Research

Press Releases

Below are some of the press releases relating to the research work done by the members of the GAHEC group:May

October 7, 2019 : Ultra-sensitive to UV rays, Mini-EUSO will take a new look at the Earth from space

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A Soyuz rocket has just carried a unique new instrument to the international space station: Mini-EUSO. This imager, which is extremely sensitive to UV rays, will face the Earth. First and foremost developed to prepare for the hunt for ultra-high energy cosmic rays, it also promises to change our view of the blue planet and the luminous phenomena in its atmosphere. Read the Press Release ...

September 30, 2019 : The 10th X-IFU Consortium Meeting

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The 10th X-IFU Consortium Meeting was hosted by IRAP in Toulouse from Monday 16th to Friday 20th of September. Read the Press Release ...

September 19, 2019 : Star nurseries in distant galaxies

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Star clusters are formed by the condensation of molecular clouds, groups of cold and dense gases found in all galaxies. The physical properties of these clouds in our galaxy or in nearby galaxies have long been known. But are they identical in distant galaxies, more than 8 billion light years away? Thanks to a resolution never before equalled in a distant galaxy, an international team, led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and involving four French laboratories including IRAP (University of Toulouse III and CNRS), was able to detect molecular clouds for the first time in a nascent Milky Way. Read the Press Release ...

September 2, 2019 : Replay the Einstein eclipse with TAROT

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One century ago, on 2019 May 29th the astronomer Arthur Eddington confirmed the prediction of Albert Einstein that the light is deflected by masses. Eddington used the Sun as mass deflector and nearby stars as targets to measure the light deflection. The experiment is feasible during a total eclipse of sun because the sky brightness drops to the level of twilight and some stars can be seen close to the sun. Last July 2nd 2019 a total eclipse of Sun was observable at ESO/La Silla observatory, Chile.TAROTis a robotic telescopebuild by CNRS IRAP and DT-INSU. It wasinstalledatESO/la Sillain2006to study the early optical emission of gamma-ray bursts. We decided to use this telescope to replay the work done byEddingtonone century before. The measure is very challenging because we must determine positions of stars with an accuracy better than 0.0001 degree. Read the Press Release ...

May 27, 2019 : First observations of atmospheric showers with NectarCAM

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On the night of 22-23 May 2019, a prototype of the NectarCAM camera, installed in the focal plane of a medium-size telescope prototype of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) in Berlin/Adlershof (Germany), observed its first atmospheric shower. Read the Press Release ...

May 21, 2019 : Athena X-IFU: a revolutionary instrument for understanding the Universe

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A new step has just been successfully taken by the scientists in charge of the realization of the X-IFU spectrometer, the flagship instrument of the future X-rays space telescope : Athena. After more than 4 years of studies, following a rigorous evaluation, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) have just confirmed the feasibility of this instrument. Under the scientific responsibility of a CNRS researcher from the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie (CNRS/CNES/Université Toulouse 3 - Paul Sabatier) and the technical responsibility of CNES, the international consortium of thirteen countries will start developing this unique instrument. Dedicated to the study of the hot and energetic Universe, that of galaxy clusters, black holes and all violent phenomena such as star explosions, X-IFU promises to revolutionize our knowledge of the Universe. Read the Press Release ...

December 21, 2018 : Gamma ray astrophysics: the Southern CTA Observatory will be built in Chile

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The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) Observatory today announced the signing of three agreements to build its southern site in Chile, specifically on ESO lands 11km southeast of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the Atacama Desert. CTA will consist of a network of 118 telescopes spread over two sites, one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere. The CNRS and CEA teams participated in the choice of the location in the Southern Hemisphere and are preparing the instruments for the telescopes. The first gamma observations of the Universe by CTA are expected as early as 2022. Read the Press Release ...

December 20, 2018 : HARMONI paves the way for the scientific exploitation of ELT

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French laboratories including IRAP (Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse and CNRS) have just reached a major milestone for HARMONI, the very high resolution imaging spectrograph of the Extremely Large Telescope. With a primary mirror 39m in diameter, the ELT is the largest optical telescope ever built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the European agency for ground-based astronomy. HARMONI's exceptional performance will allow astronomers to answer fundamental questions, from the research and characterization of extrasolar planets to the formation and evolution of the first galaxies in the Universe. Lire le Communiqué de Presse ...

