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)

Selection X-ray telescope good news for the Netherlands

The European space agency ESA has selected Athena as upcoming large mission after JUICE. Athena is a big X-ray telescope which will study hot matter and black holes in the universe, among other things. This is very good news for both Dutch space research and industry, because Athena will be equipped with a lot of Dutch space technology. And Dutch astronomers will be important players in the scientific field as well. This means that in the decade to come the Netherlands will be able to operate in the front line of international space research.        Read more (in dutch)


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.