This session will be run by LOFAR scientists, Mario M. Bisi (Institute of Mathematics and Physics, Aberystwyth University, UK), Michael W. Wise (Astronomy Group, ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy), The Netherlands), Philip Best (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, UK), Benjamin W. Stappers (The School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, UK), Peter T. Gallagher (School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), and and Marcus Braggen (School of Engineering & Science, Jacobs University, Germany), the session has the following abstract:
"The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a next-generation radio telescope which utilises thousands of stationary dipoles and tiles to observe celestial phenomena. This session is intended for the broader community to learn about the developments of LOFAR including updates on the status of the system and its current scientific capabilities, the early science results from all aspects of its applications and operation, as well as the upcoming opportunities for general "open skies" observing.With its dense core array and interferometric baselines of up to 1,000 km, LOFAR has the potential to achieve both unparalleled sensitivity (sub-mJy) and spatial resolution (sub-arcsecond) in this largely-unexplored low-frequency radio regime (~10 MHz to 250 MHz). Areas of science which can be explored with LOFAR include, but are not limited to, the Epoch of Re-ionisation (EoR), Pulsars, Transients, Cosmic Rays, Magnetism, deep Extra-Galactic Surveys, and also studies of the Sun, the Solar Atmosphere/Solar Wind, Space Weather, and the Earth's Ionosphere. In summary, the session is designed for showcasing LOFAR's scientific potential and progress to date. The session should include a LOFAR overview and specifics of LOFAR commissioning, current status, scientific and technical capabilities, and upcoming opportunities. We solicit contributions from any/all of the science areas that will be covered by the observational capabilities of LOFAR."