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A daily view of all the goings-on at ASTRON and JIVE.
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    © ASTRON

    Last week, the renowned Space Studies Programme (SSP) from the International Space University visited ASTRON/JIVE/NOVA in Dwingeloo. During the visit, participants learned about the institutes, got tours through the facilities, learned about telescope engineering, the James Webb Telescope, space VLBI and Space Weather, and visited the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).

    The SSP is a nine-week graduate top-level professional development program conducted by the International Space University (ISU). The curriculum covers the principal space related fields, both non-technical and technical and ranges from policy and law, business and management and humanities to life sciences, engineering, physical sciences and space applications. SSP participants are high potential scientists and engineers in the field of space in their early career from 35 different countries.

    This year, the SSP takes place from 25 June to 24 August in the Netherlands, hosted by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO), in close collaboration with Delft University of Technology, Leiden University and the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA-ESTEC) in Noordwijk. The program is packed with a wide variety of activities including lectures by renowned experts, hands-on activities and projects, team work assignments, and professional visits to industry and academia. ASTRON, JIVE and NOVA are sponsors of the SSP and collectively organized a visit to Dwingeloo on July 30th and August 5th.

    Because of the summer holidays it has been quite a challenge for the SSP Local Organising Committee to set up such a program, but when leaving Dwingeloo/Exloo the SSP visitors said that they were very grateful for the interesting program.

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  • 08/13/18--17:00: Total Lunar Eclipse 2018
  • © Zsolt Paragi

    Crowds gathered near the Dwingeloo telescope to watch the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, on 27-28 July 2018. What better place than the fields (Heide) near ASTRON/JIVE. The skies were clear, the views were spectacular. Soon following the sunset four bright planets were visible: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and a bit later Mars was rising on the Eastern horizon. Mars itself appeared very bright as it reached opposition that very night (was not this bright since 2003). As it was getting darker, the already fully eclipsed, reddish/grey Moon was becoming visible above Mars. Together with the summer students we joined the big group of villagers and tourists to admire this spectacle.

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  • 08/14/18--17:00: A Summer Nebula
  • ©

    Nights are short during the summer months, so the big bright nebulae in and near the plane of the Milky Way are prime targets.

    This image of planetary nebula Messier 27 (aka the Dumbbell Nebula) is a simple RGB combination of four, 600s integrations for each filter with a 40cm telescope.

    11 years ago I made an image of this nebula with a much smaller telescope.

    The colour rendition of the new version is a bit more accurate and it shows a lot more detail.

    The full size image can be viewed here:

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  • 08/15/18--17:00: Today's Colloquium
  • © Sergei Gulyaev

    Starry night in New Zealand. The 30m (left) and 12m (middle) radio telescopes of the Warkworth Radio Astronomical Observatory. Photo by Mike MacKinven.

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  • 08/16/18--17:00: A Dutch Summer
  • © Cees Bassa, Joe Callingham, Gemma Janssen, David McKenna, Golam Shaifullah, Amy Tuson & Pietro Zucca

    As our summer in Dwingeloo comes to an end, we'd like to thank everybody at ASTRON and JIVE for making our stay so memorable.

    A special thanks goes to our supervisors - Cees Bassa, Ross Burns, Richard Fallows, Katharina Immer, Yogesh Maan, Zsolt Paragi, Tim Shimwell and Pietro Zucca - and everybody else who has helped us along the way. Your encouragement and support have been invaluable. We'd also like to mention Gemma Janssen and Golam Shaifullah, among many others, for making our summer so much fun! The collage above shows just some of the many things we have been up to. Starting from top left and moving across...

    - We visited the ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre for a tour and a selection of interesting lectures. The capsule we are stood with has been in orbit around the Earth!

    - The Oogstdag is a traditional farming festival held in Lhee and, as we quickly found out, there is lots of tasty food.

    - We 'walked' to an island through mud at low tide. Needless to say, our shoes will never look the same again.

    - Some of us visited Cologne, Germany for a weekend. We climbed to the top of the cathedral in the background and the view was incredible!

    - We experienced an unconventional Dutch summer of continuous sunshine, so we were lucky enough to see many beautiful sunsets across Dwingelderveld National Park.

    - A boat trip around Giethoorn in "the world's slowest boat" (Pietro Zucca, 2018).

    - ASTRON students sat on the base of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope.

    - The many clear nights during our stay made for some excellent stargazing. Mars is above the two silhouettes.

    - We were taken to explore the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and LOFAR Superterp.

    - Cycled to the Hunebedden near Havelte; despite the fact this looks like a child's playground, it is a Neolithic burial chamber!

    - Some of us visited Brussels, Belgium for a weekend, enjoying foreign delicacies known as 'fries' and 'waffles'.

    - We placed our flags on the summer student world map.

    Dank u wel en tot ziens!

    Amy, Iuliana, David, Anshu, Daysi and Alexander