October 1, 2018 : A Universe Aglow

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Deep observations made with the MUSE spectrograph on ESO’s Very Large Telescope have uncovered vast cosmic reservoirs of atomic hydrogen surrounding distant galaxies. The exquisite sensitivity of MUSE allowed for direct observations of dim clouds of hydrogen glowing with Lyman-alpha emission in the early Universe — revealing that almost the whole night sky is invisibly aglow. Read the Press Release ...

July 25, 2018 : Digging deeper: the first catalogue of X-ray sources in overlapping observations published

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The XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (SSC) has published the first catalogue of X-ray sources from regions of the sky observed repeatedly. The catalogue comprises almost 72,000 objects, partly of exotic nature, which were observed with the space-based X-ray telescope XMM-Newton. The catalogue provides information on the physical properties of the sources and enables astronomers to identify brightness variations on time scales of years - and includes several thousand newly discovered X-ray sources. Read the Press Release ...

June 20, 2018 : A star swallowed by a new type of black holes

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Using data from the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory, an international team of researchers, including three IRAP researchers, surprised a new type of black hole (an intermediate mass black hole) feasting on the remains of a star passing too close. Read the Press Release ...

May 29, 2018 : Lightening up dark galaxies

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Based on new observational data, an international team led by ETH astronomers and including an IRAP researcher (University of Toulouse & CNRS)  identified at least six candidates for 'dark galaxies' — galaxies that have a few (if any) stars in them and are, for that reason, notoriously difficult to detect with current instruments. Read the Press Release ...

May 16, 2018 : Observation of one of the very first galaxies in the Universe

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By combining data from two major European observatories located in Chile, and those from the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of scientists composed of an associate researcher and an astronomer of the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie (IRAP/OMP - CNRS/CNES/UT3 Paul Sabatier) discovered the farthest galaxy known to date. By studying the history of star formation in this galaxy, they were able to demonstrate that this galaxy already existed 250 million years after the Big Bang, thus bringing very strong constraints on the formation patterns of the first galaxies. The results of this study are published in the journal Nature on May 17, 2018. Read the Press Release ...

May 16, 2018 : More than three quarters of a million detections of black holes, stars and other stellar exotica

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The 16th of May 2018 sees the eighth data release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue (3XMM-DR8), the largest catalogue of X-ray sources from a single X-ray observatory. This new version includes 775153 X-ray detections which relate to 531454 unique sources, where some of these sources have been detected as many as 59 times and their evolution can therefore be followed from 2000 until 2017. Read the Press Release ...

November 29, 2017 : MUSE Probes Uncharted Depths of Hubble Ultra Deep Field

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Astronomers using the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have conducted the deepest spectroscopic survey ever. They focused on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, measuring distances and properties of 1600 very faint galaxies including 72 galaxies that have never been detected before, even by Hubble itself. This groundbreaking dataset has already resulted in 10 science papers that are being published in a special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics. This wealth of new information is giving astronomers insight into star formation in the early Universe, and allows them to study the motions and other properties of early galaxies — made possible by MUSE’s unique spectroscopic capabilities. Read the Press Release ...

November 13, 2017 : A giant gas cloud enclosing a dozen galaxies...

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A team of astrophysicists from the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie of Toulouse, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique of Marseille and the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique of Lyon, have just discovered a giant cloud of ionized gas. This discovery was part of a research program conducted with the VLT's MUSE Instrument in order to study the impact of the environment on the galaxy evolutionary mechanisms. This cloud of gas measures more than 300,000 light years, i.e. three times the diameter of the Milky Way, and envelops ten galaxies. It's the largest structure of this kind known to date. It is located within a particularly dense region of a group of galaxies called COSMOS-Gr30, located 6.5 billion light years from Earth. Intrigued, this team sought to understand the origin of this gas and the sources responsible for its ionization. Read the Press Release ...

October 20, 2017 : MOSAIC at the ELT: A Gigantic Step into the Deep Universe

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The MOSAIC multi-object spectrograph will be the workhorse instrument for the future Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the biggest visible/infrared telescope in the world. It will be the world-leading multi-object spectrograph well into the 2020s, contributing to most fields of contemporary astronomy. Scientists from across the world are meeting in Toledo to explore the unprecedented capabilities of MOSAIC in tracking the earliest ‘first-light’ structures in the Universe, and to refine plans for observations that will uniquely trace the amounts of dark and invisible matter in the deep Universe (see video). Read the Press Release ...

