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Public Lecture

The Building of Ireland's €2 Million LOFAR Telescope

By Joe McCauley (TCD)

Monday July 9th at 8pm


STOP PRESS: David Moore talks on radio about the lecture & the importance of LOFAR to Ireland's mostly-science-based economy. Listen here


About the Lecture

The Low Frequency Array ( LOFAR ) is an international network of state-of-the-art telescopes used to observe the Universe in unprecedented detail at low radio frequencies.

LOFAR is one of the largest astrophysics projects in Europe, consisting of 11 international stations spread across Germany, Poland, France, UK, and Sweden, with additional stations and a central hub in The Netherlands, operated by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy ( ASTRON ).

The network uses state-of-the-art data processing and storage systems as well as sophisticated computing techniques to combine the entire network into a telescope with the effective size of the European continent. It needs ultra-high-speed internet, supercomputers and extreme powerful software to deliver cutting-edge science of a world-class standard, something Ireland is good at.

I-LOFAR will be the Irish addition to this network and the 12th international station to be built in Europe. It will allow Irish astrophysical research to be integrated into one of the most sophisticated telescopes on the planet. The location of this Irish station is in the centre of the country on the grounds of Birr Castle, Co. Offaly.

This is the story of the lead up to the build and the problems that had to be overcome in building Ireland's Lofar telescope.


About the Speaker



Joe McCauley is the Senior Experimental Officer in the School of Physics in Trinity College Dublin.

He has been heavily involved in organising and in installing complex scientific equipment at the Lofar site in Birr Castle.

He documented the historic project photographically and has a myriad of interesting anecdotes to show the construction of the biggest investment in astronomy ever made by Ireland, on the site of the world's biggest telescope (1845-1917).

Separately, the BBC made a documentary of the delivery of the LOFAR parts from Holland to Ireland by truck driver and astrophysicist!) Dr Ryan Mulligan. See BBC "Space Truckers"



After the lecture there will be a social reception in The Lombard and we encourage all of you to come along for a chat.
All are welcome to attend and free food will be kindly provided by The Lombard.

Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter sites - links on the left.

A prize draw will be held after the lecture.

Booking Information

Date Monday 9th July
Time 8:00p.m.

Physics Bldg, Physics Department , Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin.
There is an entrance on Lincoln Place (not far from the Merrion Square end of TCD). If you get the DART or bus to Pearse St, or drive. Use the Science Gallery entrance on Pearse Street (near the corner with Westland Row) There are maps here:  Here

Parking: Mark Street , Marks Lane , Lombard St. East .

Free Parking on the above streets after 7pm
Click HERE for a building map of Trinity College campus
Click HERE for Map of area

Admission €10 (€5 Astronomy Ireland members and concessions)
Tickets where possible should be booked in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, please come along 15 minutes early to accommodate.

Book online below

Call 086 06 46 555 to book tickets over the phone using Debit/ Credit Card
Send a cheque/ PO/ Draft, made payable to Astronomy Ireland to PO BOX 2888, Dublin 5.


This lecture is also available to people nationwide (all 32 counties) on DVD.
To order a copy of the DVD simply:
Order by credit/ debit card online below OR
call 086 06 46 555
Alternatively post a Cheque or postal order to: Astronomy Ireland, PO. Box 2888, Dublin 5.
Cost: DVD's cost €10 each incl P&P (€5 Astronomy Ireland members)

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Acknowledgment: Astronomy Ireland would like to thank the TCD Astrophysics Research Group for hosting AI public lectures in Trinity College Dublin.

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