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.

  • Photometer SG-WAS. Credit: Miguel Rodríguez Alarcón (IAC).

    Completely autonomous, not invasive, and low cost. This is the new SG-WAS (SkyGlow Wireless Autonomous Sensor) which will help to measure the impact of artificial night lighting on the natural protected areas of Macaronesia.

    Advertised on
  • The  image shows the process of nuclear feeding of a black hole in the galaxy NGC 1566, and how the dust filaments - seen in white-blue colors- are trapped and rotating  in a spiral around the black hole  until the black hole  swallows them. Credit: ESO.

    The black holes at the centres of galaxies are the most mysterious objects in the Universe, not only because of the huge quantities of material within them, millions of times the mass of the Sun, but because of the incredibly dense concentration of matter in a volume no bigger than that of our Solar System. When they capture matter from their surroundings they become active, eventually giving rise to the ejection of huge amounts of energy. It is however difficult to detect the black hole during these capture episodes because the event is rare. We detected long and narrow dust filaments

    Advertised on
  • View of HH204, a Herbig-Haro object in the Orion Nebula. The left panel shows the Orion Nebula observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, picking out the area around HH204. In the right panel, we can see in detail the structure of HH204 and of its apparent companion, HH203. In this panel, the images by the Hubble Space Telescope taken during 20 years and artificially highlighted with different colours show the advance of the jets of gas through the Orion Nebula. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).

    An international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has uncovered, with an new high degree of detail, the physical and chemical effects of the impact of a protostellar jet in the interior of the Orion Nebula. The study was made using observations with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and 20 years of images with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The observations show evidence of compression and heating produced by the shock front, and the destruction of dust grains, which cause a dramatic increase in the gas phase abundance of the atoms of iron, nickel

    Advertised on
  • Image of the solar atmosphere showing a coronal mass ejection. Credit: NASA/SDO

    In 1998, the journal Nature published a seminal letter concluding that the mysterious polarization signal that had been recently discovered in the light emitted by the sodium atoms of the solar atmosphere implies that the solar chromosphere (a very important layer of the solar atmosphere) is practically unmagnetized, in sharp contradiction with common wisdom. This paradox motivated laboratory experiments and theoretical investigations, which instead of providing a solution, raised new issues and even led some scientists to question the quantum theory of radiation-matter interaction. In an

    Advertised on
  • Scatter plot of oscillation amplitude and damping ratio values for 101 loop oscillation cases. The symbols and their colors indicate the levels of evidence obtained for the nonlinear (NL) and the linear resonant absorption (RA) models.

    The solar coronal heating problem originated almost 80 years ago and remains unsolved. A plausible explanation lies in mechanisms based on magnetic wave energy dissipation. Currently, several linear and nonlinear wave damping models have been proposed. The advent of space instrumentation has led to the creation of catalogues containing the properties of a large number of loop oscillation events. When the damping ratio of the oscillations is plotted against their oscillation amplitude, the data are scattered forming a cloud with a triangular shape. Larger amplitudes correspond in general to

    Advertised on
  • Star formation density as a function of log(z+ 1).  Our results are the black dots and only for low-mass galaxies. Blue circles are data from the literature for high-mass galaxies.

    We present the analysis of a sample of Halpha, Hbeta and [OII] emission line galaxies from the OTELO survey, with masses typically below log(M*/Msun) = 9.4 and redshifts between 0.4<z<1.43. We study the star formation rate, star formation rate density, and number density and their evolution with redshift. We obtain a robust estimate of the specific star formation rate - stellar mass relation based on the lowest mass sample published so far. We also determine a flat trend of the star formation rate density and number density with redshift. Our results suggest a scenario of no evolution of the

    Advertised on