October 17, 2017 : Optical characterization by IRAP astrophysicists of the kilonova associated with the gravitational wave event that occured on 17th August 2017

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A gravitational wave event has been detected by the LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave observatories on the 17th August 2017. It quickly turned out that the signal corresponded to the fusion of two neutron stars located at about 130 million light years from Earth. A simultaneous detection in gamma rays was obtained from satellite observations. Initially the precise region in the sky was unclear and contained about fifty galaxies that may have hosted the phenomenon. In less than a day, optical telescopes were used to precisely locate the star in visible light. Read the Press Release ...

June 27, 2017 : A Massive Dead Disk Galaxy Challenges Theories of Galaxy Evolution

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By combining the power of a "natural lens" in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers of several international laboratories (including the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) at Toulouse (Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier/CNRS) and the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique (CRAL) of Lyon (Univesité Claude Bernard Lyon 1/ENS Lyon/CNRS) made a surprising discovery—the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang. Read the Press Release ...

June 1, 2017 : An update to the largest catalogue of X-ray detected astrophysical objects

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The first of June sees the seventh data release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue (3XMM-DR7), the largest catalogue of X-ray sources ever created. This new version includes 727790 X-ray detections which relate to 499266 unique sources, where some of these sources have been detected as many as 59 times and their evolution can therefore be followed from 2000 until 2016. Read the Press Release ...

April 27 2017 : Astrophysicists from Toulouse have studied the "rejuvenating" pulsar in a neighboring galaxy

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French scientists published the results of a study of the unique ultra-slow pulsar XB091D. This neutron star is believed to have captured a companion only a million years ago and since then, has been slowly restoring its rapid rotation. The young pulsar is located in one of the oldest globular star clusters in the Andromeda galaxy, where the cluster may once have been a dwarf galaxy. Read the Press Release ...

March 8, 2017 : New clues about the appearance of the first stars in the Universe

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When and how did the first stars appear in the Universe and how did the galaxies form? Astronomers try to answer these questions by directly observing the childhood of the Universe. By building more and more gigantic telescopes, they manage to observe galaxies that lie always farther away and therefore are more distant in the past. An international team of astronomers, involving researchers from the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP - CNRS / CNES / UT3 Paul Sabatier) and led by Nicolas Laporte, University College London, has taken full advantage of the power of the ALMA radio observatory that has just been completed in Chile to study the chemical composition and properties of one of the most distant galaxies. These results are published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Read the Press Release ...

March 8, 2017  A detailed look at emerging galaxies

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By pushing the largest telescopes to their limits, an international team of astronomers involving French researchers from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (CNRS / Aix-Marseille University) and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie of Toulouse (CNRS / University of Toulouse Paul Sabatier) has discovered a population of small nascent galaxies at a distance of more than 11 billion light years, which gives us valuable information about the early stages of galaxy formation. Although rare, these galaxies reveal with unprecedented detail the extreme physical conditions that existed when the first galaxies formed just after the Big Bang. The article was published in Nature Astronomy on March 2, 2017. Read the Press Release ...

February 7, 2017 : BLACK HOLE MEAL SETS RECORD FOR LENGTH AND SIZE

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A trio of X-ray observatories has captured a remarkable event in their data: a decade-long binge by a black hole almost two billion light years away. This discovery was made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Swift Observatory, and ESA’s XMM-Newton. Read the Press Release ...

January 11, 2017 : "NIKA observes the merging of clusters of galaxies"

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A team of researchers belonging to the the NIKAconsortium (1) led by Rémi Adam (Laboratoire Lagrange - OCA, UCA, LPSC Grenoble, CNES), Iacopo Bartalucci and Gabriel Pratt (CEA Saclay), obtained for the first time an image of the gas velocity during the merging of several clusters of galaxies. These observations offer a new way of studying the formation of clusters as essential components of large structures formed during the most energetic events in the Universe. Before obtaining these observations, the NIKA consortium, led by Alain Benoît and Alessandro Monfardini (Institut Néel), also built, tested and commissioned the instrument. Read the Press Release ...

December 14, 2016 : "Green light for the SVOM mission"

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The CNES Administration Board recently approved the French Space Agency's commitment to the Sino-French scientific mission SVOM (Space-based Multiband Astronomical Variable Objects Monitor). The SVOM satellite will be launched in 2021 to scrutinize the gamma ray bursts. The CNES and the French research laboratories (CNRS, Universities and CEA) will provide key elements for this mission. In total, ten CNRS-INSU and CNRS-IN2P3 laboratories including the IRAP (Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse & CNRS) are involved in this project. Read the Press Release ...

