Italy joins the JIVE ERIC

Published on 18 March 2021


As of March 12 2021, Italy has become a member of the JIVE European Research Infrastructure Consortium, joining the Netherlands (represented by NWO), the UK (STFC), Sweden (VR), France (CNRS), Spain (IGN) and Latvia (MES). JIVE is also supported by institutes in South Africa (NRF), Germany (MPIfR) and China (NAOC). 

JIVE is the operational centre of the European VLBI Network (EVN), with its headquarters in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands, where it is hosted by the NWO institute ASTRON.

The radio telescopes of the EVN regularly join forces in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations, in order to explore the Universe at the highest possible angular resolution, mapping out gravitational lenses, resolving supernova explosions, pinpointing fast radio bursts and black holes, and measuring the flows of material and the magnetic fields close to newly born stars. To reach the highest possible sensitivity and resolution, the EVN includes radio telescopes situated not only in Europe, but also in Asia, South Africa and the Americas. JIVE combines the signals from all the telescopes and prepares the results for the users, astronomers from around the world. No less important, JIVE also provides extensive user support, from the scheduling of VLBI observations to the final data reduction, and spends much engineering effort on further technical developments and improvement of the VLBI technique in general.

JIVE has been in existence as the central facility of the EVN since December 1993. On 18 December 2014, the European Commission announced its decision to establish JIVE as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

Italy was one of the founding members of the EVN in the early eighties, and its radio telescopes in Medicina, Noto, and, more recently, Sardinia, have regularly participated in EVN operations ever since. Through the Institute of Radio Astronomy (IRA-INAF), Italy has supported and been involved with JIVE for several decades.

By joining the JIVE ERIC entity, Italy supports the sustainability of a strong institute for VLBI science, serving as the operational hub of the European VLBI Network and guarding the interests of the global radio-astronomical user community.