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.

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  • A pulsating white dwarf in an eclipsing binary
    Scientists discover the first pulsating white dwarf in an eclipsing binary system

    An international research, led by scientists from the University of Sheffield and with the participation of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, has discovered, using the HiPERCAM instrument of the Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma), an ancient pulsating star in a double star system. The discovery, which is published in the journal Nature Astronomy, provides important information about how stars like our Sun evolve and eventually die.

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  • Project video cover
    The IAC presents the video of the POLMAG project

    The IAC presents a public outreach video about the project “Polarized Radiation Diagnostics for Exploring the Magnetism of the Outer Solar Atmosphere” (POLMAG). In this video, several POLMAG scientists explain the basic aspects of the project. The POLMAG research group was created in January 2018 within the framework of the Advanced Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) to Javier Trujillo Bueno (CSIC Research Professor and IAC Senior Scientist). POLMAG aims at novel advances in the development and application of polarized radiation diagnostic methods for exploring the magnetic

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  • Multiband image of the interacting pair Arp 70 obtained from the SDSS archive. On the left, Arp 70b, the galaxy studied in this work. Credit: SDSS
    A huge superbubble observed in an interacting galaxy

    Research led by Artemi Camps, who started it while he was studying for his doctorate in the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the University of La Laguna, and is now working at the Instituto de Astronomía of the UNAM (México) has discovered an expanding bubble in the disc of a galaxy. With a diameter of 15,000 light years, it is the largest bubble of its type observed in any galaxy. The study has recently been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. A galaxy like the Milky Way is made up of hundreds of thousands of millions of stars, with a mixture

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  • A realistic artist’s impression of WASP-76b atmosphere
    Observed: an exoplanet where it rains iron

    Nature magazine is publishing today a surprising study about the giant, ultra-hot planet WASP-76b in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have taken part. This exoplanet, 390 light years away towards the constellation Pisces, has days when its surface temperatures exceed 2,400 Celsius, sufficiently hot to evaporate metals. Its nights, with strong winds, cool down the iron vapour so that it condenses into drops of iron. This is the first result with the high resolution spectrograph ESPRESSO, an instrument co-directed by the IAC and installed on teh Very Large

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  • Artistic impression of one of the SPECULOOS telescopes, with the binary brown dwarf eclipsing in the sky
    Observed: an occultation of a brown dwarf by another

    An international team of astronomers in the project SPECULOOS, dedicated to the search for habitable planets, with scientists participating from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has discovered an eclipse (termed an occultation) in a peculiar brown dwarf formed by two stars orbiting around each other. The results are just published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The finding was by chance, when the scientists were working on the results from the first light of one of the four telescopes of the project, in Chile. Shortly after the building of the first SECULOOS telescopes, and

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  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell next to the radiotelescope she built. Cortesy of Martin Burnell
    Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the woman who discovered pulsars

    When Jocelyn Bell Burnell failed an important exam at the age of 10 she did not expect to become one of the most relevant figures in astronomy. Nor when she began work on her doctoral thesis did she expect to discover an unknown type of star. The story of Jocelyn Bell is one of serendipity, perseverance, the “impostor syndrome” and “little green men”. In honour of her career she will have her own star in the Passage of Science in La Palma. So she will receive the homage which the Island pays to notable scientific figures, such as Stephen Hawking, Alekséi Leonov, Takaaki Kajita, and Samuel

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