November 16, 2016 : "A recent study reinforces the validity of the standard model in cosmology"

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A recent study led by four IRAP researchers and published within the Physical Review has shown that the standard model perfectly accounts - and far better than any other model - for the three sets of observational data that cosmologists presently have: the apparent luminosity and the spectral shifts of a set of 740 supernovae of type Ia, the fossil radiation measurements made by WMap and Planck, and finally those concerning the acoustic oscillations of baryons. Read the Press Release ...

October 26, 2016 : "Detection of Giant Glowing Halos around Distant Quasars"

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An international team of astronomers has discovered glowing gas clouds surrounding distant quasars. This new survey by the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope indicates that halos around quasars are far more common than expected. The properties of the halos in this surprising find are also in striking disagreement with currently accepted theories of galaxy formation in the early Universe. Read the Press Release ...

October 13, 2016 : New Fermi observations: discovery of a new gamma binary

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Fermi space telescope observations have allowed an international team led by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and including French researchers of the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes) and of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (CNRS/Université Toulouse Paul Sabatier) to discover the first gamma binary in another galaxy, the most luminous ever observed. This system, called LMC P3, is composed of a star of several tens of times the mass of the sun and of a compact object that may be a neutron star or a black hole. It is at the origin of a cyclic gamma emission, the most energetic form of light, billions of times more energetic than the visible light. Read the Press Release ...

June 14, 2016 : Headquarters and Science Data Management Centre Sites Selected

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On 13 June 2016, the governing body of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory gGmbH (CTAO gGmbH), the CTA Council, selected Bologna as the host site of the CTA Headquarters and Berlin - Zeuthen for the Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) from five site candidates. Read the Press Release ...

June 2, 2016 : EMIR has just been installed on the GTC

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The EMIR team of IRAP is pleased to announce the arrival of the EMIR instrument on the 10m GTC telescope of the Canary. This event marks the end of an adventure of almost 15 years! Read the Press Release ...

March 18, 2016 : MOSAIC, the Multi-Object Spectrograph of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)

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The European Southern Observatory has signed a phase A study contract with the MOSAIC consortium. The multi-object spectrograph will be the workhorse instrument for the E-ELT, being the biggest telescope in the world with its 39m diameter primary mirror. MOSAIC will be the world-leading MOS facility, contributing to all fields of contemporary astronomy, from extra-solar planets, to the study of the halo of the Milky Way and its satellites, and from resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies out to observations of the earliest ‘first-light’ structures in the Universe. Read the Press Release ...

February 9, 2016 : Astronomy: NIKA2, a new instrument for the detection of millimetric waves

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To detect a cold body, it is necessary that detection instruments are even colder, to avoid the thermal "noise" associated with the instrument. Based on the KID technology (Kinetic Inductance Detectors), superconducting detectors are kept at a very low temperature, the NIKA2 instrument has just been installed within the IRAM telescope (CNRS / MPG / IGN) located on Mount Pico Veleta, Spain. It will detect millimetric waves emitted by celestial bodies. More robust, cheaper and more sensitive than the existing millimetric detection instruments, this camera is the very first to be equipped with KID technology for use in millimetric astronomy. The NIKA international consortium, coordinated by the Institut Néel (CNRS), hopes to be able to explore the star forming process in the nearby universe as well as in the distant universe by studying the emission of interstellar dust and the evolution of galaxy clusters via their interaction with the radiation coming from the Big Bang. Read the Press Release ...

January 13, 2016 : After the Big Bang

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Following the Big Bang, the Universe expands and matter, as it cools, gradually structures. The first stars and galaxies form a few hundred thousand years after. About one billion years later, the universe has warmed and the most abundant element, hydrogen, is ionized again, like just after the Big Bang. How was this important transformation, cosmic reionization, possible? Astronomers suspect that the galaxies were the main driver of this phenomenon. An international team of researchers including researchers of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) today extensively validated this hypothesis. Indeed, they have discovered a compact galaxy expelling ionizing photons, responsible for the transformation of the Universe. Their article, published in Nature, opens a capital research area in the understanding of the early Universe. Read the Press Release ...

December 3, 2015 : Hubble and Spitzer observed a galaxy in its cradle

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An international team of astronomers has discovered, using the Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescopes, one of the most distant galaxies of the Universe and the faintest one ever detected. They were able to observe it as it was 500 million years after the Big Bang. Read the Press Release ...

