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Research and public service in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.

Every now and then comes a day when you read a news title and have to re-read it twice to be certain you haven’t misread something. A rocket colliding with the Moon? Another science fiction plot entering the realm of reality, but it does not sound very cool this time. At least not to those involved in scientific space research and activities, or to those in love with the night sky and solar system as it was before the age of “space pollution”. Two of our senior scientists, involved in ESA Science and Earth Observation missions, Didier Fussen and Johan De Keyser share what the news looks like from their experienced perspectives.

On January 10, the lightning and thunder hunter ASIM will be relocated during a careful robotic activity, lasting about 4 hours. The robotic arm Canadarm2 anchored on the International Space Station will achieve this relocation under the scrutiny of the Belgian operations team (B.USOC).

Sunday, 28th of November 2021 is Science Day in Flanders and Brussels, a dazzling day full of discovery, experimentation and fun ! Find all possible activities (online only) via
As is the case every year, our Institute will participate as well, with four different activities, available in Dutch.

For the first time since 1971, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain) started to erupt on 19 September 2021. Together with the outflowing lava, the volcano emits ash and several gases, amongst these sulphur dioxide (SO2). Volcanic ash and SO2 are dangerous to public health and aviation. Therefore, tracking and monitoring volcanic plumes and their constituents is very important. For this reason, since 2009 the Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS) system uses satellite observations to detect ash and SO2 emissions...

World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10. These dates commemorate two events:

Each day, we get up and try to live our best lives. Besides going to work and making time for our family and friends, we also have to make efforts to keep our bodies and minds healthy. Unfortunately, there is one factor which affects our health, but which we have little control over as an individual: air pollution. The United Nations Environment Programme has chosen September 7 to be the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies in order to emphasise the need to tackle this specific global problem, which costs 7 million human lives per year.