Welcome to SYRTE website

The SYRTE department - Sytèmes de Référence Temps Espace - belong to Paris Observatory and is also associated with the CNRS - National Research Center and University Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris 6).


It is a leader in time and frequencies metrology and is also specialized in Earth rotation, celestial reference frame and history of science.

It has in charge of several international services. Associated with the LNE - Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais - the SYRTE has the responsability of the national reference time and frequence. With the IERS (International Earth Rotation Service), it deliver Earth rotation parameters and other services.

Its teams participate for education with University classroom and also spread scientific culture by organizing public talks.


July 2014: CNES delivered PHARAO ultra-precise atomic clock to the European Space Agency

PHARAO was delivered this week to the European Space Agency (ESA) for integration with ACES (Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space), to be flown to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016. This ultra-precise atomic clock, designed to vary by no more than 1 second in 300 million years, will be used to test the fundamentals of Einstein's theory of general relativity with unparalleled precision. [ Press release (pdf) ]
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