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.

  • GJ 367 b

    An international team, including researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has discovered an extrasolar planet with half the mass of the Earth that takes approximately eight hours to orbit its parent star, a red dwarf just under 31 light-years from Earth. Called GJ 367 b, it is one of the lightest among the nearly 5.000 exoplanets known today. With a diameter of just over 9000 kilometres, this sub-Earth is slightly larger than Mars. The discovery not only demonstrates that it is possible to precisely determine the event the smallest, least massive exoplanets, but also

    Advertised on
  • V1298 Tau

    An international team of scientists, in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) participate together with other institutions from Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, UK, and Mexico, has been able to measure the masses of the giant planets of the V1298 Tau system, just 20 million year old. Masses for such young giant planets had not been obtained previously, and this is the first evidence that these objects have already reached their final size at very early stages of their evolution. For this study they have used radial velocity measurements from the HARPS-N

    Advertised on
  • (Left) Location of target PNe on an image of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). (Right) Hertzsprung-Russell diagram showing the location of PNe central stars and the theoretical model tracks. The final and corresponding initial masses are indicated on the tracks. Note the remarkable clustering of the brightest PNe central stars (green squares) on the 1.5 Msun track.

    Planetary nebulae (PNe) are the ejecta of evolved low-intermediate mass stars present in all stellar systems. Perhaps the easiest thing to do when studying PNe in a galaxy is just counting how many of them appear with a given luminosity, the Planetary Nebula Luminosity Function (PNLF). Not surprisingly, just a few very bright, and many more fainter, PNe populate the PNLF. But, most surprisingly, the bright end bin of the PNLF has a remarkably constant cut-off value in all galaxies and stellar systems studied so far, both young and old, with just a mild, calibrateable dependence on

    Advertised on
  • Average magnetic field of the quiet Sun as inferred from the observational data. Black contours display the frontier between granules and intergranules (i.e., Ic = 1.0, where Ic is the continuum intensity). The magnetic field strength color bar has been clipped at 800 G.

    The Sun is the only star where we can resolve the intricate magnetism that all convective stars harbor. Yet, more than 99% of its visible surface along the solar cycle (the so-called quiet Sun) is filled with a tangled, unresolved magnetism. These “hidden” fields are thought to store enough magnetic energy to play a role in the heating of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, but its field strength is still not constrained. Previous investigations based on the Hanle effect in atomic lines claim a strong magnetization of about 100 G, while the same effect in molecules show a factor of 10 weaker fields

    Advertised on
  • Poster of the talk "Formation and evolution of the large scale structures of our Universe: the clusters of galaxies"

    Tomorrow, Friday 26th November at 18.00 in the Museum of Science and the Cosmos of Museums of Tenerife there will be an outreach talk “Formation and evolution of the large scale structure of the Universe; clusters of galaxies” by the researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) José Alberto Rubiño Martín. The lecture, organized in the framework of the XXXII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics , will be public and will be in Spanish. After a year without being held due to COVID-19, from 23 November to 1 December, the IAC Winter School returns to Tenerife, attended by

    Advertised on
  • Lithium in Brown Dwarf

    A team of researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE), Mexico, has discovered lithium in the oldest and coldest brown dwarf where the presence of this valuable element has been confirmed so far. This substellar object, called Reid 1B, preserves intact the earliest known lithium deposit in our cosmic neighbourhood, dating back to a time before the formation of the binary system to which it belongs. The discovery was made using the OSIRIS spectrograph on the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), at the Roque de

    Advertised on