Thermonuclear X-ray bursts on neutron stars set speed record

A new study of thermonuclear X-ray bursts on neutron stars reveals that, on very rare occasions, shells can be expelled at relativistic speeds - up to 30% of the speed of light. These velocities are the highest ever measured for a cosmic thermonuclear event, including novae and thermonuclear supernovae. This phenomenon, discovered in only 0.1 second worth of data in 40 years of space-based X-ray astronomy, sheds new light on how nuclear flames spread over surfaces of neutron stars. The research results have been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.         More

Chandra and LETG celebrate 15th anniversary

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivalled X-ray vision. SRON provided the Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG) for Chandra in collaboration with the Max Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) in Garching (near München). With this grating, astronomers were able to take a closer look at high energetic processes around astronomical objects, such as black holes, for the very first time.         More

SRON annual magazine 2012-2013

Welcome to the first digital annual magazine from SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research. In words and images this magazine provides an overview of the most important developments, scientific highlights, technological breakthroughs and new instruments in 2012 and 2013.         More

Jelle Kaastra appointed honorary professor at Leiden University

SRON-researcher Jelle Kaastra has been appointed honorary professor of High Energy Astrophysics at Leiden University. The appointment is per 1 April 2014.         Read more (in dutch)

Herschel-HIFI solve meteorite mystery

A team of astronomers, including Carsten Dominik (UvA), has found a possible explanantion for the presence of a certain chemical element in meteorites. By using the Herschel space telescope (ESA) they found a star nursery with a radically different chemical proportions than in any known embryonic star. This is probably caused by a mighty, energetic stellar wind. Such a wind may also have been active around our own Sun, 4,5 billion years ago.         Read more (in dutch)