King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima regional visit

Wednesday 18 September 2019, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima paid a regional visit to Southwest Drenthe (in Dutch). The program included Dwingelderveld National Park and ASTRON.

The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is located on the edge of the Dwingelderveld and close to the ASTRON buildings. On the way from Dwingelderveld to ASTRON, the Royal Couple walked along the radio telescope. Outside of the radio telescope, CAMRAS volunteer and ASTRON employee Tammo Jan Dijkema gave the Royal Couple a brief explanation with demonstration of hydrogen in the spiral arms of the Milky Way. Tammo Jan was accompanied by Cor Veldman, one of the longest cooperating CAMRAS volunteers. In order to perform the demonstration flawlessly, three telescope operators were present in the telescope: CAMRAS volunteers Cees Bassa (also ASTRON employee), Harm Munk (CAMRAS vice-chairman) and Sigrid Witteveen.

In 1956, King Willem-Alexander’s grandmother, at that time Queen Juliana, opened the radio telescope. Therefor we wanted to show the Royal Couple that the radio telescope is still working, but now with volunteers.

On the website of the Drenthe province you can read a short interview (in Dutch) with Tammo Jan Dijkema about this visit. You can read more about the visit to ASTRON on the ASTRON website.

During the regional visit, attention was given to initiatives by residents and entrepreneurs to preserve the quality of life in their city or village. A connecting approach is central to these initiatives. The Royal Couple visited the municipalities of Hoogeveen, Westerveld, De Wolden and Meppel (in Dutch).

Photos: CAMRAS (Gemma Bassa, Harm Jan Stiepel) and Leiden Observatory Archives. Video: Drenthe province.