Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Explosions and bursts near black holes and neutron stars

Short-term explosive phenomena near black holes and neutron stars are often a signpost for extreme astrophysics. We investigate those explosions and the accompanying radiation and particles. We zoom in, amongst others, on Fast Radio Bursts, Gamma-ray Bursts, and X-ray transients. We also observe the steady emission from jets in the active nuclei of galaxies.

The supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) as observed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Cas A is one
of the youngest supernova remnants, with an age of about 340 yr old. 
Different colors in this image correspond to differently freshly synthesised elements:
red is oxygen-rich gas, green silicon-rich, and blue is iron-rich. The small dot near the center is the neutron star
that was created during the supernova event.
The size of this remnant is about 5 arcminutes, corresponding to 5 parsec (15 light years).

Supernovaremnant Cas A

Those jets are thought to be a major driver in halting massive galaxy growth. We work in close collaboration with GRavitation AstroParticle Physics Amsterdam (GRAPPA). In the coming decade, we want to combine gravitational-wave astronomy with observations of explosions and bursts. We want to know more about the nature of black-hole feedback into their environments, about Fast Radio Bursts and about new exotic objects that have not even been discovered yet.


Gamma rays, Fast Radio Bursts, FRBs, Soft Gamma Repeaters, gamma-ray pulsars, X-ray transients, MHD jets, gravitational waves, black-hole feedback, relativistic jets


Now: Swift, Chandra, XMM, AstroSAT, LOFAR, WHT, VLT, aLIGO, large-scale computing

Future: Meerkat, LOFAR 2.0, SKA, ELT, ATHENA, CTA, EHT, transient survey machines

Leading Scientists


  • prof. dr. R.A.M.J. (Ralph) Wijers | T: 0205257488

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Published by  Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

13 December 2017