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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.

Cluster is one of the few space missions that is older than 22% of the Belgian population! Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, it has been gathering data about the Earth’s magnetosphere ever since. This continuous monitoring is of particular interest to researchers, as it allows for the study of long-term processes in the Earth’s magnetosphere, and how these processes depend on the Sun’s variability.

On Saturday October 10, from 2 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., seven women scientists will tell you about their research during the first Soapbox Science event in Belgium, which will be exceptionally held online due to COVID-19.

The hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic is very deep this year, due to the exceptionally cold temperatures in the stratosphere. Whereas the ozone hole over Antarctica was the smallest ever measured last year, it could well be one of the largest this year. Whether the ozone hole will actually evolve towards a record, will be confirmed by satellite observations in the coming days and weeks and will depend mainly on the further stability of the stratospheric polar vortex.

On Saturday October 3rd, 2020, after one year of closure and €13 million of investments, the Euro Space Center in Transinne will reopen its doors to the public! The Euro Space Center is the ideal place to discover the world of space exploration with the entire family, but it also allows young people to stay for a total immersion course, whether on school visits or during holiday camps.

Air pollution is recognised as being the fifth leading risk factor for mortality worldwide. Ambient air pollution contributes to about 5 million deaths globally – or one in ten deaths. In Europe, air pollution-related diseases claim one in eight deaths, according to the latest report of the European Environmental Agency. This brings air pollution in the spotlight of environmental problems of high societal relevance.

On Monday September 21, 2020, the prestigious Nature Geoscience journal published an article from BIRA-IASB, presenting the first satellite detection of nitrous acid (HONO) using the TROPOMI satellite instrument. This work is the result of a fruitful collaboration between two BIRA-IASB teams, the UV-Visible observation group and the tropospheric modeling group, and the group of R. Volkamer at the University of Colorado Boulder.