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.

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  • Dark matter in two galaxies simulated on a computer. The only difference between them is the nature of dark matter. Without collisions on the left and with collisions on the right. The work suggests that dark matter in real galaxies looks more like the image on the right, less clumpy and more diffuse than the one on the left. The circle marks the end of the galaxy. Credit: Image taken from the article Brinckmann et al. (2018, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 474, 746; https://doi.org/10.10
    Solved: the mystery of how dark matter in galaxies is distributed

    The gravitational force in the Universe under which it has evolved from a state almost uniform at the Big Bang until now, when matter is concentrated in galaxies, stars and planets, is provided by what is termed ‘dark matter’. But in spite of the essential role that this extra material plays, we know almost nothing about its nature, behaviour and composition, which is one of the basic problems of modern physics. In a recent article in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters, scientists at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)/University of La Laguna (ULL) and of the National University of

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  • Artist's impression of a blazar
    The Gran Telescopio Canarias finds the farthest black hole that belongs to a rare family of galaxies

    An international team of astronomers has identified one of the rarest known classes of gamma-ray emitting galaxies, called BL Lacertae, within the first 2 billion years of the age of the Universe. The team, that has used one of the largest optical telescope in the world, Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), located at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma), consists of researchers from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain), DESY (Germany), University of California Riverside and Clemson University (USA). The finding is published in The Astrophysical Journal

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  • AU mic b light curves from TESS and Spitzer IRAC at 4.5 μm  (purple filled circles). The transit model (orange curve) includes a photometric model that accounts for the stellar activity modelled with a Gaussian Process (GP), which is subtracted from the data before plotting. The frequent flares from the stellar surface are removed with an iterative sigma-clipping.
    Discovery of a young forming planet around the nearby star AU Mic

    AU Microscopii (AU Mic) is the second closest pre-main-sequence star, at a distance of 9.79 parsecs and with an age of 22 million years. AU Mic possesses a relatively rare and spatially resolved edge-on debris disk extending from about 35 to 210 astronomical units from the star, and with clumps exhibiting non-Keplerian motion. Detection of newly formed planets around such a star is challenged by the presence of spots, plage, flares and other manifestations of magnetic ‘activity’ on the star. Here we report observations of a planet transiting AU Mic. The transiting planet, AU Mic b, has an

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  • Main router of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). Credit: Jorge Goya.
    The IAC renews the data network of the Canary Observatories 

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has finished, during October, with the help of FEDER funds, the renewal of the corporate network of the Canary Observatories, which means that the connected User Institutions will be able, with the new equipment, to augment their current connection capacity from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps.

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  • Image of the radiometer at 3.5 GHz frequency designed and built by the team at Tecnología Médica. Credit: Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture (IAC).
    IACTEC develops a system which can analyze subcutaneous tissues for early detection of illnesses

    The first tests of a concept using microwave radiometry have yielded promising results for the measurement of subcutaneous temperatures in biological tissues. The prototype has been developed in the programme of Medical Technology within IACTEC, the area of technological and business collaboration of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) with economic support (Training Programme) and infrastructure (the IACTEC building) from the Cabildo of Tenerife.

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  • Simulation of the OSIRIS-REx "touch-and-go" mission in Nightingale crater.
    Touching an asteroid and coming back: OSIRIS-REx and Bennu

    This Tuesday October 20th at around 23.12 hr (Canary time) the NASA space probe OSIRIS-REx will make its first attempt to collect samples from the asteroid (101955) Bennu. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has played an active role in the mission since 2011. Researchers Julia de León, Javier Licandro, Eri Tatsumi and Juan Luis Rizos, who are members of the science team of OSIRIS-REx will be present telematically at the meeting organized by this NASA mission so that the science team can follow in real time this dangerous maneuvre¸ using the SamCam camera on board the probe. This

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