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 GJ887 and its planets. Credit: University of Göttingen.
    A system of superearths has been detected around the brightest red dwarf in the sky

    The exoplanets closest to us offer the best opportunities to make a detailed study of their physical properties, including the search for life outside the Solar System. In research led by the University of Göttingen (Germany), in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the University of La Laguna (ULL) are participants, has detected a system of superearths in orbit round the nearby star Gliese 887 (GJ 887), the brightest red dwarf in the sky. The results are published today in the journal Science. Superearths are planets with a larger mass than the Earth, but substancially less

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  • Artistic impression of AU Mic b. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA).
    A planet in the process of formation found round the nearby young star AU Mic

    An international team of scientists, with the participation of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has discovered a planet of the size of Neptune orbiting in rather more than a week around AU Microscopii, a young star a little over of 30 light years away, and surrounded by a disc of debris left over from its formation. The data were obtained with NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (now retired from service). The Discovery is published today in Nature magazine. The finding in this system, abbreviated as AU Mic, will be a unique

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  • Relative stability measurement of two laser frequency combs (LFCs). LFC1 (18 GHz mode spacing) is in channel A and LFC2 (25 GHz mode spacing) in channel B. a, Series of 100 spectrograph calibrations with one exposure every 61 s, 102 min in total. b, Results obtained with binned exposures of increasing size. The filled circles represent the standard deviation in A-B. The error bars quantify the uncertainty of the standard deviation estimated from the size of the statistical sample.
    A crucial test for astronomical spectrograph calibration with frequency combs

    Laser frequency combs (LFCs) are well on their way to becoming the next-generation calibration sources for precision astronomical spectroscopy. This development is considered key in the hunt for low-mass rocky exoplanets around solar-type stars whose discovery with the radial-velocity method requires cm/s Doppler precision. In order to prove such precise calibration with an LFC, it must be compared to another calibrator of at least the same precision. Being the best available spectrograph calibrator, this means comparing it to a second - fully independent - LFC. Here, we report on a test in

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  • LST-1 en el Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma)
    The LST-1 telescope on La Palma detects the Crab Pulsar at very high-energy

    The first prototype of the Large-Size Telescope (LST) of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the LST-1, located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma), has detected an emission of very high-energy gamma rays from the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star at the centre of the nebula of the same name. This observation confirms the successful operation of this telescope, which is being commissioned.

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  • Elena Máñez and Carlos Navarro in the IAC main corridor.
    The Head of the Department of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Canary Government visits the IAC

    Elena Máñez Rodríguez, the Head of the Department of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Canary Government paid a visit this morning to the headquarters of the IAC in La Laguna, together with Carlos Andrés Navarro Martínez, the Director of the Canary Agency of Research, Innovation and the Information Society (ACIISI).

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  • 83rd CCI meeting
    Research in the Canary Island observatories, main theme of the recent meeting of their International Scientific Committee

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI for its Spanish initials) of the Canary Island Observatories offers the mechanism by which the institutions which are members to participate effectively in the decisión making which affects the operation of the telescopes. This morning the CCI has celebrated, in virtual form, the first of its two meetings per year, in which some thirty people took part.

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