Smell, see and hear the universe

Always wanted to know what space instruments look like and how they are made? Come to the Open Day of space research institute SRON in Utrecht or Groningen on October 5 and immerse yourself in the world of space research. SRON can be visited between 12.00 and 17.00 hr.             More

First Dutch contribution to giant telescope E-ELT passes all tests

The first Dutch contribution to the planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) has passed the tests succesfully. It concerns the 'chopper', a very versatile little mirror which has been developed by a consortium of Dutch universities, technological institutes and industry. The high tech mirror is an essential part of METIS, the mid-infrared camera annex spectrometer of the giant telecope.        Read more (in dutch)

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


Monitoring the earth environment

Envisat is an ESA satellite, devoted to environmental studies, notably in the areas of atmospheric chemistry and ocean, ice and landsurface studies. Succesfully launched 1st March 2002, it is the largest Earth Observation spacecraft ever built. It carries 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 provide a wealth of information on the workings of the Earth system, including insights into factors contributing to climate change.

SCIAMACHY, as one of the instruments on board of Envisat, is a UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer designed to detect a large number of trace gases in the stratosphere and troposphere relevant to ozone chemistry and global warming. Furthermore, SCIAMACHY will collect data on cloud coverage, aerosol and ground reflection. High accuracy and stability will enable the recordings of minimal, longer-term changes in atmospheric gas concentrations. Sciamachy will provide continuation of the data record started with the GOME instrument on ERS-2, with better accuracy and with more atmospheric trace-gas species.

SRON designed, constructed and tested the detector modules of the SCIAMACHY instrument.