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The Sunspot Number, the "longest ongoing scientific experiment" revisited

Last week, at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu (Hawaii), the standardization of the sunspot number was publicly announced. IAU called the sunspot number the "longest ongoing scientific experiment" and this dataset is therefore the key to track the evolution of the Sun. Given its fundamental nature, the sunspot number series is broadly used in astrophysics (stellar evolution) and the long-term impact of solar evolution on life on Earth.



Initié par la Politique scientifique fédérale (BELSPO), en partenariat avec le Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) de l’Université François Rabelais-CNRS de Tours, ARTBox est un projet visant à faire connaître les oeuvres des musées fédéraux sous un autre angle, dans un espace différent, au départ d'oeuvres musicales qui leur correspondent esthétiquement.
Né de la conviction que différentes approches de l'art sont complémentaires, le projet ARTBox vous invite à vivre une expérience multisensorielle de sensibilisation à l'art à l'intérieur d'un musée mobile qui s'installera dans les espaces publics de façon temporaire.

Het project ARTBox, een initiatief van het Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid (BELSPO) in samenwerking met het Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) van de Université François Rabelais-CNRS in Tours, koestert de ambitie om de kunstwerken die onze federale musea bewaren vanuit een andere invalshoek voor te stellen, in een ongewone ruimte en uitgaand van muzikale composities die op esthetisch vlak overeenkomsten met die kunstwerken bezitten.
ARTBox is ontstaan uit de overtuiging dat verschillende benaderingen van kunst elkaar aanvullen. Het project nodigt u uit voor een zintuiglijke beleving die u wil sensibiliseren voor kunst in een mobiel museum dat tijdelijk wordt opgesteld op publieke plaatsen.

A Prehistoric Mammal with Blood Red Teeth!

Our colleague and palaeontologist Thierry Smith (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)) has discovered a 70 million year old mammal with red teeth in Transylvania, Romania. Iron strengthened Barbatodon transylvanicus’ incisors and molars and gave them their red colour. Barbatodon is the oldest known fossil mammal with iron in its teeth and its skull is the most complete mammal fossil from the Upper Cretaceous period in Europe.


Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences: "Peer review"

In 2014 the Institute's scientific departments (not the Museum) underwent a peer review.
You can find an evaluation summary in the Management Summary, and numerous quotations from the peer review's final report can be found in the Institute's 2014 Annual Report.

Secretary of State Sleurs Increases Budget for RV Belgica

Secretary of State for Science Policy, Elke Sleurs, has increased the maintenance budget for our oceanographic research vessel, the RV Belgica. She has provided € 1,019,000 on top of the existing, recurrent annual increase (€ 550,000) in the RV Belgica's operating budget. This is a clear signal of just how important our research vessel is!


Belgium puts spotlight on remote sensing in support of agriculture at the Milan world expo

On June 11th 2015, during a workshop in the Belgian Pavilion entitled Space4Food, the contribution of remote sensing to food security and sustainable agriculture took centre stage.
The workshop was jointly organised by BELSPO, EWI and WBI
For more information:
- Communication
- Programme
- Presentations

Sarcophagi: Under the stars of Nut

Eternity! To live once more just like the god of the afterlife Osiris, to rise again like the sun that is born from the womb of Nut, the godess of the sky... The Ancient Egyptians had high expectations of life after death!
This fall, come to the Cinquantenaire Museum and discover the secrets of the Egyptian sarcophagi as well as the masterpieces of the Museum, including coffins, death masks and embalmed cats, many never shown before. You can also witness an expert Italian restoration team at work as they one by one restore the coffins of the Theban priests that were discovered in 1891 inthe Second Cache of Deir el-Bahari.


The MELiSSA PhD program (POMP) is officially open.

The MELiSSA Foundation has the pleasure to announce that the MELiSSA PhD program (POMP) is officially open. The POMP program is financed by the European Space Agency and is organized to (co-)finance a number of PhD students with the objective to carry out research in the MELiSSA technology domain. Our webpage is designed as a platform for students to prepare their applications and can be found here:

Tapestries from the era of Charles V
Fri 22-05-2015 - Sun 30-08-2015

During the summer of 2015, the Cinquantenaire Museum is organising a small but exceptional exhibition of Brussels tapestries around one of the best known works held in its collection. This tapestry represents a scene that is associated with the legend of the statue of Notre-Dame du Sablon, a legend which is at the origin of the Brussels Ommegang (religious procession). The work shows several members of the archducal family that ruled the Lowlands at the start of the 16th century, surrounded by a sumptuous courtly household.


JPI Oceans publishes its first Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda

The first copies of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda were handed over to Norwegian State Secretary Dilek Ayhan, Belgian State Secretary Bart Tommelein and, Director General of DG Research and Innovation, European Commission Robert-Jan Smits.

More: JPI Oceans.pdf

Belgian Archaeological Mission to Elkab discovers important fragment of unique Old Kingdom royal statue

Since 2009, the Belgian Archaeological Mission to Elkab, directed by Dr. Dirk Huyge of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, has focused its research on the settlement area of Elkab. Excavation campaigns in 2009, 2010 and 2012 have revealed the presence of a vast habitation area, situated within the Late Period Great Walls, immediately north and west of the temple zone.
The latest test trenches executed at the site in February-March 2015 have allowed the mission to better document both the important 2nd Dynasty habitation layers,including substantial rectangular buildings with large walls and stone foundations, as well as the late Predynastic (Naqada III period) occupation. The most exceptional find of the 2015 campaign, however, was that of a fragment (base and lower part of legs) of an Old Kingdom royal statue. The preserved height is 21.7 cm. The inscriptions on the fragment have been independently verified and read by Egyptologists Prof. John Coleman Darnell (Yale University, New Haven, US) and Dr. Luc Delvaux (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, Belgium). They give the almost complete titulary of king Sahure (ca. 2458-2446 BC), an illustrious pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty (the text was probably inscribed identically on either side of his legs). The statue, executed in fine-grained sandstone, undoubtedly represents the king seated on a throne. Its original height can be estimated at about 70 cm. Sahure is the second king of the 5th Dynasty. He is best known for his vast funerary complex, including a pyramid and its mortuary and valley temples, at the royal cemetery of Abusir just north of Saqqara.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change: Nominations

Nominations for the position of the IPCC Chair, as well as members of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau (TFB). A new Bureau of the IPCC and the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to be elected at the 42nd Session of the Panel. The 42nd Session is scheduled to take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia from 5 to 8 October 2015. Your application should be submitted to a member of the IPCC.


UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation 2015

The purpose of the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environment Preservation , is to afford recognition to outstanding contributions by individuals, groups of individuals, institutes or organizations in the management or preservation of the environment, consistent with the policies, aims and objectives of UNESCO, and in relation to the Organization’s programmes in this field. Deadline for submitting nominations for the 2015 Prize is 15 June 2015.


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