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.

  • 1ES 1927+654

    An international research, in which a team from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has participated, has provided new evidence for an enigmatic outburst from a galaxy 216 million light-years away, proposing a new interpretation based on a spontaneous flip of the magnetic field surrounding its central black hole. The study has used joint data from different satellites and telescopes, including the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), both located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). The results will be published in

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  • Una imagen ilustrada de un púlsar viuda negra y su compañera estelar. Créditos: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Cruz deWilde

    The research, carried out by an international group incuding the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) also show that the binary system has a third star orbiting it , and which could have originated from close to the centre of the Milky Way. While the Earth takes 365 days to complete its orbit round the Sun, the star which orbits the new found pulsar ZTF J1406+1222 does it in 62 minutes, which makes it a neutron star in a binary system termed a “black widow”, with the shortest period measured until now. These data were obtained using the ultra-high

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  • Rocky planets

    An international research, in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) participates, has discovered a new planetary system comprised of 4 planets orbiting the star TOI-500. This is the first system known to host an Earth analogue with a period shorter than one day and 3 additional low-mass planets whose orbital configuration can be explained via a non-violent and smooth migration scenario. The study is published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The inner planet, dubbed TOI-500b, is a so-called ultra-short period (USP) planet, as its orbital period is only 13 hours. It is regarded

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  • Iglesia Camino de Santiago

    A study led by the researcher of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Maitane Urrutia-Aparicio has shown the relevance of sunrise on Easter Sunday, one of the most important Christian festivities, in the orientation of Romanesque churches on the Camino de Santiago. This work exposes the close relationship between the sky and the orientation of the constructions of the Jacobean Route. It also shows that medieval societies already included temporal symbolism in the construction of their temples. The latest research results have been published in the journal Sustainability. "The main

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  • Spectra obtained with ESPRESSO, corresponding to three different transitions in an absorbing system at z=1.15 towards the quasar HE0515-4414, compared with previous spectra on the same object obtained with the UVES and HARPS spectrographs, at lower spectral resolution.

    Many of the most basic and important physical phenomena are determined by a set of “fundamental constants”, whose values are experimentally known to high accuracy. A key aspect is to know whether they are “universal constants”, i.e., whether they have always had the same value across the Universe and throughout its history. Here we made use of data from the ESPRESSO spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in order to determine the value of the fine structure constant 8 thousand million years ago (when the Universe was just 40% its current age) by measuring spectral transitions in a

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  • telescopios MAGIC

    Scientists from the MAGIC collaboration, using a system of two 17m diameter imaging air Cherenkov telescopes located on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, have detected very high energy gamma-rays from a recurrent nova in the Milky Way. This event is the first one that has been detected at such energies and may provide new insight into this class of eruptions, and the potential role they play for producing the mysterious highly energetic cosmic rays that permeate the Milky Way. The researchers present the results of their observations and insights they gained into this type of stellar

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