Almeria (Spain), November 29th, 2023
Using images from space telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found a remarkable system of six planets orbiting in a synchronized manner -- in resonance -- the relatively bright and nearby star HD110067.
The planetary system, first detected by dedicated satellites catching the tiny eclipses provoked by the planets passing in front of their star, was followed-up with the CARMENES spectrograph at Calar Alto, to infer the masses of the planets, all found to be in the sub-Neptune regime.
HD110067 is to date the closest, rare resonant planetary system unperturbed for over a billion years. It will be further monitored with CARMENES on the CAHA 3.5 m telescope.
In the northern constellation of Coma Berenices stands a star named HD110067. Although it is ten times too faint to be visible to the naked eye from the still dark Calar Alto skies, it is an orange dwarf star close thus bright enough to be visible with common binoculars, as it lies only about 100 light-years away from the Sun, albeit it is 20% smaller than our star.
Almeria (Spain), July 14th, 2023
CARMENES studies the puffiest known exoplanet atmosphere.
An international team of researchers has used the CARMENES spectrograph to study the atmosphere of HAT-P-67b, the largest but least dense transiting gas giant known to date. From the Calar Alto data, the puffy atmosphere of the exoplanet appears highly ionized and could be escaping at a rate of 10 million tons per second.
Planets in our solar system have vastly different atmospheres. The atmospheres of planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, show an even richer diversity, and one of the goals of modern astronomy is to characterize this diversity.
Almeria (Spain), June 28th, 2023
In the framework of the CAVITY project, an ongoing legacy program at Calar Alto, researchers from the University of Granada show, for the first time, that galaxies located in cosmic voids assemble theirs stars more slowly than galaxies in filaments, walls and clusters.
Galaxies are mass concentrations in which the gas from the Universe condenses under the action of gravity forming thousands of millions of stars. As the bricks of a house, the galaxies are the fundamental building blocks that conform the large-scale structure of the Universe. These galaxies are distributed in a sponge-like web characterized by the different large scale structure environments: dense clusters, elongated filaments, sheet-like walls and low density regions called ‘cosmic voids’.
April 26th 2023
The cameras that monitor permanently the Calar Alto sky have been able to record an aurora borealis on the night of Sunday, April 23, 2023, an exceptional sighting in Andalusia. The visibility of the phenomenon at the latitude of the observatory confirms the power of the solar eruption that took place a couple of days before and the exquisite transparency of the skies over Calar Alto.
During an aurora borealis (and australis), the night sky gets illuminated from red to blue and green colors. This is due to the solar wind, a variable stream of charged particles (protons and electrons) emitted by our star, which interacts with the upper atmosphere following Earth's magnetic field lines that pass through the poles.
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