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.

  • An example of a nearby spiral galaxy, M81, where the bulge is easily identified as the central redder part, and the disc, dotted with zones where stars are currently forming and appear as blue regions forming spiral arms. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA.

    An international team of scientists led from the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA), with participation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to study a representative sample of galaxies, both disc and spheroidal, in a deep sky zone in the constellation of the Great Bear to characterize the properties of the stellar populations of galactic bulges. The researchers have been able to determine the mode of formation and development of these galactic structures. The results of this study were recently published in The Astrophysical

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  • IACTEC students

    Since it started in 2017 this technological and business unit of the IAC has hosted over 20 university students for short term stays. Thanks to this training programme the students develop their technological capabilities and improve their aptitutde for working locally in the field of technology. One of the aims of IACTEC, in its role as the IAC’s unit of collaboration between the public and private sectors, is to build up the fabric of local high technogy companies in areas close to the IAC’s specialities. To support this productive structure IACTEC offers training opportunities, mainly to

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  • View of the cluster if the contamination of stars and dust that hides it could be removed. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).

    An international team of astrophysicists led by the Stellar Astrophysics Group of the University of Alicante (UA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and the University of Valparaíso (Chile) has discovered a massive cluster of stars of intermediate age in the direction of the Scutum constellation. This object, which has been named Valparaíso 1, lies some seven thousand light years away from the Sun, and contains at least fifteen thousand stars. To detect it, observations have been combined from ESA’s Gaia satellite, and various ground-based telescopes, including the Isaac Newton

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  • Supermassive black holes in active galaxies show accretion states similar to those seen in stellar-mass black holes in our galaxy. Credit: Teo Muñoz Darias/Juan A. Fernández Ontiveros

    The researchers Juan A. Fernández-Ontiveros, of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) in Rome and Teo Muñoz-Darias, of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have written an article in which they describe the different states of activity of a large sample of supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies. They have classified them using the behaviour of their closest “relations”, the stellar mass black holes in X-ray binaries. The article has just been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

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  • Graphic representation of the precessing warp of the Milky Way disc. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).

    An investigation carried out by the astrophysicists of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) Žofia Chrobáková, a doctoral student at the IAC and the University of La Laguna (ULL), and Martín López Corredoira, questions one of the most interesting findings about the dynamics of the Milky Way in recent years: the precession, or the wobble in the axis of rotation of the disc warp is incorrect. The results have just been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

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  • European Solar Telescope (EST). Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC)

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI for its initials in Spanish) of the Canary Observatories has given the go-ahead for the siting of the installation of the European Solar Telescope (EST) at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). The decision, taken at the first of the biannual meetings of the Committee, held virtually, implies the construction of the largest European infrastructure dedicated to solar observations, and the strengthening of the position of the Canaries as the place with the largest concentration of solar telescopes in the world.

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