has a staff that is very international in composition
has a informal and open atmosphere
participates in NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, in which astronomers of the Dutch universities work closely together
specializes in research connected with the life cycle of stars: from the birth of stars and planetary systems to the late stages of stellar evolution, including the physics connected with compact stars (neutron stars, black holes) and their formation mechanisms (e.g. gamma ray bursts)
is closely involved with the most advanced international observing facilities, both ground based facilities from the radio to the optical (e.g. The Low Frequency Array—LOFAR, The Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory in Chile) and in space (e.g. Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Fermi, etc.)
carries out its theoretical work on state of the art supercomputers (our campus houses SARA, the premier data and computing hub of the Netherlands).