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LOFAR telescope

Topics Covered:

  1. Awareness in space.

 

LOFAR telescope

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: LOFAR telescope- objectives, features and significance of the latest discovery.

 

Context: A new map of the night sky published recently charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using LOFAR telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see.

  • The discovery literally shed new light on some of the Universe’s deepest secrets, including the physics of black holes and how clusters of galaxies evolve.

 

About LOFAR Telescope:

The Low-Frequency Array or LOFAR, is a large radio telescope network located mainly in the Netherlands, completed in 2012 by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and its international partners.

How it works? LOFAR consists of a vast array of omnidirectional antennas using a new concept in which the signals from the separate antennas are not combined in real time as they are in most array antennas. The electronic signals from the antennas are digitized, transported to a central digital processor, and combined in software to emulate a conventional antenna.

The project is based on an interferometric array of radio telescopes using about 20,000 small antennas concentrated in at least 48 stations.

The mission of LOFAR is to map the Universe at radio frequencies from ~10–240 MHz with greater resolution and greater sensitivity than previous surveys, such as the 7C and 8C surveys, and surveys by the Very Large Array (VLA) and Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

 

Sources: the hindu.