News

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.

  • Professor Norbert Langer is currently head of the Stellar Physics Group at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (Bonn, Germany). Considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of theoretical stellar Astrophysics, for more than three decades he has been researching the evolution of high mass, from their early stages to the point when they explode as supernovae. These stars play an important role in the evolution of their host galaxies. However, their short lifetime makes them very difficult to observe, raising many questions about their nature. A correct interpretation of the

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  • Stellar ejecta gradually enrich the gas out of which subsequent stars form, making the least chemically enriched stellar systems direct fossils of structures formed in the early universe. Although a few hundred stars with metal content below one thousandth of the solar iron content are known in the Galaxy, none of them inhabit globular clusters, some of the oldest known stellar structures. These show metal content of at least ~0.2 percent of the solar metallicity ([Fe/H] > -2.7). This metallicity floor appears universal and it has been proposed that proto-galaxies that merge into the

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  • A recent study led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has resolved an old debate about the progenitor stars of the brightest planetary nebulae. The first author of this article, which has just been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, is Rebeca Galera Rosillo, a doctoral student at the IAC who passed away in 2020 when she was finishing this work for her doctoral thesis. The first and most important datum needed to grasp the nature of the universe is to know its size, to measure the distance to the galaxies. Just as in the Renaissance people began

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  • We present a detailed study of the gas chemical abundances in planetary nebulae (PNe), the final fate of solar-like stars, through high spatial resolution Integral Field Unit spectroscopy (IFU) obtained with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) attached to the 8.2-m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. We focused on three PNe with high abundance discrepancy factors (ADF > 20), which is a well-known and major unresolved problem in nebular astrophysics: chemical abundances obtained from faint optical recombination lines (ORL) yield systematically larger values than those obtained from

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  • The Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture (UC3) of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in collaboration with the Museum of Science and the Cosmos (Museums of Tenerife) has edited an astronomical wall calendar, with astronomical ephemerides for the year 2022, which can be consulted and downloaded in digital form and can be obtained in physical form at the IAC Headquarters in La Laguna. The 12 astronomical images which illustrate it have been obtained by astrophotographer Daniel López (The Canary Sky) and the astrophysicists Alfred Rosenberg (IAC), Oswaldo González (MCC

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  • An international study, with the participation of researchers from the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC or Grantecan) affiliated to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has discovered a first-of-its-kind exploding star, thought to have existed only in theory. The findings are being published today in Nature. In the not-so-distant past, the discovery of a supernova – an exploding star – was considered a rare occasion. Today, advanced measuring instruments and analysis methods make it possible to detect fifty such explosions on a daily basis, which has also increased the probability

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