November 12, 2015 : An extremely bright gamma pulsar detected in the Large Magellanic Cloud

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Fermi discovered the brightest gamma pulsar ... in another galaxy! The Large Area Telescope, the principal instrument of the Fermi space mission launched in 2008, has detected a pulsed gamma emission from a pulsar located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This about 1000 years old young pulsar was already listed as one of the most powerful known pulsars. He becomes the brightest gamma pulsar ever recorded, exceeding by a factor of 20 the previous record holder, the Crab pulsar, and is also the first extragalactic gamma pulsar. This exceptional object should help us to better understand the origin of the emission of pulsars. Read the Press Release ...

October 22, 2015 : Looking at the earliest galaxies

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An international team of astronomers led by EPFL have discovered over 250 of the universe’s earliest galaxies. This sample includes the faintest and smallest of the first-generation dwarf galaxies to be discovered, and offers important clues about the nature of the early universe. Read the Press Release ...

October 12, 2015 : Galaxy clusters puzzle cosmologists

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In order to reconcile the standard model of cosmology with the amount of galaxy clusters observed in X-ray, a team of French researchers (1) shows that the masses of the clusters should be 70% higher than the current estimates. These results confirm the Planck results obtained in 2013 by observing the clusters in the microwave domain in the more distant universe. Nevertheless, the topic goes on to puzzle the cosmologists and might be an indication of a "new physics." Read the Press Release ...

July 27, 2015 : Spain and Chile will host the CTA infrastructure

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The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) collaboration has selected the two sites that will host its network of gamma ground telescopes. The site located in the northern hemisphere will be the Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos at La Palma in the Canary Islands (Spain), which already houses the Magic precursor telescope. The site located in the southern hemisphere is one of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Paranal (Chile), close to the Very Large Telescope (VLT). In total, about 120 different sized telescopes will be installed at both sites to detect the Cherenkov light emitted by the interaction of gamma rays in the atmosphere.  Read the Press Release ...

April 28, 2015 : A new version of the largest catalogue of X-ray detected astrophysical objects

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The fifth data release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue (3XMM-DR5), the largest catalogue of X-ray sources ever created, contains 565 962 X-ray detections, ranging from nearby objects in our Solar System to supermassive black holes at the edge of the Universe. For each detection, a wealth of information is provided to help understand the nature of the object and as a result, many new and extreme astrophysical objects will be discovered. Read the Press Release ...

April 23, 2015 : Astronomers Find Runaway Mini-Galaxies

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By exploiting the public records of the Sloan digital sky survey (SDSS) and the GALEX satellite, two astronomers including a researcher from the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP - CNRS / Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3) have successfully identified almost 200 new compact elliptical galaxies and 11 escaping mini-galaxies. These are the remnants of larger galaxies that have lost most of their stars and have been catapulted into the intergalactic void. Such objects are extremely rare since to date only one had been found! This research demonstrates the fundamental role that survey programs of celestial objects such as the SDSS and the Virtual Observatories in general play in astronomical research. Read the Press Release ...

March 12, 2015 : The radio-active decay of 26Al as revealed by INTEGRAL/SPI

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The 1.809 MeV line emission associated with the radio-active of 26Al is one of the most intense gamma-ray lines observed in our Galaxy. Fifteen years after the first results obtained by the COMPTEL instrument, the SPI spectrometer aboard the INTEGRAL mission offers a unique opportunity to get more information about its spatial morphology and the nucleosynthesis process at work (see  POM July 2003). Thanks to a specifically developed imaging analysis, the main features previously seen with COMPTEL are confirmed: the emission is essentially confined in the inner Galaxy, with possibly a few low-intensity extended structures. In addition, several excesses are seen, suggesting that some of the line-emitting sites are linked to the Galactic spiral arm structure. Read the Press Release ...

February 26, 2015 : Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D - MUSE goes beyond Hubble

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The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects. Read the Press Release ...

October 9, 2014 : NASA’s NuStar Discovers Shockingly Bright Dead Star

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A study led by an IRAP astronomer (Université Paul Sabatier / CNRS / CNES) led to the discovery of a pulsar beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. It is so powerful that it radiates as much energy as the disk surrounding a black hole, although it does not have the same mass. This is the brightest pulsar -  a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion - ever observed in the Universe. Its periodic X-rays emission relates to the frequency of rotation of the star itself. The discovery was made with NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope NASA's Array). It will be published in Nature on October 9, 2014.  Read the Press Release ...

