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.

  • Planetary Nebula M57

    It is well known that fullerenes – big, complex, and highly resistant carbon molecules with potential applications in nanotechnology – are mostly seen in planetary nebulae (PNe); old dying stars with progenitor masses similar to our Sun. Fullerenes, like C60 and C70, have been detected in PNe whose infrared (IR) spectra are dominated by broad unidentified IR (UIR) plateau emissions. The identification of the chemical species (structure and composition) responsible for such UIR emission widely present in the Universe is a mystery in astrochemistry; although they are believed to be carbon-rich

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  • Planetary nebula M57

    A pioneering study from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) which combines laboratory chemistry with astrophysics, has shown for the first time that grains of dust formed by carbon and hydrogen in a highly disordered state, known as HAC, can take part in the formation of fullerenes, carbon molecules which are of key importance for the development of life in the universe, and with potential applications in nanotechnology. The results are published as a Letter to the Editor in the prestigious journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Fullerenes are carbon molecules which are very big

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  •  Merging binary

    An international piece of research, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has found clues to the nature of some of the brightest and hottest stars in our Universe, called blue supergiants. Although these stars are commonly observed, their origin has been an old puzzle that has been debated for several decades. By simulating novel stellar models and analysing a large data sample in the Large Magellanic Cloud, IAC researchers have found strong evidence that most blue supergiants may have formed from the merger of two stars bound in a binary system. The study is published in the

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  •  Asteroid near Mars

    Using observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) a study led from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) has confirmed that the asteroid 2023 FW14, discovered last year, is accompanying the red planet in its journey around the Sun, ahead of Mars and in the same orbit. With this new member, the group of Trojans which accompany Mars has increased in number to 17. But it shows differences in its orbit and chemical composition which may indicate that it is a captured asteroid, of a primitive type. The results are published in

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  • Ana Escorza receiving the La Caixa Foundation grant

    One male and one female researcher received the Junior Leader postdoctoral fellowship and three others received INPhINIT Incoming PhD fellowships. The aim is to retain and attract talent to promote research excellence in Spain and Portugal. The Scholarship Programme of the "la Caixa" Foundation held the financial aid award ceremony yesterday, Tuesday 12 March, which will benefit research staff at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). This programme of INPhINIT Incoming PhD and Junior Leader postdoctoral fellowships will reach a total of 105 people from more than 60 research centres

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    The mission is part of the planetary defence strategy of the European Space Agency (ESA) The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) is hosting this week the meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) linked to ESA's NEOMIR (NearEarth Object Mission in the InfraRed) mission, which aims, among other things, to create a system for detecting near-Earth asteroids using a space telescope. The mission is part of the planetary defence strategy of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has set a possible launch date of 2030, using an Ariene 6-2 rocket. SAG coordinator and IAC researcher

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