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.

  • CCI participants 14 Oct 21

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) of the Observatories of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has held recently its annual autumn meeting in La Palma and wants to express its solidarity with the people of La Palma during these trying times. The CCI is the international board of the institutions present at the observatories in the Canary Islands. For all the national and international research institutions and universities that are represented in this Committee, and especially those who have telescopes and other scientific installations at the Observatorio del Roque de

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  • 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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  • Artist impression of a quasar

    According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity gravity affects light as well as matter. One consequence of this theory, based on the Principle of Equivalence, is that the light which escapes from a region with a strong gravitational field loses energy on its way, so that it becomes redder, a phenomenon known as the gravitational redshift. Quantifying this gives a fundamental test of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. Until now this test had been performed only on bodies in the nearby universe, but thanks to the use of a new experimental procedure scientists at the Instituto de

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  • Example of the book “In a certain place in the Universe….” Published by the IAC. Photo: Inés Bonet

    This publication from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) contains the literary and graphic contributions of important figures in current literatura in Spanish, who were invited to discover the Canary sky within the project “In a certain place in the Universe….”. As a result of this experience, and inspired by the Universe the authors have produced the texts in this volume, which is a limited edition by the IAC, who has donated it for publicity and sales to the Association of Family members and Carers of those suffering from Alzheimer and other mental afflictions, of Tenerife

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  • Piero Benvenuti

    Since it started on October 3rd the conference “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society” has been discussing the consequences of artificial lighting at night (ALAN). But on Tuesday and Wednesday October 5th and 6th specialists from all over the world are discussing, on-line, solutions which reconcile the development of recent satellite constellations with scientific activity, and humanity’s right to enjoy the starry sky. Prof. Piero Benvenuto, the representative of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and one of

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