October 8, 2014 : 2014, the year of the thaw for SVOM

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For several years, researchers, engineers and technicians of IRAP (Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse and CNRS) are involved in the Franco-Chinese mission SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) whose objective is to detect and study GRBs, these intense bursts of high-energy photons generated by catastrophic cosmic phenomena. Jean-Luc Atteia, astronomer at the IRAP, reports on the major contribution of the IRAP to the SVOM mission for which 2014 promises to be the "Year of the thaw." Read the Press Release ...

August 28, 2014 : INTEGRAL catches gamma rays issued from 56CO in a Type Ia supernova

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A team of researchers, including scientists from the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie in Toulouse (CNRS / Université Paul Sabatier, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées), discovered a low energy (1) gamma ray emission coming from the Type Ia supernova SN2014J by analyzing the observations made by the SPI spectrometer and the ISGRI / IBIS imager INTEGRAL space observatory (International Gamma-Ray Laboratory of the European Space Agency). This is the first time that such a radiation is observed from this type of supernova. Read the Press Release ...

July 31, 2014 : Unexpected gamma ray emissions by classical novae

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An international team of scientists, including researchers of French laboratories like the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie of Toulouse (CNRS/CNES/Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III) and the Laboratoire physique subatomique et cosmologie of Grenoble (CNRS/UJF/Grenoble INP), detected for the first time a gamma photon emission from three so-called classical novae, using the Fermi LAT telescope observatory (NASA). Such an emission of gamma radiation in a classical nova is a startling discovery that will provide information about the acceleration mechanisms within these objects and led to the identification of a new class of high-energy gamma emitters. Read the Press Release ...

June 27, 2014 : Athena to study the hot and energetic Universe

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On November 28, 2013 the committee of scientific programs of the European Space Agency (ESA) has selected, among 29 proposals, "The Hot and Energetic Universe" as the scientific theme of his future great space mission (class L), whose lauch is scheduled for 2028. On June 27, 2014, ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics to answer questions raised by this topic. This proposal was submitted by a consortium of European laboratories among which the IRAP (Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse & CNRS).  Read the Press Release ...

June 9, 2014 : Cosmic collision in the Bullet Group

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Two French astronomers, one working at the IRAP (OMP, Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse and CNRS), the other at the LAM (Pytheas, Université d'Aix-Marseille, CNRS), have contributed to the mapping of the distribution of galaxies, hot gas and dark matter in the Bullet Group. This work is the topic of an article published on June 6, 2014 within the journal MNRAS. Read the Press Release ...

May 11, 2014 : The catalog of GRBs localized by INTEGRAL

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An international collaboration involving an IRAP engineer (Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse and CNRS) applied to the observation data of the INTEGRAL satellite, a new method of data extraction in order to develop a comprehensive spectral catalog of gamma-ray bursts. This study is the topic of an article published within the journal Astronomy & Atrophysics. Read the Press Release ...

April 11, 2014 : Gamma-ray Astronomy: Site negotiations for Cherenkov Telescope Array started

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On the 10th April 2014, the 12 country delegates mandated by their governments to decide about the start of site negotiations for CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array), to which contribute the CNRS and the CEA, met in Munich. Two sites in the southern hemisphere are likely to welcome this future network of new generation telescopes in high energy astronomy : Aar in Namibia and ESO (*) in Chile. The site Leoncito in Argentina is meanwhile a third option. With this selection of potential sites in the southern hemisphere, an important step towards the realization of the international CTA project has been made. Read the Press Release ...

March 21, 2014 : Detection of the 847 keV gamma-ray line of radio-active Co56 from the Type Ia Supernova SN2014J in M82 with INTEGRAL

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A team of researchers, including members of the IRAP, discovered the gamma-ray emission from the type Ia supernova SN2014J (distance ~ 3.5 Mpc) by analyzing the observations made by the SPI spectrometer of the space observatory INTEGRAL (International Gamma-Ray Laboratory).  Read the Press Release ...

March 5, 2014 : First Light for MUSE

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A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.  Read the Press Release ...

February 20, 2014 : The NASA NuSTAR mission unveils processes in supernova explosions of stars

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In June 2012, the NASA NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission deployed the first space telescope with an optic able to focus high energy X-rays (3-79 keV). Today, NuSTAR offers the mapping of the rest of the supernova Cassiopeia A. The interpretation of the results led to a publication in Nature, on February 20, 2014, to which the IRAP (CNRS / University of Toulouse III), with the support of the CNES, is associated.  Read the Press Release ...

