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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  • A realistic artist’s impression of WASP-76b atmosphere
    Observed: an exoplanet where it rains iron

    Nature magazine is publishing today a surprising study about the giant, ultra-hot planet WASP-76b in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have taken part. This exoplanet, 390 light years away towards the constellation Pisces, has days when its surface temperatures exceed 2,400 Celsius, sufficiently hot to evaporate metals. Its nights, with strong winds, cool down the iron vapour so that it condenses into drops of iron. This is the first result with the high resolution spectrograph ESPRESSO, an instrument co-directed by the IAC and installed on teh Very Large

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  • Artistic impression of one of the SPECULOOS telescopes, with the binary brown dwarf eclipsing in the sky
    Observed: an occultation of a brown dwarf by another

    An international team of astronomers in the project SPECULOOS, dedicated to the search for habitable planets, with scientists participating from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has discovered an eclipse (termed an occultation) in a peculiar brown dwarf formed by two stars orbiting around each other. The results are just published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The finding was by chance, when the scientists were working on the results from the first light of one of the four telescopes of the project, in Chile. Shortly after the building of the first SECULOOS telescopes, and

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  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell next to the radiotelescope she built. Cortesy of Martin Burnell
    Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the woman who discovered pulsars

    When Jocelyn Bell Burnell failed an important exam at the age of 10 she did not expect to become one of the most relevant figures in astronomy. Nor when she began work on her doctoral thesis did she expect to discover an unknown type of star. The story of Jocelyn Bell is one of serendipity, perseverance, the “impostor syndrome” and “little green men”. In honour of her career she will have her own star in the Passage of Science in La Palma. So she will receive the homage which the Island pays to notable scientific figures, such as Stephen Hawking, Alekséi Leonov, Takaaki Kajita, and Samuel

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  • Lucía González Cuesta, Susana Delgado Marante, Julia de León Cruz and Mary Barreto Cabrera
    The return of “Girls who broke a glass ceiling looking at the sky"

    To celebrate March 8th, International Women’s Day, a new chapter of the audiovisual series “Girls who broke a glass ceiling looking at the sky” is being premiered. This project was started in 2017 as part of the initiative “The Return of Henrietta Leavitt, from school to a research career, via the Theatre” by the IAC in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. Its objective is to show to the general public the work of women in science, encouraging young girls to opt for careers in science. Previously the series

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  • Pulsating star in binary system
    Astronomers discover a pulsating teardrop-shaped star

    An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, has found for the first time an unusual star that oscillates on one side due to the gravitational attraction of another nearby star. The study, which is published in the journal Nature Astronomy, uses data from NASA's TESS satellite and has involved the collaboration of citizen scientists.

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  • Teide shadow and Moon
    The March “Supermoon” will bid goodbye to winter next to the shadow of Teide

    On March 9th we can see the second “supermoon” of this year, and the last full moon of winter in the northern hemisphere. With the collaboration of the EELabs project, coordinated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, sky-live.tv will broadcast live, from the Teide Observatory, the rise of the “supermoon” which will be aligned in the evening with the shadow of the volcano.

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