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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  • Stellar mass vs. velocity dispersion relation showing that stellar systems, over 7 orders of magnitude in mass, follow the Virial relation. Small bulges and high redshift red nuggets also follows the relation indicating a common origin.
    Red nuggets at the center of nearby galaxies

    The “Lambda Cold Dark Matter” (CDM) cosmological model is the current theory credited for reproducing the physics responsible for the formation and evolution of large-scale galactic systems in an accelerated expanding universe. In this context, the halos of CDM collapse and convert their energy reaching a state of equilibrium, allowing the formation of galaxies when the matter begins to cool. From an observational point of view, the behaviour of the luminous matter (stars and gas) is very different from that of dark matter. However, there are empirical relationships that reflect the

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  • A diagram of how Rydberg Enhanced Recombination works. Adapted from Nemer et al. (2019).
    Confirming new physics in space

    The interstellar medium is an excellent laboratory to test physical processes that cannot be reproduced in Earth-based laboratories. In this study several nebulae were used as a space laboratory to confirm the existence of an atomic process for which there was no previous experimental confirmation. In 2010, the existence of an atomic process that should occur frequently in astrophysical plasmas throughout the universe was theoretically proposed. The point is that this process — which is termed Rydberg Enhanced Recombination, or RER — had never before been detected, and it’s effectively

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  • Antonia Varela recoge el premio del Reto FiturNext 2020
    La Fundación Starlight gana el Reto FiturNext 2020

    La Fundación Starlight, creada por el Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) y la Consultora Corporación 5, ha sido galardonada en el primer Reto FiturNext 2020 dedicado a iniciativas que se centran en cómo el turismo puede contribuir al desarrollo local. La entrega de premios tuvo lugar ayer en el marco de la Feria Internacinal del Turismo FITUR que se celebra entre el 22 y el 26 de enero en Madrid.

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  • Artistic image of the supernova explosions of the first massive stars that formed in the Milky Way. The star J0815+4729 was formed from the material ejected by these first supernovae
    Astronomers detect large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere of a primitive star

    Scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of California San Diego, detect large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere of the "primitive star" called J0815+4729. This finding, reported in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters today, provides an important clue on how oxygen and other chemical elements were produced in the first generations of stars in the Universe. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the Universe after hydrogen and helium. It is essential for all forms of life on Earth

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  • Jeffrey R. Kuhn, writing on a blackboard during his visit the IAC.
    JEFFREY R. KUHN: “In our lifetime we are going to wake up some morning to the news that we have discovered life”

    The Sun is not the live coal that Anaxagoras described. We can imagine hell in its interior, and we know that there are darker spots on its surface which, when discovered, were shown to be incompatible with the Aristotelian principle of the perfection of the heavenly bodies. We have learned a great deal about our star since then, but even now we do not know the answer to some important questions about the source of energy of our Solar System, the main source of life. These were the words of Jeffrey R. Kuhn, doctor in Physics from Princeton University, and currently Professor at the Institute

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  • A snapshot from TESS of part of the southern sky showing the location of ν Indi
    TESS satellite dates an ancient collision with our galaxy

    From a single bright star in the constellation of Indus, an international team of scientists led by the University of Birmingham, with the participation of scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has revealed new insights about an ancient collision between our galaxy, the Milky Way, and another smaller galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus, early in its history. Nature Astronomy publishes these results today. This team adopted the novel approach of applying the forensic characterisation of a single ancient, bright star called ν Indi, visible from the southern hemisphere, as a

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