The Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), shortlisted in the COPINS program of CubeSats
The European Space Agency (ESA) recently announced the projects selected in the COPINS program competition, which will deploy a CubeSat (a type of nanosatelyte) around the binary asteroid 65803 Didymos within the joint mission Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) of the ESA and Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) of the NASA. This joint mission, named AIDA aims to test in situ and for the fisrt time the technology to deflect an asteroid.
L’Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec observarà l’objecte potencialment perillós que passarà dissabte a prop de la Terra [NOT TRANSLATED]
L’Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec (OAdM) de l’IEEC ja està preparat per observar amb el seu telescopi robòtic Joan Oró (TJO) l’objecte potencialment perillós 2015 TB145, que tindrà el seu moment de màxima aproximació a la Terra el proper dissabte 31 d’octubre a les 18:05 (hora continental europea). Aquest objecte, l’existència del qual es desconeixia fins fa només uns dies, ha despertat un enorme interès científic. Els experts creuen que podria tractar-se d’un cometa extint, i l’expectació per poder observar-lo és màxima. Es creu que els cometes, en les seves fases finals, es fragmenten i generen objectes que deixen de tenir activitat cometària i es comporten com asteroides.
Jordi Torra, nou director de l’Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) [NOT TRANSLATED]
Jordi Torra és el nou director de l’Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), càrrec que ocupa des del passat mes de juliol.
Jordi Torra, new director of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC)
Jordi Torra is the new director of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), since last July. He is Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Barcelona, where he gained his doctorate in Physics in 1984. Doctor Torra is a member of the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), one of the research centers that form the IEEC. He has been the principal researcher in several scientific projects and has published over a hundred papers. He currently leads the Spanish group taking part in the ESA’s Gaia mission.
ECLIPSI TOTAL DE LLUNA, 28 de setembre de 2015 [NOT TRANSLATED]
Retransmissió en directe a http://lluna2015.ub.edu/
Mapping the cosmos: Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter
- Analysis will help scientists understand the role that dark matter plays in galaxy formation.
I Astronomy Festival of Montseny
On 23 and 24 May there is an opportunity for all astronomy fans to gather together with the celebration of the First Astronomy Festival of Montseny, dedicated this year to honor the 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope , author from its advantageous point in space of some of the most impressive images we have seen of our Universe.
Observed the formation of a stellar jet in real time
- The observation over eighteen years shows the gestation of the ejection of matter through a bipolar jet in the early life of a massive star.
IEEC researchers determine the origin of Annama meteorite
An international team led by the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC) has determined the orbit of Annama, a new characterized meteorite from a fireball occurred on April 19th 2014 at the Kola Peninsula (Russia). Researchers highlight the importance of this finding because only the orbit of another 22 meteorites is known so far.
Solar Eclipse Live
On the occasion of the solar eclipse of March 20, IEEC will participate in various initiatives to bring the astronomical phenomenon to society.
Dark matter could be a Sun ingredient
• Scientists propose a theoretical solution to the ‘problem of solar composition’
Discovery of lithium in a stellar explosion
- Nature publishes new observational findings today that confirm a theory by scientists from Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (CSIC-IEEC).
Black hole gamma-ray lightning
The MAGIC telescopes at La Palma have recorded the fastest gamma-ray flares seen to date, produced in the vicinity of a super-massive black hole. The scientists explain this phenomenon by a mechanism similar to that producing lightning in a storm. This result, with an important Spanish contribution, is published today in Science. In the night from 12 to 13 November 2012, the MAGIC gamma-ray telescopes, in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, were observing the Perseus cluster of galaxies (at a distance of about 260 million light-years) when they detected this extraordinary phenomenon coming from one of the galaxies in the cluster, known as IC310. As many other galaxies, IC310 hosts in its center a super-massive black hole of several million times the mass of the Sun, which sporadically produces intense gamma-ray flares. On this occasion, however, the scientists were astonished by the brevity of the flares, lasting only for a few minutes. “Relativity tells us that no object can emit for a time shorter than it takes light to cross it. We know that the black hole in IC310 has a size of about 20 light-minutes, approximately three times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This means that the black hole cannot produce a flare shorter than 20 minutes”, says Julian Sitarek, a Juan de la Cierva researcher at IFAE (Barcelona), and one of the three leading scientists of this work. However, the flares observed in IC310 lasted for less than 5 minutes. The scientists of the MAGIC Collaboration propose a new mechanism, according to which this “gamma-ray storm” is produced in the vacuum regions created close to the black hole magnetic poles. Very intense electric fields appear in these regions, and are destroyed when they are filled again with charged particles. These particles are accelerated up to close the speed of light, subsequently transferring part of their energy to the photons they find in their way, thus converting them into gamma rays. The time needed for the light to cross one of these vacuum regions is of a few minutes, in agreement with the observations of IC310. “It is similar to what happens in an electric storm”, explains Oscar Blanch, Ramón y Cajal researcher at IFAE, and Co-Spokesman of the MAGIC Collaboration. “The potential difference is so large that it ends up discharging into a lightning”. In this case, the discharge reaches the highest energies observed in nature, and produces gamma rays. The black hole appears to be immersed in a storm of colossal proportions. Up until now, the gamma ray emissions from galaxies such as IC310 were believed to originate in the particle jets produced by the black holes. These jets are detected in many galaxies, and they expand for hundreds of thousands light-years. When a jet points directly towards the Earth, a relativistic effect, called “apparent superluminous motion”, is produced, due to the similar speeds at which the emitter (jet particles) and the emission (the gamma rays) travel toward us. As a result, the measured intensity of the gamma-ray emission is higher, and its variability faster. However, this explication does not apply to the case of IC310, as its jets do not point at us. The gamma rays must be created practically on the black hole itself. MAGIC is the present of a young yet fruitful field of science known as Ground-based Gamma-ray Astronomy. Its first steps at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias trace back to the 1980s, with the HEGRA telescopes. The imminent future of the field is the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), to be formed of about 100 telescopes at two observatories (in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres). The Spanish groups of the MAGIC Collaboration have presented a candidacy to build the CTA-North observatory at Roque de los Muchachos or at Teide. This is the best opportunity for Spain to host one of the major global scientific installations that will mark the progress of Astronomy in the years to come. MAGIC consists of two, 17-m diameter reflective telescopes, built and operated by an international collaboration of 160 scientists from Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Japan and India. MAGIC is celebrating its tenth anniversary with its fifth scientific publication in Science Magazine. Major contributions of the Spanish groups to the construction of MAGIC include the original camera of one of the telescopes, most of the electronics and the data center. The success of the experiment has been possible thanks to the quality of the sky at La Palma. The Spanish institutes participating in the experiment are: Instituto de Física de Altas Energías (IFAE, Barcelona), Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Universidad de Barcelona, Instituto de Ciencias del Espacio (CSIC, Barcelona), Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC, La Laguna), Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT, Madrid). Further information on MAGIC: https://wwwmagic.mpp.mpg.de/
A Black hole gamma-ray lightning was recorded in The Canary Islands
The scientists explain this phenomenon by a mechanism similar to that producing lightning in a stor
Un superbólido cruza el cielo de Catalunya [NOT TRANSLATED]