black holes, magnetic fields, and star clusters, and will also help astrophysicists better understand the sun.

The Irish telescope was unveiled in the grounds of Birr castle last month. It incorporates a staggering 3,000 individual antennae and more than 50 km of wires and cables.

It was partially funded (€1.4 million) by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), while €600,000 in funding was garnered through local donors and fundraisers in Ireland. 

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