Event Information

20 April 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:

Physics @ Work

Tuning in to the Radio Universe from Ireland with Prof. Peter Gallagher TCD and DIAS

This online talk and tour will give an insight into the work of the astrophysicists, computer engineers and data scientists at I-LOFAR. This radio telescope, based at Birr Castle extends the LOFAR international network of state-of-the-art telescopes. Used to observe the universe, it is one of the largest astrophysics projects in Europe. It allows Irish astrophysical research to be integrated into one of the most sophisticated telescopes on the planet.

Professor Peter Gallagher is head of astrophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and an adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin. His research is concerned with understanding the physics of solar storms and their impacts on Earth. He has a long association with the European Space Agency and Nasa and leads the I-LOFAR radio telescope project. He also spent six years in the US, firstly at Owens Valley Solar Array and Big Bear Solar Observatory in California, and then at Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center.

Tuning in to the Radio Universe from Ireland

Astronomical objects emit light across the electromagnetic spectrum, something which has led astronomers to build instruments to observe the universe from gamma rays to radio waves. For over 70 years from the mid-1800s, the largest optical telescope in the world was at Birr Castle in Ireland, which enabled the renowned astronomer the 3rd Earl of Rosse to see the spiral arms of galaxies for the first time. Recently, a new telescope has been built at Birr to explore the universe at radio wavelengths.

In this webinar, Professor Gallagher will describe the construction of I-LOFAR and how it operates, and shares some recent observations of stars, pulsars and the Sun. There will be an opportunity for teachers to ask questions and learn more about Ireland’s involvement in some of the most ground-breaking and advanced research projects in modern astronomy.

This event is very suitable for JC Science and LC Physics teachers. We will also explore some of the many I-LOFAR teaching resources suitable for JC and TY.


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