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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.

Today, the prestigious journal Nature publishes two papers describing the first results of the Belgian NOMAD instrument on board ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. New evidence of the impact of the recent planet-encompassing dust storm on water in the atmosphere, including the first vertical measurements of semiheavy water on Mars, and a surprising lack of methane, are among the scientific highlights of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s first year in orbit. Principal Investigator of the NOMAD instrument, Ann Carine Vandaele at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is delighted with these results.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, the Danish ASIM experiment was installed on the outside of the European Columbus module of the ISS International Space Station. The instrument gives us insight into the luminous phenomena that take place over violent thunderstorms. The Belgian B.USOC is responsible for the infrastructure and operations of ASIM.

Two years after its launch, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) finally settles in its final orbit around Mars. The satellite, which carries the instrument NOMAD of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) on board, has just completed one year of atmospheric deceleration and is now circling around Mars every 2 hours, some 400 km above the Martian surface.
The precise measurement of the solar spectrum outside the atmosphere and its variability are fundamental inputs for solar physics (Sun modeling), terrestrial atmospheric photochemistry and the Earth's climate (climate 's modeling).

Formic acid contributes significantly to acid rain in remote environments. Direct sources of formic acid include human activities, biomass burning and plant leaves. Aside from these direct sources, sunlight-induced oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons (largely of biogenic origin) is probably the largest source.

When trying to promote gender equality, it is important to take a look at the position of women in leadership positions. Our institute consists of 1 scientific programme (B.USOC) and 5 scientific divisions (the Scientific directorate and 4 departments: Space physics, Sources & sinks of atmospheric constituents, Atmospheric reactive gases, Solar radiation in atmospheres). Each of these departments unite 3 of 4 research groups adding up to a total of 14.