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European VLBI Network (EVN)

The EVN is a distributed network of radio telescopes located across the European continent and beyond. The EVN telescopes are operated by the following institutes located within the EC and associated states: Institute of Radio Astronomy, Italy; Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany; Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (NWO), The Netherlands; Jodrell Bank Observatory (PPARC/University of Manchester), UK; Onsala Space Observatory, Sweden; Torun Centre for Astronomy, Poland; Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), Finland; National Astronomical Observatory, Spain. The network is supported from a central data processing centre: the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, JIVE, The Netherlands.

The EVN has gained an international reputation as a unique and highly sensitive astronomical instrument. VLBI achieves the highest angular resolution of all astronomical instruments and is crucial to our understanding of the most energetic phenomena in the universe. Hallmarks of the EVN are (i) its unrivalled sensitivity, (ii) its ability to co-observe with other complimentary arrays (in particular the unique and seamless combination of the EVN-MERLIN and Global VLBI), and (iii) access to the sky at frequencies that are not available elsewhere (in particular 6.7 GHz). The EVN conducts unique research in several different and diverse areas of astronomy. These include: (a) the quiescent and eruptive states of radio stars and exotic x-ray binary systems that exhibit superluminal motions in our own galaxy; (b) the evolution and expansion of supernova remnants and their interaction with the interstellar medium; (c) probing the immediate environment surrounding active nuclei in nearby galaxies from spectral line absorption and maser emission studies, (d) detailed individual studies of nearby star forming and starburst galaxies, (e) distinguishing between starburst and AGN activity in faint and distant, high-redshift (optically faint) dust obscured galaxies; (f) determining the nature of dark matter, its distribution and the expansion rate of the universe through high resolution observations of gravitational lenses, (g) the classification and determination of the morphology and evolution of compact radio sources and the detailed study of radio jet physics, (h) unique 6.7 GHz observations of methanol maser emission around protostars, (i) high precision astrometry, including the search for planetary companions around the nearest radio stars.

With the state-of-the-art facilities offered by the EVN and the comprehensive support for external users at JIVE, world class VLBI research can be carried out by European astronomers outside of the EVN who are not technical specialists in the field. This makes VLBI a standard tool available to all astronomers.

The EVN TNA contact is B. Campbell (JIVE)

More information can be found on EVN Homepage.