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.

  • Upper panel: artistic view of the merger of Gaia-Enceladus with the Milky Way progenitor, and the CMD inferred for their stars 10 billion years ago. Lower panel: artistic view of the current Milky Way and the CMD of the stars in the halo near the Sun, as observed by the Gaia satellite.
    The early sequence of events that shaped the Milky Way

    Among the myriad discoveries presented in the second data release of the Gaia mission, there was an enigmatic color-magnitude diagram (CMD) of Milky Way halo stars, showing a striking double (blue/red) sequence. The blue sequence was linked to a major merger that our Galaxy experienced early in its history (Gaia-Enceladus). The origin of the red sequence was unclear, and it was generally associated, because of its chemical composition, with the Milky Way thick disk. However, the lack of accurate ages precluded a clear understanding of its nature. We compared this double-sequenced observed

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  • A view of the Mayall Telescope (tallest telescope at right) at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)
    DESI opens its 5.000 eyes to capture the colors of the Cosmos

    The new instrument, the result of an international collaboration of almost a hundred institutions, including the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, has made its first trial observation. Designed to explore the mystery of dark energy, its installation is about to be completed at the Mayall telescope of the Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona (United States).

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  • GTC and Milky Way
    Free access to the largest catalogue of objects observed by Grantecan

    The Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), via the Spanish Virtual Observatory, is offering the scientific community and the general public a catalogue of more than 600,000 astronomical sources observed by the OSIRIS instrument on the Gran Telescopio Canarias.

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  • Physics Nobel Prize Winners 2019
    Didier Queloz, Physics Nobel Prize Winner 2019, Is Developing an Advanced Terrestrial Planet Hunter for the Isaac Newton Telescope

    The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) and the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) warmly congratulate James Peebles (Princeton University), Michel Mayor (University of Geneva) and Didier Queloz (Universities of Geneva and Cambridge) on the award of the Physics Nobel Prize 2019. The Swedish Academy awarded the prize "for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth's place in the cosmos". For Mayor and Queloz, the award recognises their discovery, published in 1995, of the first planet outside the solar system, orbiting a solar-type star

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  • Artist’s impression of the star GJ 3512, a red dwarf of approximately one tenth of the mass of the Sun, on which the newly discovered exoplanet GJ 3512b, a gas giant of high mass, orbits an unusual planet in this type of planetary systems.
    A giant exoplanet orbiting a very-low-mass star challenges planet formation models

    Surveys have shown that super-Earth and Neptune-mass exoplanets are more frequent than gas giants around low-mass stars, as predicted by the core accretion theory of planet formation. We report the discovery of a giant planet around the very-low-mass star GJ 3512, as determined by optical and near-infrared radial-velocity observations. The planet has a minimum mass of 0.46 Jupiter masses, very high for such a small host star, and an eccentric 204-day orbit. Dynamical models show that the high eccentricity is most likely due to planet-planet interactions. We use simulations to demonstrate

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    EMIR and MEGARA, two instruments giving excellent results on GRANTECAN

    The two spectrographs on the Gran Telescopio Canarias have reached their full operating level and have become two of the most requested instruments for observing time on this major telescope which has produced over 500 publications in high level journals and has accumulated over 10,000 citations.

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