Astronomical objects emit light across the electromagnetic spectrum, 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 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 talk, I will describe the construction of the Irish Low-Frequency Array (I-LOFAR; www.lofar.ie), how it operates, and show some first-light observations.
Professor Gallagher is Head of Astrophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin. He leads the Irish LOFAR radio telescope project at Birr Castle (www.lofar.ie) and is a member of numerous ESA and NASA satellite teams, including Solar Orbiter. He was appointed to ESA’s Space Science Advisory Committee for 2017-2019. Before joining DIAS, Peter was a Professor at Trinity College Dublin for 12 years, a Senior Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Research Fellow at Owens Valley Radio Observatory and Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. He was made a Chevalier (Knight) de Palmes Académiques by the French Government in 2017.