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.

  • The region of the solar disk observed by CLASP2.1

    In 2015 and 2019 an international team (USA, Japan and Europe) carried out two unprecedented suborbital space experiments called CLASP and CLASP2, which were motivated by theoretical investigations carried out at the IAC. After the success of such missions, the team has just launched CLASP2.1 from the NASA facility in White Sands Missile Range (New Mexico, USA). The aim is to map the solar magnetic field throughout the chromosphere of an active region. To this end, CLASP2.1 has successfully measured the intensity and polarization of the solar ultraviolet radiation emitted by magnesium and

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  • Illustration of the formation of a planet round a star similar to the Sun, with rocks and iron molecules, the basic components of planets, in the foreground. Credit: Tania Cunha (Planetário do Porto - Centro Ciência Viva & Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço).

    Newly formed stars have protoplanetary discs around them. A fraction of the material in the disc condenses into planet-forming chunks, and the rest finally falls into the star. Because of their common origin, researchers have assumed that the composition of these chunks and that of the rocky planets with low masses should be similar to that of their host stars. However, until now the Solar System was the only available reference for the astronomers.

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  • The mass–concentration relation from dark matter simulations (blue line), and from hydrodynamical simulations of galaxies (open and solid circles). The red square and triangle show galaxy AGC242019 for a cuspy halo fit and for our shallow fit used in this work. Our results agree with theoretical expectations.

    A central question regarding ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) is whether they are in a separate category from low-surface-brightness (LSB) galaxies, or just their natural continuation toward low stellar masses. In this Letter, we show that the rotation curve of the gas rich UDG AGC 242019 is well fit by a dark matter halo with an inner slope that asymptotes to ~-0.54, and that such a fit provides a concentration parameter that matches theoretical expectations. This finding, together with previous works in which shallow inner profiles are derived for UDGs, shows that the structural properties of

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  • Photometric magnetic activity index, Sph, as a function of the Rossby for the Kepler stars showing the comparison between an older relation to compute the Rossby number (left panel, Noyes 1984) and the Rossby number from this work (right panel).

    In a star like the Sun, surface magnetic activity results from the interaction between rotation, convection, and magnetic field. One of the key parameters to study the magnetic activity of stars is the Rossby number, which is the ratio between the surface rotation period of the star and the convective turnover time. The convective turnover time measures the time that takes a bubble of plasma to go from the base of the convective zone in a star like the Sun to the surface, similarly to a bubble reaching the surface in a pan with boiling water heated by the bottom. While the surface rotation

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  • Linear polarization pattern of the solar D1 and D2 spectral lines, comparing observations to the results of the modeling (see legend). An excellent agreement with observations is found when assuming that the solar atmosphere is significantly magnetized.

    In 1998 the journal Nature published a seminal letter concluding that the mysterious polarization (a particular property of light) that had been recently observed in the solar sodium D1 line implies that the solar chromosphere (a very important layer of the solar atmosphere) is practically unmagnetized, in sharp contradiction with common wisdom. This paradox motivated laboratory experiments and theoretical investigations which, instead of providing a solution, raised new issues and even led some scientists to question the quantum theory of radiation-matter interaction. Here, we have carried

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  • Result of the field test made with the copy of DRAGO on September 22nd 2021 at 08.00 local time.

    The eruption on La Palma has provided a unique scenario for testing the DRAGO instrument, the infrared camera of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) which has been observing the Canary Islands from space since January. One of the objectives for which DRAGO was designed is monitoring natural disasters, especially those which could occur in the Canaries, such as forest fires, petroleum spills, or volcanic eruptions. The role of DRAGO is to provide infrared images from space to help the management and control of these disasters. In the case of the eruption which began on September

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