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.

  • Background is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the relic galaxy, NGC 1277 (Credits: NASA, ESA, M. Beasley, and P. Kehusmaa).  Bottom shows the H-band spectrum of the relic galaxy, NGC 1277, obtained with the EMIR spectrograph (middle) at Gran Telescopio Canarias (left) (Credits: pictures of GTC and EMIR are from GTC website).

    Puzzling properties of massive early-type galaxies (ETGs) emerge when studying their spectra at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Massive ETGs show strong CO absorption features in their H and K band spectra that cannot be explained by state-of-the-art stellar population models. For many years, the disagreement has been attributed to the presence of intermediate-age (0.1-2 Gyr) stellar populations in these galaxies, as the NIR light of intermediate-age stellar populations is dominated by cool stars (e.g. asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars) that show strong CO absorptions in their spectrum

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  • Scientists and engineers from the institutions making up the consortium for building the EST have met in La Palma to evaluate the end of the preparatory phase. The European Solar Telescope (EST) project has finished the preliminary design phase of the sistemas and subsystems for what will be the largest solar telescope in Europe, in the framework of the european project PRE-EST. With its primary mirror of 4.2 metres diameter, the EST will be a unique driving force for solar research in Europe. It is planned to start construction in 2024, in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma

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  • Images of the article

    The prestigious journal Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics invites two researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) to publish an article reviewing the most important advances in the study of the magnetic fields in the outer regions of the solar atmosphere. Every year, the editorial committee of the journal Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ARAA) meets to decide which researchers to invite to prepare their reviews, one for each field in Astrophysics. One of the 12 articles of the recently published volume 60 has been written by the IAC researchers

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  • Five exoplanet system

    International research, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) and with the participation of the the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has confirmed the discovery of five exoplanets in the same planetary system, two of them similar to Mercury. The finding provides clues about how these unusual, very high-density planets form. The study is published today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. An international science team has found a system orbiting the cool star HD 23472 with three super-Earths and two super-Mercuries. "We wanted to observe this planetary

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  • Sextans A

    A recent study, led by the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA) with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) presents the first extensive sample of massive stars whose chemical composition shows a lower metal content than that of the Small Magellanic Cloud. This is a basic first step in performing an exhaustive characterization of the properties of massive stars with low metallicity. Massive stars with very low metallicity are important for interpreting the processes which took place in the early phases of the univers, such as reionization and early chemical

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  • Artistic impression of the BL Lac nucleus. The particle jet emerging from the black-hole follows the spiral structure of the magnetic field. In the inset the brightness variations are shown as observed in red light (2020, August).

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) consist of a supermassive black hole fed by the circumnuclear material close to the galaxy center. Around 10% of the AGNs develop a pair of jets that are launched to the interstellar medium at speed close to velocity of light. Blazars are observed when one of the jets points very close to our line of sight, which produce an extraordinary boosting of the emission by relativistic effects. Jets produce electromagnetic emission that varies rapidly and covers from radio waves to gamma rays. The observed light is mostly random without an apparent pattern. The source BL

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