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.

  • Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, visited last Wednesday the Centre for Astrophysics’ facilities in La Palma (CALP) to know the impact of the volcanic eruption on the personnel and on the operation of the facilities at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). During her visit, she held a meeting with IAC Director Rafael Rebolo, which was also attended by the Director of the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), Romano Corradi, and the ORM Site Manager, Juan Carlos Pérez Arencibia. Accompanying the Minister were the General Secretary of Research, Raquel

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  • One of the most interesting questions for astrophysicists for the past few decades is how and when did the first galaxies form. One of the possible answers to “how” is that star formation in the first galaxies took place at a steady rate, building up a system with increasing mass. Another possibility is that the formation was more violent and discontinuous, with intense bursts of star formation, on short timescales, triggered by events such as galaxy mergers and strong concentrations of gas.

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  • Newly formed stars have protoplanetary discs around them. A fraction of the material in the disc condenses into planet-forming chunks, and the rest finally falls into the star. Because of their common origin, researchers have assumed that the composition of these chunks and that of the rocky planets with low masses should be similar to that of their host stars. However, until now the Solar System was the only available reference for the astronomers.

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  • All the main components of the new multiobject spectrograph WEAVE on the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma) have arrived on the island. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has played an outstanding role in the design and production of the parts of this instrument, the work of an international collaboration, which will start its commissioning after immediate integration on the telescope.

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  • An international team of scientists led from the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to study a representative sample of galaxies, both disc and spheroidal, in a deep sky zone in the constellation of the Great Bear to characterize the properties of the stellar populations of galactic bulges. The researchers have been able to determine the mode of formation and development of these galactic structures. The results of this study were recently published in The Astrophysical

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  • An international team of astrophysicists led by the Stellar Astrophysics Group of the University of Alicante (UA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and the University of Valparaíso (Chile) has discovered a massive cluster of stars of intermediate age in the direction of the Scutum constellation. This object, which has been named Valparaíso 1, lies some seven thousand light years away from the Sun, and contains at least fifteen thousand stars. To detect it, observations have been combined from ESA’s Gaia satellite, and various ground-based telescopes, including the Isaac Newton

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