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.

  • José Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa
    IAC researcher José Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa, next Secretary General of the International Astronomical Union

    At the next General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), to be held in Korea in 2021, José Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias will be named Secretary General of this, the biggest international astronomical organization, with over 13,500 professional astronomers in over 100 countries. For the time being he has been named Assistant General Secretary so that, afterwards, he will be able to take over the Secretariat. He will be the first Spaniard to occupy this position, which he will hold from 2021 to 2024. Rodríguez Espinosa

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  • Japanese delegation at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma)
    The Japanese ambassador to Spain visits the IAC and the Canary Observatories

    The Japanese ambassador to Spain, Kenji Kiramatsu, yesterday visited the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Canary Island Observatories, together with Masahiro Aoki, secretary to the Embassy, Yoshihiro Miwa, the consul of Japan in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Josep Piqué Camps, President of the Council of the Spain Japan Foundation. Yesterday, they were received by Rafael Rebolo López, the Director of the IAC and Jesús Burgos, administrator of the General Services of the IAC at its headquarters in La Laguna. After a short visit, the delegation went up to the Teide

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  • A Milky Way-like spiral galaxy, a dwarf and a faint ultra-diffuse galaxy shown to the same physical scale using images of similar depth.  On average, the diffuse galaxy is 10 times smaller than the Milky Way analogue. Credit: Adapted from Chamba, Trujillo & Knapen (2020).
    Are ultra-diffuse galaxies Milky Way-sized?

    Now almost 70 years since its introduction, the effective or half-light radius has become a very popular choice for characterising galaxy size. However, the effective radius measures the concentration of light within galaxies and thus does not capture our intuitive definition of size which is related to the edge or boundary of objects. For this reason, we aim to demonstrate the undesirable consequence of using the effective radius to draw conclusions about the nature of faint ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) when compared to dwarfs and Milky Way-like galaxies. Instead of the effective radius

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  • Comparative Milky Way and ultra-diffuse galaxy
    A step forward to solve the mystery of ultra-diffuse galaxies

    A study by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), led by researchers Nushkia Chamba, Ignacio Trujillo and Johan H. Knapen, reveals that the enigmatic ultra-diffuse galaxies, very low-luminosity and low-density star galaxies, are similar in size to dwarf galaxies. The results, which are published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, provide new clues about the number and type of galaxies in our Universe and about the nature of dark matter.

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  • Sandra Benítez Herrera, Ana Fragoso López, Estrella Zatón Martín and Alejandra Martín Gálvez
    New edition of "Girls who broke a glass ceiling while looking at the sky"

    With the aim of motivating interest in scientific and technological (STEM) careers among the younger girls, and to publicise the work of the women astrophysicists and engineers at the IAC, in 2017 the audiovisual series "Girls who broke a glass ceiling while looking at the sky" was initiated. The series, inspired in the project "No-Nancies" by the astrophysicist Pilar Montañés is included in the project "The return of Henrietta Leavitt: from school to a research career via the theatre", an initiative of the IAC in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)

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  • Composición espectro LFC
    Sucessful test of new technology which should help to discover “other Earths”

    A scientific team, led by the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, confirms the high degree of precision of the new calibration system known as a “laser frequency comb” which could be the key to the detection of planets like the Earth. The study is published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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