Rosetta and Herschel/HIFI: the search for the origin of Earth's water

Rosetta and Herschel/HIFI: the search for the origin of Earth's waterAfter its historic landing on 67P/Tchuryumov-Gerasimenko on November 12th, Rosetta has very precisely charted the amount of water on the comet and the ratio heavy/normal water. The Herschel-HIFI mission has done this for a number of objects in space. As such the two ESA cornerstone missions are connected in the search for the origin of Earth's water.         More

Jelle Kaastra professor at Leiden University

Today 3 November SRON researcher Jelle Kaastra delivered his inaugural speech as professor at Leiden University. Kaastra - who is appointed professor High Energy Astrophysics at Leiden - gave in his speech an overview of X-ray diagnostics in space.         More

Citizen science network produces accurate maps of atmospheric dust

Measurements by thousands of citizen scientists in the Netherlands using their smartphones and the iSPEX add-on are delivering accurate data on dust particles in the atmosphere that add valuable information to professional measurements. The iSPEX team, led by Frans Snik of Leiden University, analyzed all measurements from three days in 2013 and combined them into unique maps of dust particles above the Netherlands. The results match and sometimes even exceed those of ground-based measurement networks and satellite instruments.         More

Magnetic field of accretion disk finally captured

For the first time astronomers have been able to capture the magnetic field in the accretion disk around a young star. The shape of the field was a big surprise. The discovery suggests that magnetic fields play an important role in forming a planetary system like our own, but that the process is more complicated than our current understanding. The research results have been published in Nature today.         More

Record number of visitors at SRON Open Day

The Open Day of SRON on Sunday, October 5, was a great success: a total of 1300 visitors came to the locations in Utrecht and Groningen. The visitors were very enthusiast and impressed by the many activities of SRON.          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.