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

Athena Industry Day

Athena - the next large X-ray mission of the European Space Agency (ESA)- will be fitted with detectors from SRON. On Friday 7 november the Athena Industry Day takes place. You can subscribe now.        Read more (in dutch)

Mysterious cloud on Titan made of hydrogen cyanide

    Since 2012, an enormous cloud is floating high above the South Pole of Titan, a large moon of Saturn. Astronomers have now discovered that this cloud consists of extremely toxic hydrogen cyanide ice. The ice has probably formed after a rapid cooling of the atmosphere. The results have this week been published in Nature.         More

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.            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.