Almería, January 3rd 2018
The CALIFA survey allows to map the orbits of the stars of a sample of 300 galaxies, a fundamental information to know how they formed and evolved.
Just like the Sun is moving in our Galaxy, the Milky Way, all the stars in galaxies are moving, but with very different orbits: some of the stars have strong rotations, while others may be moving randomly with no clear rotation. Comparing the fraction of stars on different orbits we can find out how galaxies form and evolve. An international team of astronomers has derived directly, for the first time, the orbital distribution of a galaxy sample, containing more than 300 galaxies of the local universe. The results, published in Nature Astronomy, are based on the CALIFA survey, a project developed at Calar Alto Observatory.
December 18th 2017
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers are hunting for planets with the Carmenes spectrograph. They have now discovered their first star with an exoplanet.
The star is a so-called M-dwarf only about half as massive as the Sun, its planet with the name HD 147379b is slightly more massive than Neptune. HD 147379b orbits its star once every 86 days at a distance that is only a third of the distance between Earth and the Sun. At this location, the planet is located inside the so-called habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form. However, it is unlikely that life could develop on this planet because it probably has no solid surface.
September 12th 2017
Researchers from the Theoretical Physics and Cosmos department of Granada University (UGR, Spain) lead a study which gives new details about the formation process of the structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way.This study is based on data obtained at Calar Alto.
Granada University astronomer Isabel Pérez lead a series of observational studies which show the distribution and characteristics of the stars in barred spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, giving new insights on the formation process of this kind of galaxies.
November 22nd 2017
The Monitoring Commission of the agreement signed with the "Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad" for the execution of the "MIOCA-Mejora del Instrumental del Observatorio de Calar Alto" project, was set up.
The project’s budget of 1.129.098 €, will allow consolidate the competitiveness of Calar Alto Observatory.
The Spanish-German Astronomical Center (CAHA) has the purpose of the management, maintenance, operation and scientific exploitation of the Calar Alto Observatory, making it available to the international astronomical community, as well as giving the capacity and the infrastructure needed for carrying out astronomical observation programs and developing innovative concepts concerning instrumentation. Now, CAHA faces up an improvement of its instrumentation in order to continue at the forefront of the astronomical observation.
July 19th 2017
The brown dwarf 2MASS J04221413+1530525 shows linear polarization of its light which could be due to dust in its Jupiter-like atmosphere, or in the interstellar medium
Brown dwarfs, sometimes known as “failed stars”, fill the gap between low mass stars and giant gaseous planets. They are faint objects, difficult to study and, as such, some of their characteristics are not well known. An international team has searched for polarized light in a sample of brown dwarfs with the CAFOS instrument at Calar Alto observatory – a method which helps to know the properties of these objects –, and has found polarized light in one of them, although its poorly determined distance does not allow us to determine the exact cause of the polarization.
October 4th 2017
CARMENES, a spectrograph that operates in both visible and infrared channels, operating at Calar Alto Observatory (Almería), study a three hundred stars sample in order to find similar to Earth planets.
The first results of its visible channel, derived from the study of seven planetary systems, show its perfect functioning.
CARMENES instrument, developed by a consortium of eleven institutions from Germany and Spain, and co-lead by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), with the participation of the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEE-CSIC) and the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA), has been designed for searching earth like planets within the habitability zone or area that surrounds a star where the conditions allow the existence of liquid water. The first results, obtained with the Calar Alto Observatory 3.5m telescope and published today, analyze seven known planetary systems and proves its excellent performing.
Calar Alto Observatory has embarked on an ambitious project with the University of Peking for the study of black holes
May 18th 2017
60% of the time of the 2.2m telescope will be devoted to the study of supermassive black holes placed in active galaxies nuclei.
Calar Alto Observatory, the biggest astronomical observatory within mainland Europe, has signed an agreement with the University of Peking in order to develop, from the 2.2m telescope, an intensive study of supermassive black holes located in the central regions of the galaxies, which constitutes what are known as active galaxies nuclei, and are among the most energetic objects in the Universe.