Aeronomy concerns the study of the atmosphere i.e., all atmospheres, terrestrial as well as… “extraterrestrial”, like the atmospheres around comets or other planets from the solar system in which similar phenomena we already know on Earth, may occur.
Extra terrestrial atmospheres can provide us with precious information about our own atmosphere, its history, its future and even about the origins of life on Earth!
Within our solar system only two planets other than the Earth have atmospheres over a rocky core – Mars and Venus. Titan (one of the moons of Saturn) also has an atmosphere. These pages will focus on the study of the atmospheres of Mars and Venus.Tweets by @acvandaele
Latest news in brief:
Destination Mars, episode 1: Searching for signs of life
26 Jan 2016 - Jorge Vago, one of the Exomars Project Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA), outlined the mission.
Busy in Baikonur: a look back at the first few weeks for ExoMars 2016 at the cosmodrome
22 January 2016 - One month ago, the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli (the entry, descent and landing demonstrator module) travelled aboard two Antonov 124 cargo jets from Turin, Italy, to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to be readied for launch in March.More on ExoMars Twitter or ExoMars Website
TGO is at Baikonour !
23 Dec. 2015 - The 3rd ExoMars flight containing the Trace Gas Orbiter TGO safely arrived in Baikonur this morning.More on ExoMars Twitter
PSS Special Issue : "Exploration of Venus"
Sep. 2015 - Compiling the latest results from the Venus Express ESA mission, a special issue has been published in Planet. Space Sc. - IASB-BIRA researchers have been very active
Several papers with IASB-BIRA first authors were published in the PSS special issue on the "Exploration of Venus":
EuroPlanet - a new Horizon 2020 project !
15 Sep. 2015 - Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe
A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched. The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) is funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and will run for four years until August 2019. The project is led by the Open University, UK, and has 34 beneficiary institutions from 19 European countries. Europlanet 2020 RI will address key scientific and technological challenges facing modern planetary science by providing open access to state-of-the-art research data, models and facilities across the European Research Area.
Prof Nigel Mason, the Project Coordinator, said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of this new Research Infrastructure. Since its foundation in 2005, Europlanet has played an immensely effective role in bringing together the European planetary science community. In this latest project, we have an ambitious programme of research, access and networking activities. In particular, our focus will be on fostering a closer integration between industry and academia in planetary science, and supporting institutions and partners from countries in early stages of developing planetary research programmes.”
For more information: http://www.europlanet-2020-ri.eu
Belgian technology ready for Mars
30 March 2015 - In January 2016, the ExoMars trace Gas Orbiter will be launched toward Mars with on board, a new instrument resulting from an international consortium led by Belgium. This instrument will study the Martian atmosphere, looking for traces of life. On Tuesday 24 March 2015 the instrument will be visible in Belgium for the last time before leaving our country to be delivered to the European Space Agency for the final integration on the satellite.
Measuring Mars' Ancient Ocean: NOMAD co-Is interviewed !
5 March 2015 - For decades, planetary scientists have suspected that ancient Mars was a much warmer, wetter environment than it is today, but estimates of just how much water Mars has lost since its formation vary widely. Now, new isotopic measurements by researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center reveal that an ocean once covered approximately twenty percent of the Martian surface. This new picture of early Mars is considerably wetter than many previous estimates, raising the odds for the ancient habitability of the Red Planet.
See the NASA movie
See also an article in the Libre Belgique (in French)
And finally with UVIS !
19 Jan 2015 - and the 3d channel UVIS has now also recorded some spectra !
And now with LNO !
16 Jan 2015 - Some more spectra ... with the LNO channel now
First absorption spectra of NOMAD !
16 Jan 2015 - During the final tests before closing NOMAD, some measurements were done with the SO channel. Just a lamp in front of the entrance and here you go ... a fantastic spectrum of the air ! Today still from Earth, soon from Mars.
Venus Workshop at ISRO, Bangalore (India)
Venus Express : 8 years in orbit !
New article published on laboratory measurement of CH4 lines
In preparation of the next mission to Mars, ExoMars, researchers at BISA performed preliminary tests using new measurements of CH4 lines obtained by the LLS (Laboratoire Lasers et Spectroscopies) of the Namur University..
Our next public presentation will take place on November 26 at the British school of Brussels organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
New article published on the improved calibration of SOIR
Web site update
A new page has been added to the Planetary website listing all the projects in which the Planetary Aeronomy Group is involved.
Venus Express on a stamp
To mark the 50th anniversary of Britain's first contribution to space exploration, a set of six commemorative stamps have been emitted. They all feature images from European Space Agency missions. One represents the Venus Express mission.
SOIR spectra have been analyzed and the hot band 2ν1 + ν2 – ν2 of 16O12C18O has been observed experimentally for the first time.
NOMAD and TGO mentioned in The Hindu Times !
Some news about Mars, methane, Curioty and ExoMars TGO
5 Nov. 2012 - Curiosity is looking hard to find some trace of methane. Up to now, nothing, or more precisely concentrations below the detection limit of the TDLS instrument. Implications for the ExoMars TGO ?