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.

  • Illustration of the formation of a planet round a star similar to the Sun, with rocks and iron molecules, the basic components of planets, in the foreground. Credit: Tania Cunha (Planetário do Porto - Centro Ciência Viva & Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço).

    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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  • Artist impression of a quasar

    According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity gravity affects light as well as matter. One consequence of this theory, based on the Principle of Equivalence, is that the light which escapes from a region with a strong gravitational field loses energy on its way, so that it becomes redder, a phenomenon known as the gravitational redshift. Quantifying this gives a fundamental test of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. Until now this test had been performed only on bodies in the nearby universe, but thanks to the use of a new experimental procedure scientists at the Instituto de

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  • Example of the book “In a certain place in the Universe….” Published by the IAC. Photo: Inés Bonet

    This publication from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) contains the literary and graphic contributions of important figures in current literatura in Spanish, who were invited to discover the Canary sky within the project “In a certain place in the Universe….”. As a result of this experience, and inspired by the Universe the authors have produced the texts in this volume, which is a limited edition by the IAC, who has donated it for publicity and sales to the Association of Family members and Carers of those suffering from Alzheimer and other mental afflictions, of Tenerife

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  • Piero Benvenuti

    Since it started on October 3rd the conference “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society” has been discussing the consequences of artificial lighting at night (ALAN). But on Tuesday and Wednesday October 5th and 6th specialists from all over the world are discussing, on-line, solutions which reconcile the development of recent satellite constellations with scientific activity, and humanity’s right to enjoy the starry sky. Prof. Piero Benvenuto, the representative of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and one of

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  • Poster Dark & Quiet Skies

    Yesterday saw the start of the Conference on Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society) organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) with the support of NOIRLab (The National Laboratory for Research in Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Science Foundation (NSF). As had been announced a few months ago, after last year’s Workshop, the aim of this new meeting is to focus on putting into practice the recommendations made in the exhaustive report which resulted

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  • The mass–concentration relation from dark matter simulations (blue line), and from hydrodynamical simulations of galaxies (open and solid circles). The red square and triangle show galaxy AGC242019 for a cuspy halo fit and for our shallow fit used in this work. Our results agree with theoretical expectations.

    A central question regarding ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) is whether they are in a separate category from low-surface-brightness (LSB) galaxies, or just their natural continuation toward low stellar masses. In this Letter, we show that the rotation curve of the gas rich UDG AGC 242019 is well fit by a dark matter halo with an inner slope that asymptotes to ~-0.54, and that such a fit provides a concentration parameter that matches theoretical expectations. This finding, together with previous works in which shallow inner profiles are derived for UDGs, shows that the structural properties of

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