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.

  • Artist's impression of a star pulsating in one of its hemispheres due to the gravitational attraction of a companion star. Credit: Gabriel Pérez (SMM-IAC).
    Tidally trapped pulsations in a close binary star system

    It has long been suspected that tidal forces in close binary stars could modify the orientation of the pulsation axis of the constituent stars. Such stars have been searched for, but until now never detected. Here we report the discovery of tidally trapped pulsations in the ellipsoidal variable HD 74423 in Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) space photometry data. The system contains a Delta Scuti pulsator in a 1.6 d orbit, whose pulsation mode amplitude is strongly modulated at the orbital frequency, which can be explained if the pulsations have a much larger amplitude in one

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  • Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) at the Teide Observatory. Credit: Miquel Serra Ricart (IAC)
    The comet NEOWISE from the Canaries

    During the month of July we will be able to see comet c/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) with the naked eye from the Canaries and from the Peninsula.

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  • Los telescopios MAGIC en el Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos
    MAGIC telescopes test the quantum structure of space-time

    The detection of a gamma ray burst by the MAGIC telescopes at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory allows us to study whether the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant in nature. The results, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, indicate that there are no significant differences in the arrival times of photons of different energies, which sets constraints on some quantum theories of gravity.

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  • Spitzer images of the galaxy M87. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC/Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration
    The structure of the famous Jet of material in M87, the brightest galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, revealed

    A Master’s degree research project at the University of Barcelona (UB), carried out at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) by the student Alejandra Yrupe Fresco, currently studying for her doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, in Germany, has revealed the faint nucleus and the structure of the jet of particles in the nuclear region of M87, the brightest galaxy in the Virgo cluster. This project was carried out in collaboration with the IAC researchers Juan Antonio Fernández Ontiveros, Almudena Prieto and José Antonio Acosta Pulido, and was possible

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  • Frame of the video Traveling on a Comet. Credit: Virtualisrealitates
    Activities for Asteroid Day

    To celebrate Asteroid Day, which commemorates the impact of the Tunguska Fireball in 1908, several researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will participate in on-line chats to talk about the nature of these lesser bodies of the Solar System, and about the risk of impact on the Earth.

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  • 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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