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First use of the I-LOFAR with the International LOFAR Telescope

20 Mar 2018, 16:18 UTC
First use of the I-LOFAR with the International LOFAR Telescope
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Article by Aaron Golden, Visiting Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
Stephen Bourke works at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, and Aaron Golden at the School of Maths in NUI Galway, and is a visiting astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium. The I-LOFAR observations were taken as part of LOFAR proposal LC9_040 “A search for aurora on nearby flare stars using LOFAR”.

I-LOFAR reached another milestone on the night of the 6th of March, when the entire LOFAR telescope network across the European continent including the Birr outstation was for the first time used by Irish astronomers Stephen Bourke and Aaron Golden to observe the nearby flare star CN Leonis. The team hope to ‘catch’ a stellar flare exploding in the star’s corona, and to use the radio observations taken at Birr and across the LOFAR network to understand how such flares evolve over time and how similar they are to the solar flares we experience here on Earth. CN Leo is a small, red dwarf star about 8 light years away in the constellation Leo, and is likely to possess a planetary system. In fact, we now know that the ...

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