Birr in the spotlight tonight on unique RTE documentary

A fascinating look at the scientific tapestry of the Offaly town

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Birr's brand new i-LOFAR telescope will take centre stage on RTE television tonight with the screening of a once-off documentary about its construction on RTE.

The documentary, 13 Billion Light Years from Birr, is the story of how the astronomical advancement of i-LOFAR came to power, as well as the rich scientific history of Birr Castle.

i-LOFAR is a Europe-wide network of telescopes spanning from Poland in the East to Birr, which is its most westerly outpost.

The network will allow scientists research the origin of the first galaxies, black holes, gas clouds and solar weather systems, including explosions on the sun picked up by the Birr antenna recently.

In the 1840s, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world in Birr, and it remained the biggest for 70 years. It remains a popular tourist attraction to this day, long after its decommissioning. 

13 Billion Light Years from Birr is a one-hour documentary produced by Midas Productions, funded by RTÉ and the BAI, and it airs tonight, Thursday, October 19, at 10.15pm on RTE 1. 

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