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.

  • WISE1810 - Metal-poor brown dwarf

    A study, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has confirmed the presence of an unusual metal-poor brown dwarf less than 30 light-years away from the Sun. Its proximity could suggest a possible overabundance of brown dwarfs formed in the early stages of the Milky Way. Several telescopes located at the observatories of Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma) and Calar Alto (Almería) have been used in the investigation. The results are published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. On a cosmic scale, our immediate neighbourhood is composed of just a few hundred stars and brown

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  • The amplitude of metallicity variations (indicated by the height of the colored rectangles) in neutral clouds is much larger and inconsistent with that found in HII regions, B-type stars, classical Cepheids and young open clusters.

    In this work we discuss and confront recent results on metallicity variations in the local interstellar medium, obtained from observations of H II regions by our group and neutral clouds (from literature) of the Galactic thin disk, and compare them with recent high-quality metallicity determinations of other tracers of the chemical composition of the interstellar medium as B-type stars, classical Cepheids, and young clusters. We find that the metallicity variations obtained for these last kinds of objects are consistent with each other and with that obtained for H II regions but

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  • The Near InfraRed Planet Searcher (NIRPS) instrument and its adaptive optics system

    Researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have participated in the development of NIRPS, an instrument recently installed on the 3.6m telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is now hunting for exoplanets around the coolest stars in the Milky Way from the La Silla Observatory, in Chile. The Near InfraRed Planet Searcher (NIRPS) has successfully carried out its first observations. “This remarkable infrared instrument will help us to find the nearest habitable worlds to our Solar System” states René Doyon, the Director of the Institute for Exoplanetary

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  • Scheme of RS Ophiuchi. Matter from the red giant and captured by the white dwarf generates a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of the latter. The ejected material creates a shock wave where particles are accelerated that produce the gamma radiation. Credit G. Pérez-IAC

    Classical novae are cataclysmic binary star systems in which the matter of a companion star is accreted on a white dwarf. Accumulation of hydrogen in a layer eventually causes a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of the white dwarf, brightening the white dwarf to ~100.000 solar luminosities and triggering ejection of the accumulated matter. Novae provide the extreme conditions required to accelerate particles, electrons or protons, to high energies. Here we present the detection of gamma rays by the MAGIC telescopes from the 2021 outburst of RS Ophiuchi, a recurrent nova with a red giant

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  • Atmósfera y estructura interna de Gliese 486 b

    An international scientific team, with the participation of the Institutito de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has measured the mass and radius of an Earth-like exoplanet with unprecedented accuracy. The detailed analysis allows to make robust predictions on the structure and composition of its interior and atmosphere. The study is published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Since the first exoplanet around a solar-like star, 51 Pegasi b, was discovered in 1995, the astronomical community has continued to find new exoplanets that are less and less massive, closer and closer, and more

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