Jupiter reveals new secrets

Jupiter revealed to astronomers what hides beneath the colourful clouds, dots and stripes we see on the planet.  A new radiomap of Jupiters atmosphere – the most detailed so far - reveals the massive movement of ammonia gas beneath the surface.        Read more (in dutch)

Breakthrough in terahertz-spectroscopy

A small device that detects a chemical substance within seconds, using terahertz radiation. Thanks to an improvement of spectroscopy techniques in this frequency, this possibility could soon be applied. Researchers developed a compact system to achieve the spectroscopic fingerprint of a material within 100 μs, making it a promising as a fast, advantageous and portable application, for example in tracing explosives.        Read more (in dutch)

Lisa Pathfinder exceeds expectations

 ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission has succesfully tested precision technology for measuring gravitational waves in space. Measurents in the past two months show that the technological concept - using laser beams to measure very accurately tiny variations in the distance between two test cubes that travel through space in free fall - exceeds all expectations.         More

Stan Gielen new chair NWO with effect from January 2017

Professor C.C.A.M. (Stan) Gielen will become chair of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) with effect from 1 January 2017. NWO is currently undergoing major changes. The governance and organisation will become more streamlined and coherent. This will put NWO in a better position to optimally realise its core tasks, funding of and innovation in Dutch scientific research and the management of eight national research institutes, both now and in the future. As of 1 September 2016 Stan Gielen will be involved as the future chair of the Executive Board in the further realisation of this organisational change.         More

Climate change influences carbon cycle

Satellite measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere shed light on how climate change - taking the shape of for instance heavy rains, draughts and floods - in turn influences the carbon cycle at the Australian continent. The carbon cycle has a big impact on the greenhouse effect. The research results are presented today at the ESA Living Planet Symposium at Prague.        Read more (in dutch)

Loss of Hitomi great blow to international space research

After a perfect launch on 17 February and a few weeks of excellent operations the Japanese space telescope Hitomi was considered to be lost yesterday. A fault in the orientation of the satellite probably led to considerable damage to the space telescope. This is a great blow to international space research. In the few weeks that Hitomi was operational the space telescope produced spectacular observations.        Read more (in dutch)

Mark Rutte and Jet Bussemaker visit SRON stand at Hannover Messe

At the Hannover Messe 2016 prime-minister Mark Rutte and Science minister Jet Bussemaker (OCW) got aquainted today with SRON research. The members of government attended short, personal presentations on SRON's SPEX technology and the Athena mission.        Read more (in dutch)


Envisat was an ESA satellite (2002-2012), devoted to environmental studies, notably in the areas of atmospheric chemistry and ocean, ice and landsurface studies. Up to now, it is the largest Earth Observation spacecraft ever built. It carried ten sophisticated optical and radar instruments to provide continuous observation and monitoring of the Earth's land, atmosphere, oceans and ice caps. Envisat data collectively provided a wealth of information on the workings of the Earth system, including insights into factors contributing to climate change.

One of the more than ten instruments onboard was the German-Dutch-Belgian SCIAMACHY instrument which was built to perform measurements of the Earth's atmosphere. Dutch industry and institutes were responsible for the development of the optical unit of SCIAMACHY including the detectors for ultraviolet up to short wave infrared (SWIR) radiation. SRON designed, constructed and tested the detector modules of the SCIAMACHY instrument. Based on the measurements with the SWIR modules SRON also delivered the scientific data products - carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4) and heavy water (HDO/H2O).

TROPOMI, SCIAMACHY'S successor, will be launched in 2015. After its launch onboard the ESA satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor TROPOMI will observe the Earth for more than seven years, at an altitude of 800 kilometers. By combining the high spatial resolution and wide coverage of predecessor OMI (still operational) with SCIAMACHY's big spectral range TROPOMI can collect an unprecedented amount of crucial information.