Ultra-hot gas around remnants of Sun-like stars

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November 7th 2018

Solving a decades-old mystery, an international team of astronomers have discovered an extremely hot magnetosphere around a white dwarf, a remnant of a star like our Sun. The work, making use of Calar Alto data, was led by Dr Nicole Reindl, Research Fellow of the Royal Commission 1851, based at the University of Leicester, and is published today (7 November) in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

White dwarfs are the final stage in the lives of stars like our Sun. At the end of its life, these stars eject their outer atmospheres, leaving behind a hot, compact and dense core that cools over billions of years. The temperature on their surfaces is typically around 100,000 degrees Celsius (in comparison the surface of the Sun is 5800 degrees).

Some white dwarfs though challenge scientists, as they show evidence for highly ionised metals. In astronomy ‘metals’ describe every element heavier than helium, and high ionisation here means that all but one of the outer electrons usually in their atoms have been stripped away. That process needs a temperature of 1 million degrees Celsius, so far higher than the surface of even the hottest white dwarf stars.

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La Junta prevé destinar el próximo año el 50% del presupuesto de funcionamiento del Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto

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 8 de Octubre de 2018

La Consejería de Conocimiento se incorporará al 50% al complejo científico en enero de 2019.

La consejera de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidad, Lina Gálvez, ha anunciado en su visita al Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto que la Junta de Andalucía prevé destinar el próximo año el 50% del presupuesto de funcionamiento de este complejo científico, una estimación inicial que tendrá que consignarse finalmente en los presupuestos de 2019.

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La Junta se incorporará al Observatorio de Calar Alto en enero de 2019

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2 de Octubre de 2018

La Junta de Andalucía se incorporará en enero de 2019 a la Agrupación de interés económico del Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto (Almería), en sustitución del Instituto Alemán Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. La consejera de Conocimiento, Investigación y UniversidadLina Gálvez, ha informado al Consejo de Gobierno del proceso de adhesión que gestiona su departamento para garantizar, junto con el Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), la continuidad de este complejo científico de primer nivel, cuya operaciones son cogestionadas científicamente por el Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)

Considerada la principal infraestructura de astronomía observacional en la Europa continental, sus instalaciones son actualmente una referencia mundial tanto por los telescopios y la instrumentación de vanguardia como por la calidad del cielo en su emplazamiento de la Sierra de los Filabres.

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CARMENES instrument gets the first exoplanet detection alerts from TESS (MIT-NASA) mission

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September 20th 2018

It is expected that the TESS mission, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and NASA, finds about one thousand five hundred planets around other stars in its two years of operation.

CARMENES spectrograph team, located at the Calar Alto Observatory, has begun to receive the alerts in order to confirm and analyze TESS detections.

TESS mission (MIT-NASA), with will examine more than two hundred thousand stars along its two years life, constitutes one of the presently most important project for the search of exoplanets, as it will detects planets that can be studied and characterized with instruments that exist today on earth. One of such instruments that will analyze TESS data is CARMENES, operating at the Calar Alto Observatory (Almería) 3.5m telescope, and whose team has already began receiving TESS planets detections alerts.

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