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.

  • Irene González Hernández

    The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and its Solar Physics Division (SPD) sponsors an Honorary Prize in memory of Irene González Hernández (La Orotava, Tenerife, Spain, 20 October 1969 - Tucson, AZ, 13 February 2014), a solar physicist who completed her doctoral thesis at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). This prize will be awarded annually to a scientist for a significant contribution to the study of the Sun in a person’s mid-career. The recipient will be invited to deliver a González Hernández Prize lecture at a meeting of the Division and/or the Society. The prize-winner

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  • Planetary Nebula M57

    It is well known that fullerenes – big, complex, and highly resistant carbon molecules with potential applications in nanotechnology – are mostly seen in planetary nebulae (PNe); old dying stars with progenitor masses similar to our Sun. Fullerenes, like C60 and C70, have been detected in PNe whose infrared (IR) spectra are dominated by broad unidentified IR (UIR) plateau emissions. The identification of the chemical species (structure and composition) responsible for such UIR emission widely present in the Universe is a mystery in astrochemistry; although they are believed to be carbon-rich

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  • Unveiling of the plaque of the Francisco Sánchez Astrophysics Centre on La Palma,

    The Deputy Director of the IAC, Casiana Muñoz Tuñón praises the bravery and persistence shown by Francisco Sánchez which enabled the IAC to be recognized as one of the best centres in the world for research in astrophysics. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) hosted this morning the ceremony to rename the Centre of Astrophysics on La Palma (CALP) as CALP Francisco Sánchez, in honour of the person who was the first Professor of astrophysics in Spain, and the founder of the IAC. Those taking part in the ceremony included the Founding Director of the IAC, Francisco Sánchez Martínez

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  • Planetary nebula M57

    A pioneering study from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) which combines laboratory chemistry with astrophysics, has shown for the first time that grains of dust formed by carbon and hydrogen in a highly disordered state, known as HAC, can take part in the formation of fullerenes, carbon molecules which are of key importance for the development of life in the universe, and with potential applications in nanotechnology. The results are published as a Letter to the Editor in the prestigious journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Fullerenes are carbon molecules which are very big

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  •  Merging binary

    An international piece of research, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has found clues to the nature of some of the brightest and hottest stars in our Universe, called blue supergiants. Although these stars are commonly observed, their origin has been an old puzzle that has been debated for several decades. By simulating novel stellar models and analysing a large data sample in the Large Magellanic Cloud, IAC researchers have found strong evidence that most blue supergiants may have formed from the merger of two stars bound in a binary system. The study is published in the

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  •  Asteroid near Mars

    Using observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) a study led from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) has confirmed that the asteroid 2023 FW14, discovered last year, is accompanying the red planet in its journey around the Sun, ahead of Mars and in the same orbit. With this new member, the group of Trojans which accompany Mars has increased in number to 17. But it shows differences in its orbit and chemical composition which may indicate that it is a captured asteroid, of a primitive type. The results are published in

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