Open Day SRON: everything you wanted to know about space research

On 18 October 2009 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research will open its doors to the public as part of the October Knowledge Month series of events. At the Utrecht and Groningen locations, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in space research by means of presentations, demonstrations, lectures and films. A special programme has been put together for children, which includes a journey to Mars.

Open Day 2009
Open Day 2009

How do you develop a space instrument to detect atoms in molecules in the furthest corners of the universe? And how do you make sure that this sensitive equipment survives the violent conditions of a rocket launch? Why are astronomers not just interested in mapping visible light but also other radiation from the universe? How can you see a black hole? The engineers, astronomers and earth scientists from SRON will answer all of your questions, including these. For example, during the open day they will tell you about their work on HIFI and TROPOMI, observation instruments that function under the harsh and inhospitable conditions of space.

HIFI is searching for water in gas clouds in space to discover more about the birth of stars and planets. TROPOMI shall observe the Earth’s atmosphere from space and map the distribution of greenhouse gasses with unprecedented accuracy.

Programme SRON Utrecht
From 12.00-17.00 hours two different guided tours shall continuously take place, each of which will last for an hour. The guided tours will take you to presentations by space researchers who shall tell you about their work. You can also visit the dust-free cleanrooms where SRON’s space instruments are assembled and tested or make a water raket launch. Additionally, films will be shown throughout the afternoon: about HIFI, about the 50-year history of space missions and about TROPOMI. Take part in the Google Earth quiz, cause the biggest ever earthquake in Utrecht or look though the weird binoculars and try to get out of the maze. Children can have a high speed planet journey through our solar system.

Programme SRON Groningen
In Groningen guided tours shall also take place from 12:00-17:00 hours with an explanation of the solar system and the universe. Researchers shall explain what a spectrum is and how you can see a black hole. Visitors can also see the space instrument HIFI and a scale model of the space telescope Herschel. Films shall be shown throughout the afternoon and children can make their own construction models or do their own space experiments.

Utrecht: SRON, Sorbonnelaan 2, Utrecht (De Uithof), +31 88 777 5600. Time: 12.00-17.00 hours. Can be reached with bus 11 and 12 from Utrecht Central Station. There is plenty of parking space.
Groningen: SRON, Landleven 12 (Zernikegebouw), Groningen, +31 50 363 4074. Time: 12.00-17.00 hours.

For further information and the program please contact:
Hanneke Andringa,, +31 88 777 5893.