Rob research in the spotlight: exoplanet study highlighted by Nature Physics and New Scientist

Exoplanets that can have liquid water at their surface are in the focus of the search for life outside of Earth. These planets, located in the so-called habitable zone, are ideal candidates for hosting alien life.An international research team led by Lena Noack and including Attilio Rivoldini and Tim Van Hoolst of the ROB examined the habitability of water-rich planets [...]

A reappraisal of the origin of Mars’ moons

The planet Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos. They have long been thought to be asteroids captured by Mars. Yet the shape and orientation of their orbit seem to rule out this hypothesis.
A team of Belgian, French, and Japanese scientists, led by Dr Pascal Rosenblatt at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, suggests that Phobos and Deimos formed by [...]

Mercury Transit Observation Campaign

On Monday 9 May, between 13:12:19 and 20:40:33 local time, a Mercury transit across the solar disk will be visible in its entirety from Belgium. This event will not be visible with the naked eye. A (small) telescope with solar filter will be required.

Solar telescopes in Uccle will closely monitor this spectacle. Solar satellites will also be on the look [...]


Every now and then large Sun storms strike the Earth where they cause auroras and, in rare cases, also perturbations in communication, navigation, power supply or other technology based applications . These events are, however, nothing compared to the apocalyptic destructions we would experience if the Earth is struck by a superflare, as observed in other stars.

An international research team [...]

Mystery Yellow Hypergiant HR 5171 solved

An international team of astronomers, including Alex Lobel, astrophysicist of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, have discovered the origin of mysterious blue light near the Yellow Hypergiant HR 5171A.

The light was accidentally observed in the early 1970ies by a team member, but without providing a good explanation for it. More than 40 years later the team’s research reveals the light [...]

Space Weather – Belgian wins an award

Since 2013, space weather medals are awarded at the annual European Space Weather Week conference. This year Dr. David Berghmans, a Belgian scientist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, won the Marcel Nicolet medaille for his efforts to structure the space weather community at an international level. [...]

European Space Weather Week (ESWW)

What is the probability a solar storm will occur? – Will the solar panels of satellites in a geostationary orbit be damaged? – Can the sun cause radar blackouts disrupting air traffic?


The Belgian instrument LaRa (for Lander Radioscience) has been selected for the ExoMars Platform 2018

The European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has chosen the set of instruments to be put on the ExoMars platform to be launched in 2018. This platform is part of the ExoMars mission that will deliver in 2019 the ESA-built rover to the Martian surface. Among the chosen instruments is the Belgian transponder [...]