This section includes scientific and technological news from the IAC and its Observatories, as well as press releases on scientific and technological results, astronomical events, educational projects, outreach activities and institutional events.

  • Photogram from an animation which shows the ultrahot Neptune orbiting its star Credit: Ricardo Ramirez, University of Chile
    The first “ultrahot Neptune” is discovered

    A team of astronomers from the University of Chile, in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), has discovered the first “ultrahot Neptune”, which is in orbita round the nearby star LTT 9779. The planet is so close to its star that its year lasts only 19 hours, and the star’s radiation heats the planet to more than 1,700 degrees centigrade. At those temperaturas, the heavy elements such as iron can be ionized in the atmosphere and molecules can dissociate, which makes this a unique laboratory for studying the chemistry of

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  • Material exógeno Ryugu y Bennu
    Exogeneous material found on the surface of asteroids Ryugu and Bennu

    The two near-Earth asteroids Ryugu and Bennu, primary targets of the Hayabusa2 (JAXA) and OSIRIS-REx (NASA) space missions, keep surprising us. In two companion papers presented in Nature Astronomy, researchers have found exogenous bright material scattered across the asteroids’ surfaces. Members of the Solar System Group of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have contributed to this discovery, in particular Dr. Eri Tatsumi, who is the first author of the paper presenting findings on Ryugu (Hayabusa2).

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  • Participants of the III Hispano-American Writers’ Festival during their visit to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. Credit: Juan Antonio González Hernández / IAC.
    Astronomy and Literature, together again in La Palma

    In the III Hispano-American Writers’ Festival, which is being celebrated in Los Llanos de Aridane (La Palma), three authors and two astrophysicists participated yesterday, Thursday, in a panel discussion on the theme “Looking at what no longer exists”. During the morning, a small group of those invited to the Festival, in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is collaborating, visited the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in Garafía, satisfying the necessary health and security measures against COVID-19.

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  • Sunrise at equinox (19 Marzo 2019) from Lácara dolmen (La Nava de Santiago, Extremadura, Spain)
    The autumnal equinox from the Dolmen of Valdecaballeros

    Next Tuesday, September 22nd, at 13:30 UT the Earth will be at a specific point in its orbit round the Sun: the September equinox. The September and March equinoxes are the only days in the year when the Sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west, across the whole planet.

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  • En esta ilustración, WD 1856 b, un potencial planeta del tamaño de Júpiter, orbita su tenue estrella enana blanca cada día y medio. Crédito: Centro de Vuelo Espacial Goddard de la NASA.
    TESS, Spitzer and the GTC detect a planet orbiting a white dwarf for the first time

    With data from NASA’s TESS satellite, from the now retired Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) an international team of astronomers, with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has detected what appears to be an intact planet in orbit around a white dwarf, the dense remains of a star similar to the Sun , and only 40 % bigger in diameter than the Earth. This finding is published today in Nature magazine.

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  • Photometers at the Teide Observatory
    Natural darkness to preserve night-time ecosystems

    After several months of waiting, this summer the EELabs project, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, has started to deploy its first network of photometers.

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