Kanan Datta is one of the OKC fellows working at the Astronomy department since October 2009. He is doing his first postdoc studing the universe reionization, something that probably happened only about 200 million years after the Big Bang. He is originally from India, but he enjoys very much being in Sweden.
The Europe-wide, international LOFAR Telescope (Low Frequency Array) is the world’s largest radio telescope and observes radio waves with low frequencies.
LOFAR will map these radio signals and thereby see billions of light years out into space, into the era when the first stars formed, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. However, it will also investigate the environments of black holes, find extreme galaxies and pulsars, for planets around other stars and even investigate the nearest star, our Sun.
As the Sun is finally warming up both the nature and people this far north, also the efforts to construct the Swedish LOFAR station awake from their winter sleep. From November until now snow and frozen soil stopped the work in its tracks, but today at Onsala near Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden, the building activities will recommence.
LOFAR is a European wide radio telescope consisting of stations spread out over the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France and Sweden, with possibly more countries joining in the future.