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.

  • SHARKS

    The first data release of the SHARKS public survey, led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), was provided to the astrophysical community today. This project, which has reached its first milestone, uses the 4-metre VISTA telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile to map large portions of the sky in the near-infrared, a range of the spectrum invisible to the human eye. The near-infrared wavelength range, a type of light imperceptible to the human eye, allows us to explore regions of the Universe that are obscured by cosmic dust or are too cold to

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  • Norbert Langer

    Professor Norbert Langer is currently head of the Stellar Physics Group at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (Bonn, Germany). Considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of theoretical stellar Astrophysics, for more than three decades he has been researching the evolution of high mass, from their early stages to the point when they explode as supernovae. These stars play an important role in the evolution of their host galaxies. However, their short lifetime makes them very difficult to observe, raising many questions about their nature. A correct interpretation of the

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  • Spectra of the C-19 member stars observed with OSIRIS, normalized using a running mean filter after removing the velocity signal in the rest frame (black lines), together with the best fit (blue lines) derived by adopting a fitting procedure. The metallicity, [Fe/H], computed from [M/H] and [Ca/H] is also indicated for each star.

    Stellar ejecta gradually enrich the gas out of which subsequent stars form, making the least chemically enriched stellar systems direct fossils of structures formed in the early universe. Although a few hundred stars with metal content below one thousandth of the solar iron content are known in the Galaxy, none of them inhabit globular clusters, some of the oldest known stellar structures. These show metal content of at least ~0.2 percent of the solar metallicity ([Fe/H] > -2.7). This metallicity floor appears universal and it has been proposed that proto-galaxies that merge into the

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  • Nebulosa y M31

    A recent study led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has resolved an old debate about the progenitor stars of the brightest planetary nebulae. The first author of this article, which has just been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, is Rebeca Galera Rosillo, a doctoral student at the IAC who passed away in 2020 when she was finishing this work for her doctoral thesis. The first and most important datum needed to grasp the nature of the universe is to know its size, to measure the distance to the galaxies. Just as in the Renaissance people began

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  • Left panel: spatial distribution of the auroral [N II] λ5755 emission line in the PN M 1-42 prior to applying the recombination contribution. Middle panel: spatial distribution of the N II λ5679 recombination line. Right panel: same as left panel after applying the recombination contribution correction.

    We present a detailed study of the gas chemical abundances in planetary nebulae (PNe), the final fate of solar-like stars, through high spatial resolution Integral Field Unit spectroscopy (IFU) obtained with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) attached to the 8.2-m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. We focused on three PNe with high abundance discrepancy factors (ADF > 20), which is a well-known and major unresolved problem in nebular astrophysics: chemical abundances obtained from faint optical recombination lines (ORL) yield systematically larger values than those obtained from

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  • Images calendar 2022

    The Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture (UC3) of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in collaboration with the Museum of Science and the Cosmos (Museums of Tenerife) has edited an astronomical wall calendar, with astronomical ephemerides for the year 2022, which can be consulted and downloaded in digital form and can be obtained in physical form at the IAC Headquarters in La Laguna (Tenerife) and at the Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP), in Breña Baja (La Palma). The 12 astronomical images which illustrate it have been obtained by astrophotographer Daniel López

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