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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  • Artistic rendition of the re-ionisation process. Each dot is a galaxy, which ionises its surroundings forming a bubble. These bubbles can grow depending of the ionising power of each galaxy. If the galaxies are close together the bubbles can merge and form a much larger bubble. With time all the bubbles will merge till the Universe become re-ionised. Ionisation is the process under which high energy photons from the galaxies kick out the electron from the neutral hydrogen atoms thus leaving them ionised.
    An ionised bubble powered by a proto-cluster at z = 6.5

    We show herein that a proto-cluster of Lyα emitting galaxies, spectroscopically confirmed at redshift 6.5, produces a remarkable number of ionising continuum photons. We start from the Lyα fluxes measured in the spectra of the sources detected spectroscopically. From these fluxes we derive the ionising emissivity of continuum photons of the proto-cluster, which we compare with the ionising emissivity required to reionise the proto-cluster volume. We find that the sources in the proto-cluster are capable of ionising a large bubble, indeed larger than the volume occupied by the proto-cluster

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  • Artists impression of an active galactic nucleus. Credit: University of Boston-Cosmovision
    La Palma telescopes participate in the discovery of a young blazar produced by the merger of two galaxies

    An international team of scientists has obtained the first unequivocal detection of a very high speed jet of matter emitted by a galaxy in the process of merging with another. The flux of particles and radiation, which is emitted by the supermassive black hole in the centre of the galaxy and which is observed face on, shows that it is a precursor structure to the formation of a blazar, one of the most energetic objects known. This discovery was made by combining observations from several telescopes, among them the Gran Telescopio Canarias and the William Herschel Telescope at the Roque de

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  • Three images of the Supermoon of August 10, 2014, taken in the Teide National Park. In the image, the VTT and GREGOR telescopes. Author: Ovidio García (SECAT).
    How to see April's Supermoon from home

    On April 8th, you will be able to see the third and biggest Supermoon of 2020. If you follow the recommendations we present below you will be able to obtain some beautiful images of the full Moon from your home.

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  • The egyptologist José Lull.
    JOSÉ LULL: "The Egyptian astronomers used to observe from the terraces of the temples and palaces"

    José Lull knows a lot about the royal Egyptian tombs of the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period. In fact this was the theme of the doctoral thesis –published as a monograph by Oxford University Press- of this Egyptologist, with degree at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and a doctorate from the University of Valencia. He is presently at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and is also an expert in the astronomy of ancient Egypt. He showed this recently at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, where he has been collaborating with Juan Antonio Belmonte, archeoastronomer at

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  • Artist's impression of the small fraction of young blue stars in an elliptical galaxy where its bulk of stars is old and red. Created with an image of NASA, ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), with vectorpocket resource (Freepik). Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).
    Young stars found in the oldest and most massive galaxies in the Universe

    Elliptical and lenticular galaxies (collectively called early-type galaxies) are the oldest and most massive galaxies in the Universe. These galaxies were built up rapidly (in less than thousand million years) and therefore, their stars are generally ancient and cool, meaning that they mainly shine in the optical and infrared spectral ranges. However, any hot young stars that might be present are difficult to detect in these spectral ranges. The study, based on 30,000 early-type galaxy spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey BOSS has analysed the UV spectral range to detect the young

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  • Image of the public version of the 3D radiative transfer code PORTA
    Public version of PORTA, a novel 3D radiative transfer code

    The POLMAG research team of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), which includes scientists from other international institutions, has released the public version of PORTA, an advanced radiative transfer code to solve the problem of the generation and transfer of polarized radiation in realistic three-dimensional (3D) models of stellar atmospheres. PORTA allows scientists to plan and model spectropolarimetric observations with today’s telescopes. This public version of PORTA offered to the astrophysical community comes with several modules useful for considering several problems of

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