February 7, 2014 : Exploring the edges of the Universe with Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes: discovery of one of the youngest galaxy in the early Universe

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An international team of researchers which include Nicolas Laporte, a former PhD student of IRAP, Roser Pello and Frederic Boone, both researchers at the IRAP, has discovered a redshift 8 candidate galaxy behind the A2744 cluster of galaxies, within the "Frontier Fields" Hubble program (NASA / ESA). This discovery will be shortly published within the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.  Read the Press Release ...

February 2, 2014 : Just installed on the VLT, MUSE captures its first light with success!

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This Saturday, January 31, the first photons coming from the star of Kapeteyn reached the surface of the MUSE instrument, whose installation on the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, has just ended. Many spectra have been acquired, a few ongoing tests will soon validate the full functionality of the instrument. It is therefore a great success for the team of IRAP (CNRS / University of Toulouse 3) involved in this project piloted by the CRAL (Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon). Read the Press Release ...

November 28, 2013 : "The hot and energetic universe" to be explored by ESA

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On November 28, the committee of scientific programs of the European Space Agency (ESA) has selected, among 29 proposals, "The Hot and Energetic Universe" as the scientific theme of his future great space mission (class L), whose lauch is scheduled for 2028 [1]. This topic was brought by a united European scientific community. The French community, including the CNRS laboratories (IRAP, Observatoire de Strasbourg) and the CEA laboratories (IRFU / AIM), have greatly contributed to this scientific proposal. Read the Press Release ...

October 23, 2013 : Last command sent to ESA's Planck Space Telescope

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ESA’s Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the evolution of stars and galaxies throughout the Universe’s history. Read the Press Release ...

October 18, 2013 : The integration of MUSE started at Paranal

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L'instrument MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) est en cours d'intégration sur le site du Very Large Telescope au Chili. Une équipe d'ingénieurs de l'IRAP (Michel Dupieux, Marie Larrieu, et Laurent Pares) est actuellement sur place pour installer et tester l'optique d'entrée de l'instrument. Read the Press Release ...

October 16, 2013 : ALMA Probes Mysteries of Jets from Giant Black Holes

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Two international teams of astronomers have used the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to focus on jets from the huge black holes at the centres of galaxies and observe how they affect their surroundings. They have respectively obtained the best view yet of the molecular gas around a nearby, quiet black hole and caught an unexpected glimpse of the base of a powerful jet close to a distant black hole.  Read the Press Release ...

September 11, 2013 : A MUSE for ESO’s Very Large Telescope

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A new and uniquely powerful instrument for ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been completed and approved for shipping to Chile. MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) is the result of ten years of design and development headed by the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon.  Read the Press Release ...

July 23, 2013 : LATEST XMM-NEWTON CATALOGUE OFFERS NEW X-RAY VISION

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The release of a new catalogue from the XMM-Newton space telescope provides an unprecedented cosmic X-ray library for the exploration of the extreme Universe. The third XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue (3XMM-DR4) contains more than half a million sources, all of which are provided to a better quality than ever before. Improved data processing means that source identification is more reliable, and fainter objects are detected. Read the Press Release ...

July 4, 2013 : Feeding Galaxy Caught in Distant Searchlight

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Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have spotted a distant galaxy hungrily snacking on nearby gas. Gas is seen to fall inwards towards the galaxy, creating a flow that both fuels star formation and drives the galaxy’s rotation. This is the best direct observational evidence so far supporting the theory that galaxies pull in and devour nearby material in order to grow and form stars. The results will appear in the 5 July 2013 issue of the journal Science. Read the Press Release ...

June 13, 2013 : The MUSE instrument is complete!

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MUSE is a second-generation instrument designed to equip the ESO (European Southern Observatory) Very Large Telescope (VLT). Based on the innovative concept of integral field spectrograph, it will lead to observe galaxies located more than ten billion light years away, i.e., galaxies in the early Universe (as it was a few hundred million years old only) and to decide among various formation and evolution scenarios of the galaxies. Read the Press Release ...

June 6, 2013 : The TAROT telescope recorded the explosion of a star located at 13.4 billion of light years

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Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 9:04 p.m. the U.S. Swift satellite detected a gamma ray burst that lasted nearly five minutes. The satellite sent the position of the gamma-ray burst to the dedicated NASA center which distributed the position to point telescopes placed in ground-based observatories. Among them, telescopes of CADOR network observed the gamma-ray burst called GRB 130606A. Read the Press Release ...

