Solar Orbiter returns to Earth for a last goodbye

On 27 November 2021, the Solar Orbiter spacecraft returns from its voyages in deep space, and will pass at only a few hundred kilometers above the Earth’s surface. This manoeuvre is needed to get Solar Orbiter in a new orbit to go yet closer to the Sun. During this flyby, Solar Orbiter unfortunately needs to cross the clouds of space [...]

DART: the Royal Observatory of Belgium participates in a NASA planetary defence mission

Brussels, 22 November 2021 – On November 24, 2021, at around 7:20 local Belgian time, NASA’s DART spacecraft will take off from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California (USA) as part of a planetary defence mission against asteroids. The Royal Observatory of Belgium is involved in this mission. The DART data will be used, among other things, to prepare [...]

Sun, Space, STCE, and Sangria!

The Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence that combines research on the Sun, space and earth at the Belgian Space Pole will be present at the 4th Symposium on Space Educational Activities (SSEA), a European Space Agency-led congress that will be hosted by the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech in April in Barcelona. SSEA provides a forum for university students, professionals working in [...]

Thierry Camelbeeck: 2021 Laureate of the Van den Broeck medal!

Thierry Camelbeeck will be awarded the Van den Broeck medal in Tervuren during the 7th International Geologica Belgica Meeting. The Van den Broeck medal was created in 1987 in honour of the first General Secretary of the Société belge de géologie. Geologica Belgica, i.e. Belgium’s current society for geologists, awards this medal to a scientist to honour his/her career work [...]

The Sun at a Glance – Infographics Contest for Schools

The European Solar Telescope (EST) project is organising an international contest for secondary schools called ‘The Sun at a glance’. 14 to 16 year-old students from all over Europe are invited to create an infographic on a subject related to our star and help build the EST Solarpedia, an open educational resource about the Sun. [...]

Two scientists of the Observatory in the top 2% most-cited researchers in the world

Stanford University recently released a list that represents the top 2% of the most-cited scientists in the world in various disciplines. It was created to provide updated analyses and a publicly available database of top scientists. Updated databases and code are freely available in Mendeley (

This list of the top 2% most-cited scientists is composed of 159,684 researchers, of which 1,413 [...]

Mars Interior Structure Revealed by InSight Seismic Data

Brussels, July 23, 2021 – New results from the NASA InSight mission on Mars are published today in the Science magazine, to which Attilio Rivoldini, researcher of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, contributed. Based on more than two years of data from the InSight seismometer, Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), and using existing geophysical models of Mars interior, the researchers were [...]