Severo Ochoa Programme

Research News

  • GJ 367 b

    An international team, including researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has discovered an extrasolar planet with half the mass of the Earth that takes approximately eight hours to orbit its parent star, a red dwarf just under 31 light-years from Earth. Called GJ 367 b, it is one of the lightest among the nearly 5.000 exoplanets known today. With a diameter of just over 9000 kilometres, this sub-Earth is slightly larger than Mars. The discovery not only demonstrates that it is possible to precisely determine the event the smallest, least massive exoplanets, but also

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  • V1298 Tau

    An international team of scientists, in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) participate together with other institutions from Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, UK, and Mexico, has been able to measure the masses of the giant planets of the V1298 Tau system, just 20 million year old. Masses for such young giant planets had not been obtained previously, and this is the first evidence that these objects have already reached their final size at very early stages of their evolution. For this study they have used radial velocity measurements from the HARPS-N

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  • Image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Einstein ring GAL-CLUS-022058s, located in the constellation of Fornax. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, S. Jha; Acknowledgment: L. Shatz

    In December 2020 a team from the European Space Agency (ESA) published an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) of GAL-CLUS-022058s, the biggest and one of the most complete Einstein rings discovered, situated towards the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax. Since then, those observations have been used to develop a model of gravitational lenses which has enabled the study of the physical properties of the amplified galaxies.

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  • 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

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  • Artist’s impression of the L 98-59 planetary system. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

    An international team of astronomers, in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has participated, has found an exoplanetary system formed by several planets similar to the inner planets of the Solar System, orbiting around the nearby star L 98-59. Among them there is a planet with half the mass of Venus -the lowest mass exoplanet ever measured using the radial velocity technique-, an oceanic planet, and a planet possibly within the habitable zone.

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  • Artist’s impression of the Nu2 Lupi planetary system. Credit: ESA.

    The exoplanet satellite hunter CHEOPS of the European Space Agency (ESA), in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) is participating along with other European institutions, has unexpectedly detected a third planet passing in front of its star while it was exploring two previously known planets around the same star. This transit, according to researchers, will reveal exciting details about a strange planet “without a known equivalent”.

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