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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  • Telescopios robóticos disponibles en PETeR: Tel. Liverpool (en el ORM, La Palma), telescopios del Observatorio Las Cumbres y telescopios de la Open University (en el OT, Tenerife). Crédito: Daniel López / IAC
    La formación online de PETeR llega a 180 docentes de toda España

    Este proyecto del Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias permite a la comunidad educativa española realizar sus propias investigaciones sobre el Universo usando telescopios robóticos profesionales. En Canarias, el curso se ha ofrecido a través de la Consejería de Educación, Universidades, Cultura y Deportes del Gobierno de Canarias

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  • Artistic representation of the planet Proxima b orbiting its star, Proxima Centauri. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).
    ESPRESSO confirms the nearest exo-Earth with unprecedented precision

    An international team, in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias participated, as well as institutions in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has confirmed the presence of the extrasolar planet Proxima b using measurements of radial velocity with the ESPRESSO spectrograph, on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

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  • Artistic representation of the current interaction between the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy and the Milky Way. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).
    The evolutionary history of the Milky Way determined in more detail than ever

    Thanks to data from the Gaia mission, of the European Space Agency (ESA), and international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has presented a study which shows the crucial role of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy in the evolution of our galaxy. These results, published in the magazine Nature Astronomy, also hint that the Sun might have been formed due to one of the interactions of this nearby galaxy with the Milky Way.

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  • GTC spectrum corresponding to the period when the P-Cyg profiles indicate the highest wind velocity. The insets show a zoom-in of the characteristic P-Cyg blueshifted absorption, indicating a wind velocity above 2000 km/s (Hα; red, dotted-dashed line).
    The changing-look optical wind of the flaring X-ray transient Swift J1858.6-0814

    The large amount of mass and angular momentum carried by disc winds makes them key processes to understand accretion onto compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars. Here we present the discovery of an optical accretion disc wind in the X-ray transient Swift J1858.6-0814, a new binary system discovered in late 2018. Our 90-spectrum data set, taken with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), reveals the presence of conspicuous P-Cyg profiles in optical lines of helium and hydrogen. The evolution of these features indicates significant variations in the wind velocity, between a

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  • A snapshot from TESS of part of the southern sky showing the location of ν Indi (marked by the blue circle), the plane of the Milky Way (bottom left) and the southern ecliptic pole (top). These snapshots come from data collected in TESS observing sectors 1, 12 and 13 Credit: J. T. Mackereth.
    TESS satellite dates an ancient collision with our galaxy

    Earlier this year, a team of astrophysicists has revealed new insights on an ancient collision that our galaxy the Milky Way underwent with another smaller galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus early in its history. However the details on how and when that collision happened are not precisely known. The study of a single bright star called nu Indi, for which data from the NASA mission TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite), the ESA Gaia mission, and ground-based observations were combined, led to better characterize this event. Indeed, by applying a novel approach based on asteroseismology

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  • Planet absorption signature. a) In the stellar rest frame, the planetary absorption signal appears close to the expected Keplerian of the planet, superimposed in white with its 1σ uncertainty. Transit contacts are shown by white horizontal dashed lines. The gap around 0 km/s corresponds to the position of the Doppler shadow before its subtraction. b) In the planet rest frame, the shimmer is asymmetric and progressively blueshifts after ingress.
    Nightside condensation of iron in an ultrahot giant exoplanet

    Ultrahot giant exoplanets receive thousands of times Earth’s insolation. Their high-temperature atmospheres (greater than 2,000 kelvin) are ideal laboratories for studying extreme planetary climates and chemistry. Daysides are predicted to be cloud-free, dominated by atomic species and much hotter than nightside. Atoms are expected to recombine into molecules over the nightside, resulting in different day and night chemistries. Although metallic elements and a large temperature contrast have been observed, no chemical gradient has been measured across the surface of such an exoplanet

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