The "planet-hunter" CARMENES studies evaporating atmospheres and water vapor beyond the Solar System

portadaDecember 6th 2018

Three studies with the infrared channel of the CARMENES instrument, developed at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), are published in the journals "Science" and "Astronomy & Astrophysics"

CARMENES opens a door to the study from the ground of the composition of exoplanetary atmospheres, their escape processes and their clouds and aerosols

With more than three thousand eight hundred extrasolar planets detected to date, the next step is to describe their characteristics and know these worlds in detail. And CARMENES, a high-resolution spectrograph co-developed by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia and installed at the Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA, Almería), is positioning itself as a leading instrument: it has analyzed the proportion of helium and water vapor in the atmospheres of several exoplanets, offering data with better resolution than those of the Hubble Space Telescope and opening new avenues in atmospheric studies.

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Calar Alto Observatory has just installed a new IT virtualization infrastructure

Virtualizacion FEDER

November 30th 2018

Calar Alto Observatory has just installed a new computer infrastructure based on the virtualization of the servers

In an astronomical observatory, like Calar Alto, IT is fundamental: Control of telescopes and scientific instrumentation, data acquisition, data storage and its efficient management and making them available to the scientific community relays on the IT infrastructure. Besides the correct exploitation of last generation instruments like CARMENES or PANIC, needs a huge amount of IT resources, as well as the research or administrative activity of the center. In order to proportionate an adequate IT infrastructure, the Calar Alto server virtualization has just been finished, a project executed by Calar Alto engineering staff and funds with ERDF.

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A new instrument for studying galaxies in the local universe from Calar Alto


November 27th 2018

LUCA is proposed as a new generation instrument for the Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA) 3.5-m telescope.

The project, conceived at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), has been selected by the observatory's advisory committee to finance the feasibility study, managed by the University of Almería (UAL).

Calar Alto Observatory remains at the forefront of Astronomy thanks to its firm commitment with technological renovation, which resulted this year in the call for the development of a new instrument for the 3.5-m telescope. The selected project has been LUCA (Local Universe from Calar Alto), which aims to unravel physical processes at small enough scale to study how the star formation and evolution affects the formation and evolution of galaxies in our local universe.

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Super-Earth discovered around the second nearest stellar system


November 14th 2018

An international team finds an exoplanet with three times the mass of the Earth around the red dwarf Barnard, the closest star to the Sun after the Alpha Centauri system

The team has used observations taken in 18 years combined with the CARMENES planet-hunter spectrograph at Calar Alto Observatory

Just six light-years away, Barnard's star moves in Earth's night sky faster than any other star. This red dwarf, smaller and older than our Sun, is among the least active red dwarfs known, so it represents an ideal target to search for exoplanets. Now, an international team led by researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has found a cold Super-Earth orbiting around the Barnard´s star, the second closest star system to Earth. It is the first time that astronomers have discovered this type of exoplanet using the radial velocity method. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature.

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