Astrophysical research


The research activity at the IAC is structured around individual astrophysical research projects. These projects are grouped into six global research lines that cover most fields of theoretical, observational or instrumental astrophysics. The individual research projects are led and managed by a Principal Investigator (PI) and can include scientists at pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, tenured and senior levels. The links and collaborations with researchers from other centers are recognized and encouraged. 


Stars and Interstellar medium


Stars give light to the universe, and their interiors are the furnaces where chemical elements are forged. Research in this field at the IAC seeks an understanding of the physics and the life cycle of  stars, from the most massive that end up in supernovae and drive the chemical evolution of galaxies, to those with masses  smaller than the Sun's and longer lifetimes than the age of the universe.

The final remnants from stellar evolution, neutron stars and black holes created by supernova explosions, as well as white dwarfs left behind by stars with smaller masses, allow us to explore the physics of intense gravitational fields. Gaseous nebulae and circumstellar material provide as well valuable and complementary information on star formation and their relationship with the environment that surrounds them.

  • IACOB Image
    The IACOB project: A new Era in the Study of Galactic OB Stars

    IACOB is an ambitious long-term project whose main scientific goal is to provide an unprecedented empirical overview of the main physical properties of Galactic massive O- and B-type stars which can be used as definitive anchor point for our theories of stellar atmospheres, winds, interiors and evolution of massive stars

    Simón Díaz
  • spectrum of mercury lamp
    Chemical Abundances in Stars

    Stellar spectroscopy allows us to determine the properties and chemical compositions of stars. From this information for stars of different ages in the Milky Way, it is possible to reconstruct the chemical evolution of the Galaxy, as well as the origin of the elements heavier than boron, created mainly in stellar interiors. It is also possible to

    Allende Prieto
  • Project Image
    Observational Tests of the Processes of Nucleosynthesis in the Universe

    Several spectroscopic analyses of stars with planets have recently been carried out. One of the most remarkable results is that planet-harbouring stars are on average more metal-rich than solar-type disc stars. Two main explanations have been suggested to link this metallicity excess with the presence of planets. The first of these, the “self

    Israelyan Shatinyan
  • Helio and Asteroseismology
    Helio and Astero-Seismology and Exoplanets Search

    The principal objectives of this project are: 1) to study the structure and dynamics of the solar interior, 2) to extend this study to other stars, 3) to search for extrasolar planets using photometric methods (primarily by transits of their host stars) and their characterization (using radial velocity information) and 4) the study of the planetary

  • Projets' image
    Physical properties and evolution of Massive Stars

    This project aims at the searching, observation and analysis of massive stars in nearby galaxies to provide a solid empirical ground to understand their physical properties as a function of those key parameters that gobern their evolution (i.e. mass, spin, metallicity, mass loss, and binary interaction). Massive stars are central objects to

    Simón Díaz
  • Black hole in outburst
    Nature and Evolution of X-Ray Binaries

    Accreting black-holes and neutron stars in X-ray binaries provide an ideal laboratory for exploring the physics of compact objects, yielding not only confirmation of the existence of stellar mass black holes via dynamical mass measurements, but also the best opportunity for probing high-gravity environments and the physics of accretion; the most

    Muñoz Darias