Passing of Jan Cuypers, Astronomer and Astrophysicist

It is with deep regret and sorrow that we inform you of the passing of our colleague Dr. Jan Cuypers. Born on 5 May 1956 in Diest, he suddenly left us on 28 February 2017. Jan was the head of the scientific service “Astronomy and Astrophysics” and of the Information Service at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. [...]

Galileo goes live

On Thursday December 15 the European Commission declares officially the start of the initial services of the Galileo system. [...]

ROB Goes Social!

The Royal Observatory of Belgium has now its Facebook page and its Twitter account. [...]

Véronique Dehant got the AGU 2016 Whitten Medal

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has named its 2016 class of medallists, awardees, and prize recipients. Thirty-two individuals are recognized this year for their dedication to science for the benefit of humanity and their achievements in Earth and space science. They have been elected from the 60 thousand members of AGU.
This year in particular, the Charles A. Whitten Medal has [...]

First determination of Saturn’s deformation by tides

Using several thousand images of Saturn’s moons recorded by the Cassini orbiter (NASA/ESA), an international team of scientists called ENCELADE, which includes researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB), has detected small fluctuations in the gravitational field of Saturn. Available online in the journal Icarus, these results follow from a series of extremely detailed investigations undertaken by this team [...]

Thirteenth European Space Weather Week (ESWW13)

November 14-18, 2016, Oostende (Kursaal), Belgium
From November 14 to November 18, the 13th European Space Weather Week (ESWW) will be held at Oostende (Kursaal) in Belgium. The ESWW is the international conference par excellence when it comes to space weather. Already for the 11th time, its organisation is in the hands of the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE). Once again, [...]

ExoMars 2016 arrives at destination

10 October 2016 – The first mission of the ExoMars programme, launched successfully on the 14th of March this year, is about to arrive at Mars. ExoMars 2016 consists of two components: the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), also known as Schiaparelli. The main objectives of this mission are to search for [...]

Saturn’s moon Dione harbors a subsurface ocean

A subsurface ocean lies deep within Saturn’s moon Dione, according to new data from the Cassini mission to Saturn. Two other moons of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus, are already known to hide global oceans beneath their icy crusts, but a new study suggests an ocean exists on Dione as well.
In this study, researchers of the Royal Observatory of Belgium show [...]

Gravity variations induced by the transpiration of the trees

A Belgian-French study has evidenced variations of gravity induced by the transpiration of the trees. During sunny summer days, each tree transpires a few hundred litres of water into the atmosphere. Assessing the evapotranspiration of ecosystems remains a key challenge in hydrology.
The authors found that the water mass loss can be directly inferred from continuous gravity measurements: as water evaporates [...]