Two exoearths detected in the habitable zone of the red dwarf star GJ 1002

portada12 de diciembre de 2022

Using data from the Calar Alto CARMENES and VLT (ESO Chile) ESPRESSO spectrographs, an international team of astronomers has discovered two Earth-mass planets orbiting the GJ 1002 star, a red dwarf about 16 light-years away from the Sun. Both planets lie in the habitable zone of GJ 1002, like the two exoearths of another nearby red dwarf, Teegarden’s star, found by CARMENES in 2019.

Nature seems determined to prove that Earth-like exoplanets are very common. With these two, we already know seven of them in nearby systems”, explains Alejandro Suárez Mascareño, researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and lead author of the article, accepted for publication in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal.

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A long lasting and unexpected stellar explosion


Almeria (Spain), December 7th, 2022

Calar Alto has participated in the follow-up observations of a stellar explosion which lasted more than a minute and which cannot be explained with the current theoretical models of such bursts.

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic phenomena in the Universe, detectable even if they occur in galaxies millions of light-years away. They are classified as short or long GRBs, whether they last less or more than two seconds. Their duration is associated with their origin: long outbursts happen when very massive stars die, while short outbursts are related to the merger of two compact objects, such as neutron stars, black holes, or both.

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TARSIS: construction starts for the future instrument of the largest Calar Alto telescope.

Telescopio de 3.5 en CAHA

Almeria (Spain), 26 October 2022

TARSIS will be the next instrument to be installed on the 3.5-meter telescope at Calar Alto observatory. It is an integral field spectrograph with unique characteristics, capable of observing very wide fields in the near ultraviolet. TARSIS will make it possible to complete CATARSIS, a large survey of galaxy clusters, keeping Calar Alto at the forefront of astrophysical research.

On October 27-28th, 2022, the TARSIS kick-off meeting will take place at the University of Almería, marking the start of the development of the TARSIS instrument for the 3.5-meter telescope at Calar Alto observatory. This project is co-led by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), in close collaboration with the Calar Alto Observatory (Hispanic Astronomical Center in Andalusia, CAHA), three Andalusian universities (Almería, Granada and Seville), the Astrobiology Center (CAB, CSIC-INTA), the industrial partner FRACTAL S.L.N.E. and the Mexican INAOE.

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A bubble in the interstellar medium

portada es

August 9th 2022

Observations with Calar Alto instruments are helping to unveil the content and history of W40, a ‘hidden’ region in our galactic neighbourhood where massive stars have been forming in the past few million years.  

Only 1,600 light-years away, but hidden by dark patches of dust in the Milky Way in the constellation of Aquila (the Eagle), lies the W40 nebula. Although poorly known, W40 is a splendid example of a bipolar HII region, a type of nebula formed when newly born massive stars begin to heat up and ionize the clouds out of which they formed. The high pressures generated around those stars produce an expansion of the gas which eventually breaks out of the parental cloud, producing spectacular expanding bubbles, as shown by the picture of W40 obtained by the Spitzer Space Observatory at wavelengths between 3.6 and 24 microns. 

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