Belgium and LaRa on their way to Mars

Brussels / Antwerp, May 14, 2018. The planetary scientists at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) are delighted to announce the signing of a contract between the European Space Agency’s PRODEX (PROgramme for the Development of scientific Experiments) programme and Antwerp Space for the delivery of LaRa (Lander Radioscience), a ‘martian’ instrument onboard ExoMars 2020. [...]

The Belgian legal time is now based on the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated)

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, a new law on the Belgian legal time was adopted by the Parliament, based on a recommendation from the Royal Observatory of Belgium. The legal time was, according to the law dating from 1892, the solar time of the Greenwich meridian. Today legal time in Belgium is aligned with the official world reference: the Universal [...]

Belgian astronomers help to compile the most detailed 3D map of our Galaxy ever made

On 25 April 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) announces the largest and most accurate 3-dimensional map of our Milky Way galaxy ever made. Using the Gaia satellite, the position and motion of more than a billion stars was mapped by a consortium of European astronomers, including scientists from the Royal Observatory of Belgium. This map will be a treasure [...]

How good should we expect seismic hazard maps to be?

A team of researchers from the Observatory, in collaboration with the Northwestern University (USA), just published a new study about the theoretical performance of seismic hazard maps in « Scientific Reports ». This study illustrates the difficulty of evaluating the quality of these maps, particularly in stable zones where earthquakes are rare. [...]

An unexpected treasure: 1700 handwritten pages of information on XIXth century earthquakes

1700 handwritten pages of information on XIXth century earthquakes, this is the unexpected treasure discovered by scientists of the Royal Observatory of Belgium and the Cologne University in the record-office of Duisburg (Germany).

The original documents covering the German, Belgian and Dutch border region include letters and most astonishingly formal macroseismic questionnaires of the Prussian authorities that have not been used [...]

Fourteenth European Space Weather Week (ESWW14)

From November 27 to December 1, the 14th European Space Weather Week (ESWW) will be held at Oostende (Kursaal) in Belgium.
The ESWW is one of the main international conferences when it comes to space weather. Already for the 12th time, its organisation is in the hands of the Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE). Once again, more than 400 scientists, engineers, [...]

World record in the underground laboratory of Membach: A sphere of mass 4 grams has been levitating for 8081 days

On Monday 18th of September 2017, the superconducting gravimeter of the Seismology-Gravimetry service installed at the Royal Observatory of Belgium’s facility in Membach (close to Eupen, eastern Belgium), broke two records: firstly, the gravimeter has been measuring gravitational variations for the longest recorded period at a single location, and secondly, recorded the longest period that an artifact has been levitating [...]