15 year old XMM-Newton still going strong

XMM-Newton (ESA) is the most sensitive X-Ray observatory ever launched into space. His successor ASTRO-H is almost ready, but the old giant can't seem to stop. Today, 10 December 2014, XMM celebrates his 15th birthday, and he will continue to observe pulsars, clusters of galaxies and supermassive black holes. Onboard are the Dutch reflection grating spectrometers. Succes story of extremely reliable space technology.        Read more (in dutch)

Breakthrough in fine dust measurements thanks to Dutch technology

The Dutch SPEX instrument means a breakthrough in the precise measurement of fine dust characteristics. This concludes Dutch astronomer Gerard van Harten in the dissertation that he defends today (8 December) at Leiden University.        Read more (in dutch)

Dutch version of Stargazing Live on 3 December

December 3, will see the premiere of "Heel Nederland Kijkt Sterren", the Netherlands version of the successful BBC program Stargazing Live. This astronomy TV show will be broadcast live from Westerbork, with presentation and demonstrations by Govert Schilling and Jeroen Latijnhouwers from the control room, plus stargazing outside.           More

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


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.