Radio astronomy at very low frequencies is currently undergoing a major revolution. A number of radio interferometers have been recently built/upgraded (e.g., LOFAR, MWA, GMRT) or under planning (SKA) that will explore the Universe at low frequencies in unprecedented sensitivity, resolution and field of view. These images facilitate the exploration of a large number of astronomical fields. In addition, achieving such high quality deep images requires the development of novel and powerful radio interferometry techniques. During this year the LOFAR telescope has started taking very deep and high quality images of the radio sky at ~2-4 meters wavelength. These data together with other radio and optical data allow the study of a number of exciting topics, which will be the focus of this conference.
This year will also mark the 65th birthday of Prof. Ger de Bruyn who has been a leading figure in radio astronomy in the last few decades and has been instrumental in the development of LOFAR, especially the LOFAR-EoR key science project. This conference is also planned as a celebration of his scientific career and achievements. Therefore, the topics of the conference have also been chosen to coincide with his scientific interests, which naturally fit into the topic of high quality imaging in the radio Universe.
In particular the conference will focus on the following topics: (i) The Epoch of Reionization (EoR); (ii) Galactic and Extragalactic Foreground Emission (Synchrotron, Galactic magnetism, EoR foregrounds in general, AGNs, Radio Giants, DDRGs, Variability, BLRs,); (iii) Surveys at Low Radio Frequencies; and (iv) Foundations of Radio Astronomy (Faraday Rotation Measure Synthesis, Scintillation, Calibration of Radio interferometers, RFI mitigation, Radio arrays design in general).
New generation wide-field instruments, especially SKA pathfinders in the radio regime, will detect a huge number of transient sources that can be followed-up by very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) at the highest possible angular resolution. Finding and localization of these, as well as discussing the science case and realization of high resolution observations in multi-wavelength transient projects, is the main focus of the workshop. The science topics covered will be Galactic neutron stars (pulsars) and black holes, gamma-ray binaries, unidentified TeV sources, novae, supernovae, GRB, tidal disruption events and astrophysical sources of gravitational waves. The instruments and techniques to be introduced are the European VLBI Network (EVN), real-time e-VLBI, WSRT Apertif, SKA pathfinders (e-Merlin/LOFAR/ASKAP/MeerkAT/MWA/LWA) as well as transient facilities and programmes in the other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Our main aims are to have both students and experienced researchers, from both the wide-field and the VLBI communities: 1) learn practical hands-on methods from each other’s fields in “school” fashion, 2) form the new collaborations needed to make this new connection of fields a success. Furthermore, by offering a scientific program of excellent confirmed speakers from across the electromagnetic and gravity-wave spectrum, we, introduce VLBI to a wider, non-radio astronomy transient community. We expect to strengthen the scientific case for a long-baseline configuration SKA as well.
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, the Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek” of the University of Amsterdam, and ASTRON Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy are organizing a 5-day conference detailing the latest developments in neutron star research. More than 45 years after the discovery of the first pulsar, neutron stars are now used as gravitational-wave detectors and astrophysical laboratories for studying the physics of ultra-high magnetic fields, gravity, and ultra-dense matter. We envisage a program highlighting the most recent results on radio (e.g. LOFAR, GBT, Arecibo) and high-energy (e.g. Fermi) searches for new pulsars as well as cutting-edge results from studies of known neutron-star systems and their surroundings. We also wish to capture the still expanding variety of neutron-star behavior, including talks on transient sources/events such as the RRATS and (giant) flares of magnetars. In addition, with LOFAR capabilities for monitoring the transient and pulsar sky becoming fully operational in 2012, it is opportune to confront the early results with those of the high-energy window.
The Target consortium is happy to annouce its first conference that will take place between 3rd and 5th of April, 2013 near the scenic town of Groningen. Conference sessions and events will run from the afternoon of April 3 rd until noon on April 5th. The Target Conference will provide an excellent opportunity to bring together key national players in Big Data in one location. These will include key researchers from the academic and private sector, key players in the creative industry, policy makers and investors / funding agencies. This creates the environment to fulfill the objective of the Target Conference: to enhance the national R&D agenda in the field of Big Data and to expose the various Big Data projects in the north of the Netherlands. Following a plenary assessment of the current status, the focus will be on parallel sessions to investigate priorities and opportunities for a leading Dutch role over the next 5 years in the field of Big Data. Conference topics have been selected carefully to be of great generic value across research disciplines and economic sectors. Topics will be presented and discussed in the form of plenary talks as well as more in-depth parallel/Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions. ICT demonstrations and exhibitions will run in parallel with the conference sessions.
Target is one of the largest ongoing public-private projects in the Netherlands in the area of large-scale data management and information systems. The project focuses on research and development of innovative intelligent information systems that can efficiently process data and extract information from extremely large and structurally diverse datasets. Based on the partnership of research institutions, local and global IT businesses, Target has set up an expertise center in Groningen for data management of (inter)national science projects in the area of astronomy, life sciences and artificial intelligence, as well as a number of innovative commercial applications in the field of information technologies. Target also manages and maintains the second largest academic computer center in the Netherlands hosted by the Donald Smits Center for Information Technology at the University of Groningen.
To learn more about Target and its current activities, visit out website at www.rug.nl/target.