News

Open Doors 2014

The days of open doors, which took place the weekend of 11 and 12 October 2014, was a success!

Throughout the weekend, more than 7,000 visitors were counted, including nearly 5,000 for Sunday afternoon. [...]

Strong Solar Flare

On 10 September, the Sun produced a powerful X-class (“eXtreme”) solar flare. The consequences for Belgium are limited for the time being. High-frequency (HF) radio-communication at the Earth’s dayside (USA and South-America) was probably disturbed. A plasma cloud was ejected into space and is expected to arrive at Earth on 12 September around 21:00UT (+/- 12 uur).

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The satellite Gaia observed asteroids

The satellite Gaia observed asteroids: (54) Alexandra, (4997) Ksana and others.

Gaia asteroid observations will be processed using the software pipeline designed and implemented by Coordination Unit 4 (CU4) of the DPAC, running at the CNES processing centre (Toulouse, France).

Dr. Thierry Pauwels of the ROB is a member of CU4.

Information can be found on the web pages of ESA. [...]

Water-building molecule in planetary nebulae

Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers, including Peter van Hoof, Griet Van de Steene and Martin Groenewegen, have discovered that the molecule OH+, vital for creating water exists in planetary nebulae, the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.

Their results are the subject of an ESA press release. [...]

Strong solar flares

Two strong solar flares appeared on 10 June. The consequences for Belgium are limited for the time being.
More information can be found here. [...]

VLT Spots Largest Yellow Hypergiant Star

ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer has revealed the largest yellow star — and one of the ten largest stars found so far. This hypergiant has been found to measure more than 1300 times the diameter of the Sun, and to be part of a double star system, with the second component so close that it is in contact with the [...]

Comet C/2012 ISON

If comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) survives its close pass to the Sun after November 28, it could become a very bright object in the morning skies in the beginning of december.

ISON is named for the Russia-based International Scientific Optical Network, in which the comet’s discoverers, Artyom Novichonok and Vitali Nevski, were participating when they observed the comet for the first [...]

10th European Space Weather Week

More than 350 scientists, satellite and network operators worldwide gather in Antwerp to discuss the theme Space Weather during the tenth edition of the “European Space Weather Week” (ESWW). During this international congress, they address the question how vulnerable and at the same time how resilient the society is during severe space weather. Research into the causes of solar storms, [...]