18 billions of suns support Einstein

oj287_teaserAstronomers have confirmed the binary nature of OJ 287, a very massive black hole in the centre of a very distant galaxy in the constellation of Cancer. A central black hole, with a mass equal to 18 billion times that of the Sun, is orbited by a smaller one, and the interaction of the system with its surroundings produces brightness changes that allow astronomers to study the evolution of the orbit. This evolution is dominated by one of the most intriguing predictions of Einstein's theory of General Relativity: the emission of gravitational waves. This outstanding confirmation of Einstein's centennary theory has been recently published in the journal Nature, and Calar Alto staff, telescopes and instruments have contributed to the discovery...

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The great design spiral galaxy M74 on a bad night

m74_teaserThe ALHAMBRA project, whose Principal Investigator is Professor Mariano Moles (Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia, Granada) and is performed with the 3.5 m telescope of Calar Alto Observatory (Almería), has obtained an impressive image of the outstanding spiral galaxy M74, an object placed at approximately 30 millions of light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces...

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Calar Alto Instrumentation Workshop

workshop

Calar Alto invites the community to participate in the Calar Alto Instrumentation Workshop on the next generation instrument for the 3.5m. This workshop will take place in Granada, June 11-13, will gather ideas for future instrumentation, and will precede a Call for Proposals for instruments.

Colossal star formation in a dwarf galaxy (photo release)

NGC 2366NGC 2366 is a dwarf galaxy placed at a distance of 11 millions of light-years (3.4 millions of parsecs). Its irregular shape and stellar content make it similar to the Magellanic Clouds, the two irregular dwarf galaxies very close to our own. For scale, NGC 2366 is about 20 000 light-years wide, what makes it twice as large as the Large Magellanic Cloud, and four times larger than the Small Magellanic Cloud, but still classified as a dwarf galaxy...

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