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.

  • Image, left-hand panel, and reflectance spectrum, right-hand panel, of interstellar comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) obtained by the 10.4~m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), located at the El Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain), which is managed by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) together with the Teide Observatory in the island of Tenerife.
    The Gran Telescopio Canarias obtains the visible spectrum of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), the first confirmed interstellar comet

    The spectrum acquired by GTC of interstellar comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) reveals that this object has a surface composition not unlike that found in Solar System comets. Shortly before dawn on September 13th, Julia de León, Miquel Serra-Ricart, Javier Licandro, all members of IAC's Solar System Group, and Carlos Raúl de la Fuente Marcos, from the Complutense University of Madrid, obtained high resolution images and visible spectra of comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) using the OSIRIS instrument at the 10.4m GTC, installed in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). Observations were

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  • Radial profiles of the star formation rate (per unit mass) for the bulges (reddish colours) and discs (bluish colours) in our sample of ETGs. Different profiles represent the average distribution of the specific star formation rate for the bulge/disc components within four different mass bins. The averaged radial profiles are normalized to the galaxy effective radius.
    Do we need a galactic disc to form stars?

    Early-type galaxies (ETGs) were historically considered as ‘boring’ objects by astronomers. This galaxy category encompasses lenticular and elliptical galaxies, which were thought as morphologically featureless systems with no star formation and therefore of little interest. However, with the advent of powerful integral field spectrographs and deep photometric images, ETGs have demonstrated not to be such ‘boring’ systems, but complex galaxies with a variety of dynamical, photometric, and stellar population’s properties. In fact, a major question of current astrophysics is still to determine

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  • The comparison between the observed Spitzer spectrum (in black) and the synthetic spectral energy distribution (SED; in red) of a dual dust chemistry AGB star in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We report the luminosity and effective temperature of the star, and the following parameters for the internal and outer dust shells: optical depth (at 1 µm), dust temperature, dust composition and distance from the central star.
    Dual dust chemistry around evolved stars of the Large Magellanic Cloud

    During the final stages of their lives, stars with masses between one and eight times the mass of the Sun evolve along the asymptotic giant branch (AGB). AGB stars expand and loss a major fraction of their mass through stellar winds. The low temperature and high density of AGB winds provide ideal conditions for the condensation of dust grains in their circumstellar envelopes. Gas and dust are expelled into the interstellar medium, becoming an essential component for the formation of new stars and planets. Therefore, studying the type of dust (solid state organic or inorganic components) and

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  • Participantes del Festival Hispanoamericano de Escritores durante su visita al Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos. Crédito: Juan Antonio González Hernández / IAC.
    Literature and Astronomy: connected universes

    The participants in the second Hispano-American Festival of Authors which is taking place in Los Llanos de Aridane (La Palma) paid a visit, yesterday, to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory during a day when Astronomy played the main role. During the afternoon there was a panel discussion in tribute to the Founding Director of the instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Francisco Sánchez, and at night the opportunity to observe the sky with amateur telescopes. "The Inspiring Force of the Universe. Tribute to Francisco Sánchez" was the topic of the panel discussion which brought together

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  • Cartel del segundo Festival Hispanoamericano de Escritores
    El IAC vuelve a colaborar con el Festival Hispanoamericano de Escritores en La Palma

    La segunda edición de este festival, que se inaugura mañana martes hasta el sábado 14 de septiembre en el municipio palmero de Los Llanos de Aridane y que contará con la asistencia de los premios nobel de Literatura Mario Vargas Llosa y Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, tendrá nuevamente un día dedicado a la Astronomía. Los asistentes a este encuentro visitarán el Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos y, tras una mesa redonda en homenaje al director fundador del IAC, Francisco Sánchez, realizarán una observación con telescopios nocturnos amateur. Por segundo año consecutivo, el municipio

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  • Supercomputer at the Centro de Astrofísica de La Palma
    Sharper view of the cosmos through reproducible science

    The team led by the researcher from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) Mohammad Akhlaghi has obtained a European grant to develop a project focused on the handling of large quantities of data, and the capacity to be able to reproduce any scientific result by another research group.

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