Hypergiant !

A team of scientists including Dr. Alex Lobel of the ROB, reported they have finalized a thirty years long investigation of a hypergiant star. In that period the surface temperature of this gigantic and extremely bright star quickly rose from five to eight thousand degrees. With this discovery a crucial ‘missing link’ in the evolution of hypergiant stars has been [...]

Total Eclipse of the Sun in Australia

Observations from space (PROBA2-SWAP) and from Australia were coordinated by Belgian scientists.

Images are available at where you also can find the blog of Dr. Anik De Groof with fantastic images. [...]

Stellar Winds in a High-Speed Collision

A team of researchers including astronomers from the University of Liège and Dr. Ronny Blomme of the ROB has observed the colliding stellar winds of the two stars in the massive system Cyg OB2 #9.
They used observations from the satellites XMM-Newton (ESA) and Swift (NASA).
The result features in press releases by ESA, NASA and the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Surprising Spiral Structure Spotted by ALMA

Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed an unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris. This feature has never been seen before and is probably caused by a hidden companion star orbiting the star. This slice through the new ALMA data reveals the shell around the star, which shows up as the [...]

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) – Curiosity rover

Update: Successful landing in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012 at 05:14:39 UTC
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will deliver the Curiosity rover, the largest planetary rover ever flown, to the Red Planet’s surface early in the morning of 6 August. [...]

Venus Transit 2012

Honorary head of Department Dr. Eric Elst of the ROB observed the transit of Venus of June 6, 2012 in Tobolsk (Siberia). In 2005 he found there the place where Chappe d’Auteroche observed the transit of June 6, 1671. Dr. Elst travelled to the same place to observe, besides mosquitos and clouds, the transit of 2012. A few of his [...]

Saturn – Existence of a Tidal Energy Dissipation

By mixing the very old digitized data and the data from space probes, scientists from an international team in which also the Royal Observatory of Belgium takes part showed the existence of a tidal energy dissipation in Saturn larger than expected and have reconciled it with theory by revisiting the interior model of Saturn and by changing the orbit scenarios. [...]

Mars Express Gravity Results Plot Volcanic History

Five years of Mars Express (MaRS experiment) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter gravity mapping data are providing unique insights into what lies beneath the Red Planet’s largest volcanoes. The results show that the density of the lava changed over time and that the thickness of the planet’s rigid outer layers varies across the Tharsis region. [...]

Solar Activity Rises More

On March 07, 2012, around 1h30 Belgian time, an X5.4 flare was detected in the same sunspot group that produced the X1.1 flare on March 05.
A magnetized plasma cloud was ejected into space. The consequences for Belgium are for this moment limited. [...]