Skip to main content

Education and public outreach

Research Topic Chapter
News flash intro
BIRA-IASB is keen to take on its share in the scientific development of young people within the fascinating context of aeronomy. BIRA-IASB scientists give lectures on atmospheric chemistry, space weather, or techniques for data processing at no less than 6 universities across Belgium (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, ULB, ULiège and UCLouvain). In the past 2 years, they have supervised 8 doctorates. Through a wide range of public outreach activities (exhibitions, lectures, STEM activities, etc.), the Institute also tries to bring its knowledge and expertise to the general public.
Body text

Scientific expositions

Expo "Focus on Mars"

Travelling exhibition about the exploration of planet Mars and the involvement of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in the ExoMars 2016 mission. They provided one of the four instruments on board of this probe, NOMAD.
Locations: Cozmix Beisbroek, Ruimtevaartfestival in collaboration with Volkssterrenwacht Armand Pien Ghent, Euro Space Center Redu, Sterrenwacht De Polderster Assenede

Expo "Chéri(e), j’ai rétréci les satellites !

Exhibition focused on nano-satellites, where BIRA-IASB presented two of its future missions: the CubeSat PICASSO and dishwasher-sized ALTIUS
Location: Euro Space Center Redu

Expo “Ozone”

The atmosphere of Earth protects life on earth against all kinds of external influences. It is clear that humans, on the other hand, do not always take good care of Earth. Just think of the role of man in the creation of the ozone hole or current climate change.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy organized an exhibition on the ozone issue.
Locations: AstroLAB IRIS Ypres, AW Mercator Temse, Cozmix Beisbroek

Expo “The discovery of our solar system”

The amateur astronomers of Herentals (ASH Polaris) celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2017. How to do this better than with an exhibition, they must have thought. At the exhibition you could get acquainted with the European Mars probe, ExoMars, and learn all about the results of the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Location: Lakenhal Herentals

Expo “Dirk Frimout”

Not many people know that Belgium's first astronaut, Dirk Frimout, started his career as a young engineer at the freshly born Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in 1965. He was responsible for the department "Instrumentation" and led several experiments on board of stratospheric balloons and sounding rockets. He left BIRA-IASB to become an astronaut in 1978. With this exhibition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dirk Frimout's mission to space, we went back in time to share pictures, videos and newspaper articles about his work at the Institute. Also after his leave, he remained closely linked to it. He was responsible for three scientific experiments that the Institute had on board of ATLAS-1.
Locations: Ruimtevaartfestival in collaboration with Volkssterrenwacht Armand Pien Ghent, Planetarium Brussels

Expo in the Royal Palace of Brussels

Each summer, the Royal Palace in Brussels opens its doors to the public, with an exposition "Science and Culture at the Royal Palace". Belspo contributed to the editions of 2017 and 2018 with the following two expo's:

« Heaven ! » (2017)

BIRA-IASB and B.USOC contributed to this heavenly edition of the summer expo with a model of the SOLAR platform, which is mounted on the outside of the European Columbus module of the International Space Station, and houses three instruments that study the Sun. We even offered the visitors a realistic view inside, drifting through the different spaces of the ISS and enjoying the view on Earth from above.

« Wonder » (2018)

One of the eye-catchers at the exhibition was the 1:4 scale model of the ExoMars satellite Trace Gas Orbiter, which carries the NOMAD instrument, a state-of-the-art spectrometer of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy. The fact that humans are able to send a satellite into space, to put it in a safe orbit around another planet (in this case Mars) to map the composition of its atmosphere, continues to amaze. That we also go in search of traces of methane and life on Mars only makes us dream more.
In addition, we were also happy to let you enjoy beautiful images of the Aurora Borealis. Polar light, studied at BIRA-IASB, is a light phenomenon that results from the interaction between the Earth's atmosphere and the sun. Their unbelievably beautiful appearance makes them a true source of wonder.

10th Annual European Space Policy Conference

Side-exhibition on during the annual European Space Policy Conference, where all principal space actors are present.
BIRA-IASB delivered Belgium's contribution, in collaboration with Cabinet Reynders, Belspo
, and the different Belgian space actors from industry and federal institutes.
Location: Egmont palace, Brussels

Expo “Là-haut, fenêtre sur le Cosmos”

Location: Centre de Culture Scientifique, Charleroi

Public outreach talks

Scientists at BIRA-IASB have given public outreach talk at several occasions at places spread all over Belgium, often in Public Observatories, for amateur astronomers, or occasionally during group visits at BIRA-IASB.

Public outreach events

At many other occasions, BIRA-IASB scientists enthusiastically shared their knowledge with the large public.
We think back with pleasure at the Open Doors organised at the Space Pole in Uccle, the "Dag van de Wetenschap" at the Planetarium, Night in the Wolvendael, ASGARD, ...

Figure 2 body text
Figure 2 caption (legend)
BIRA-IASB scientist passionately talks about the importance of spectroscopy for studying the Earth atmosphere.
Figure 3 body text
Figure 3 caption (legend)
Ozone exhibition organised in collaboration with AW Mercator in Temse.
Figure 4 body text
Figure 4 caption (legend)
Scale model of ExoMars' Trace Gas Orbiter at the Centre de Culture Scientifique in Charleroi.
Publication date