May 1, 2013 : Does dark energy come from quantum vacuum?

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The recent work of the French researchers have shown that in the presence of a compact extra dimension (that is to say, looped on itself), the gravitational quantum vacuum could produce a contribution to the density of the universe by a mechanism similar to the Casimir effect in quantum electrodynamics. This contribution behaves exactly like a cosmological constant and can take a value consistent with the observations if the size of the extra dimension is of a few tens of micrometers. Read the Press Release ...

April 17, 2013 : The swan song of super-massive stars lasts several hours

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An international team making up the Figaro cooperation (France - Italy - Australia) including astronomers from the ARTEMIS laboratory in Nice, IRAP in Toulouse and LAM in Marseille recently discovered that very massive stars could explode following an original way. This discovery is submitted today at the International Symposium on gamma-ray bursts  in Nashville, United States. It was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal. Read the Press Release ...

February 15, 2013 : Asteroid 2012 DA14 seen by the TAROT telescope

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The asteroid  2012 DA14 was discovered on February 23, 2012 by a team of the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca, Spain. This is a small object - about 45 meters - rising very close to our planet (about 27,700 km) on this February 15, 2013 at 19:24 UTC. It will therefore lie far beyond the Earth's atmosphere but below the belt of satellites in geostationary orbit (35 800 km). Due to its low orbit, it will not collide with artificial satellites, nor will impact the Earth. Read the Press Release ...

January 15, 2013 : The most quoted paper in the world was co-written by an IRAP astronomer !

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And the winner is … ... the second catalog of Fermi-LAT sources, called 2FGL (Nolan et al 2012, ApJS 199, 31). This is the publication that has attracted the largest number of citations among every astronomical articles published in the world in 2012! Together, the three successive 0FGL, 1FGL and 2FGL catalogs that identify gamma sources in the sky discovered by the Fermi space telescope since 2008 have been quoted almost 1000 times (ADS). This is a great reward for the French researchers of the Fermi-LAT collaboration, who coordinated the creation of these catalogs. Read the Press Release ...

November 15, 2012 : The French telescope TAROT discovers the brightest supernova of the year

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Dans la nuit du 26 au 27 octobre 2012, le télescope TAROT a observé la galaxie NGC 1365. L'inspection des images par Alain Klotz, astrophysicien à l'Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) et professeur à l'Université de Toulouse, a révélé la présence d'une nouvelle étoile proche du centre de la galaxie. La présence de la nouvelle étoile fut rapidement confirmée par une image effectuée par l'astronome amateur français Emmanuel Conseil qui a utilisé le télescope SLOOH. Mickael Childress, astronome à l'Université Nationale d'Australie, a caractérisé la nature de l'étoile comme étant une supernova de type Ia et l'Union Astronomique Internationale l'a alors immatriculée officiellement 2012fr. Lire le Communiqué de Presse ...

November 1, 2012 : The TAROT telescope discovered a bright supernova

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The TAROT telescope at La Silla (Chile), led by astronomers of IRAP, has discovered a supernova during the night of 26 to 27 October 2012 in the spiral galaxy NGC 1365 located 70 million light years away. Australian astronomers at Siding Spring observatory have pointed the supernova and have obtained a spectrum with 2m40 telescope. They found that the supernova is of type Ia. This is the fourth supernova discovered by the TAROT telescope since the beginning of 2012. The Supernova of the October 27th has been designated 2012fr by the International Astronomical Union. The first observations shows that 2012fr was in an early stage when it was discovered and should increase in brightness until November 8th. Further details ...

July 12, 2012 : The TAROT telescope discovered a supernova

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Supernovae are exploding stars that emit a large amount of energy in space. The optical light is so intense that one can to see tham at great distances that allow to probe cosmological models of the Universe. There are two main types of supernovae: types Ia and type II. Only supernovae Type Ia are used toconstrain cosmological models. Improved knowledge on supernovae is important. The TAROT telescope at La Silla (Chile), led by astronomers of IRAP, has discovered a supernova during the night of 23 to 24 June 2012 in the galaxy ESO 139-G28 located 256 million light years away. The Las Campanas Observatory astronomers Chile have pointed the supernova and have obtained a spectrum with the Magellan telescope 6m50. They found that the supernova is of type Ia. