To celebrate Asteroid Day, which commemorates the impact of the Tunguska Fireball in 1908, several researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will participate in on-line chats to talk about the nature of these lesser bodies of the Solar System, and about the risk of impact on the Earth.
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.
Activities for Asteroid DayAdvertised on
A crucial test for astronomical spectrograph calibration with frequency combs
Laser frequency combs (LFCs) are well on their way to becoming the next-generation calibration sources for precision astronomical spectroscopy. This development is considered key in the hunt for low-mass rocky exoplanets around solar-type stars whose discovery with the radial-velocity method requires cm/s Doppler precision. In order to prove such precise calibration with an LFC, it must be compared to another calibrator of at least the same precision. Being the best available spectrograph calibrator, this means comparing it to a second - fully independent - LFC. Here, we report on a test inAdvertised on
The LST-1 telescope on La Palma detects the Crab Pulsar at very high-energy
The first prototype of the Large-Size Telescope (LST) of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the LST-1, located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma), has detected an emission of very high-energy gamma rays from the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star at the centre of the nebula of the same name. This observation confirms the successful operation of this telescope, which is being commissioned.Advertised on
Hot stars are plagued by giant magnetic spots
An international team of astronomers, in which the researcher from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the Universidad de La Laguna David Jones participates, has discovered giant spots on the surface of extremely hot stars hidden in stellar clusters. Not only are these stars plagued by magnetic spots, some also experience superflare events, explosions of energy several million times more energetic than similar eruptions on the Sun. The findings, published in Nature Astronomy, help astronomers better understand these puzzling stars and open doors to resolving other elusive mysteriesAdvertised on
ESPRESSO confirms the nearest exo-Earth with unprecedented precision
An international team, in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias participated, as well as institutions in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has confirmed the presence of the extrasolar planet Proxima b using measurements of radial velocity with the ESPRESSO spectrograph, on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.Advertised on
The changing-look optical wind of the flaring X-ray transient Swift J1858.6-0814
The large amount of mass and angular momentum carried by disc winds makes them key processes to understand accretion onto compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars. Here we present the discovery of an optical accretion disc wind in the X-ray transient Swift J1858.6-0814, a new binary system discovered in late 2018. Our 90-spectrum data set, taken with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), reveals the presence of conspicuous P-Cyg profiles in optical lines of helium and hydrogen. The evolution of these features indicates significant variations in the wind velocity, between aAdvertised on