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.

  • Artistic recreation of a hypothetical exoplanet with artificial lights on the night side. Credit: Rafael Luis Méndez Peña/

    A researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) is the lead author of a study with proposals for “technosignatures” -evidence for the use of technology or industrial activity in other parts of the Universe- for future NASA missions. The article, published in the specialized journal Acta Astronautica, contains the initial conclusions of a meeting of experts in the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, sponsored by the space agency to gather advice about this topic.

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  • Ilustración del 8 de marzo: Día Internacional de la Mujer. Crédito: Inés Bonet (IAC).

    “Las mujeres sostienen la mitad del cielo”, dice un proverbio chino y máxima muy presente en el Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), que un año más se suma a la celebración del 8 de Marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer. Y lo hace con una serie de actividades que, entre otros fines, buscan reivindicar el papel de las mujeres de distintos perfiles y ámbitos -investigación, enseñanza, instrumentación, divulgación, servicios informáticos, instalaciones telescópicas y administración- que trabajan en este centro.

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  • Artistic impression of the surface of Gliese 486 b. Credit: RenderArea.

    We detect a transiting rocky planet with an orbital period of 1.467 days around the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. The planet Gliese 486 b is 2.81 Earth masses and 1.31 Earth radii, a composition similar to that of Venus or Earth, as determined from exquisite radial velocity data and photometric light curves. The host star is at a distance of 26 light-years, very bright, and observable from both hemispheres of Earth. The stellar and planet properties indicate that despite the hot surface temperatures it is possible that the planet conserved part of its original atmosphere, making it an

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  • Artist's impression of the atmosphere of Gliese 486b. Credit: RenderArea

    During the past 25 years astronomers have discovered a wide variety of exoplanets, made of rock, ice and gas, thanks to the construction of astronomical instruments designed specifically for planet searches. Also, using a combination of different observing techniques they have been able to determine a large numher of masses, sizes, and hence densities of the planets, which helps them to estimate their internal composition and raising the number of planets which have been discovered outside the Solar System.

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  • Thumbnails of TNG50 (top left) and SDSS (bottom left) quenched galaxies. The top and bottom right panels show the pixel-wise contributions to the log-likelihood ratio (LLR) for the TNG50 and SDSS galaxies, respectively. See Zanisi et al. (2021) for more details.

    Can neural networks distinguish computer simulated galaxy images from observed galaxies? This is the question that has been addressed in this work. For years, reproducing the morphological diversity of galaxies has been a problem for cosmological simulations. The new generation of simulations, such as Illustris TNG, are becoming more and more realistic. But enough to fool a neural network? In this work it is shown that it does not. Using unsupervised deep generative models, it is shown that, despite the fact that realism increases greatly in the last generation of simulations and with

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  • The unprecedented spectropolarimetric observations achieved during the CLASP2 space experiment.  For detailed information, see Credit: NAOJ, IAC, NASA/MSFC, IAS.

    The solar chromosphere is the region between the relatively thin and cold photosphere (temperature of a few thousand degrees) and the hot and extended corona (temperatures above a million degrees). Although the chromosphere is much less hot than the corona, it is also significantly denser and thus much more energy is required to sustain it. Moreover, the mechanical energy necessary to heat the corona needs to traverse the chromosphere, making it a crucial interface region to understand how this energy propagates and is released in the most violent activity of the solar upper atmosphere

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