News

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.

  • Proxima Centauri Planets

    An international team of astronomers, co-led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has confirmed the presence of a new planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. It is the third planet detected in this star and one of the lowest mass planets ever discovered, with only a quarter of the mass of the Earth. The study, published today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, uses observations made with the ESPRESSO spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. Proxima Centauri is the

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  • The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), which has 94 female researchers and engineers, consolidates its commitment to gender equality by participating in more than ten actions to join this February 11. Among the aims of commemorating this day are the promotion of scientific and technological vocations among girls and young women and the visibility of the role of women in the development of science. In 2015 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 11th February as The Day of Women and Girls in Science. The aim of this date is to promote the access, the full participation

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  • SHARKS

    The first data release of the SHARKS public survey, led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), was provided to the astrophysical community today. This project, which has reached its first milestone, uses the 4-metre VISTA telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile to map large portions of the sky in the near-infrared, a range of the spectrum invisible to the human eye. The near-infrared wavelength range, a type of light imperceptible to the human eye, allows us to explore regions of the Universe that are obscured by cosmic dust or are too cold to

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  • Norbert Langer

    Professor Norbert Langer is currently head of the Stellar Physics Group at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (Bonn, Germany). Considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of theoretical stellar Astrophysics, for more than three decades he has been researching the evolution of high mass, from their early stages to the point when they explode as supernovae. These stars play an important role in the evolution of their host galaxies. However, their short lifetime makes them very difficult to observe, raising many questions about their nature. A correct interpretation of the

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  • Spectra of the C-19 member stars observed with OSIRIS, normalized using a running mean filter after removing the velocity signal in the rest frame (black lines), together with the best fit (blue lines) derived by adopting a fitting procedure. The metallicity, [Fe/H], computed from [M/H] and [Ca/H] is also indicated for each star.

    Stellar ejecta gradually enrich the gas out of which subsequent stars form, making the least chemically enriched stellar systems direct fossils of structures formed in the early universe. Although a few hundred stars with metal content below one thousandth of the solar iron content are known in the Galaxy, none of them inhabit globular clusters, some of the oldest known stellar structures. These show metal content of at least ~0.2 percent of the solar metallicity ([Fe/H] > -2.7). This metallicity floor appears universal and it has been proposed that proto-galaxies that merge into the

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  • Nebulosa y M31

    A recent study led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has resolved an old debate about the progenitor stars of the brightest planetary nebulae. The first author of this article, which has just been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, is Rebeca Galera Rosillo, a doctoral student at the IAC who passed away in 2020 when she was finishing this work for her doctoral thesis. The first and most important datum needed to grasp the nature of the universe is to know its size, to measure the distance to the galaxies. Just as in the Renaissance people began

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