"A Second Earth" revealed in NEMO

Wednesday 27 January 2016 the exhibit "A Second Earth" was officially presented in Science Center NEMO. SRON sponsors this exhibit, which is part of the exhibition 'The Search for Life'.        Read more (in dutch)

STO-2 loses race against time at Antarctica

The balloon mission STO-2 has not been launched from the South Pole. The balloon, which is equiped with Dutch detectors, was scheduled this January to make a circular flight over Antarctica and to observe the universe at an altitude of 40 km. But due to bad weather the balloon could not be launched in time to take advantage of the polar anticyclone, which causes air to slowly circulate in a counterclockwise pattern. NASA has now postponed the mission to the next Antarctic summer at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017.         More

LISA Pathfinder en route to gravitational wave demonstration

  ESA's LISA Pathfinder lifted off earlier today on a Vega rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its way to demonstrate technology for observing gravitational waves from space. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime, predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, published on 2 December 1915.         More

In search of the biggest bangs after the Big Bang

On 2 December 2015 the European Space Agency ESA will launch the satellite LISA Pathfinder, an important technology demonstration mission for measuring the gravitational waves in space predicted by Einstein. With gravitational waves scientists expect to be able to make new discoveries about objects such as compact binary stars and merging supermassive black holes, which are responsible for the biggest bangs after the Big Bang. And completely new fundamental physics is also on the horizon.         More

Black holes behave like Matryoshka dolls

  An international team of astrophysicists has established that supermassive black holes behave like small stellar black holes. They made their discovery by observing a supermassive black hole that has torn apart a star, causing a surge of gas towards it. Normally such a change in the gas flow takes too long to detect. But this time the transition from a steady flow to a surge of gas happened abruptly, enabling the researchers to detect a jet blasting from the supermassive black hole. This neatly fits the pattern found near small black holes. The results appear  in Science today.         More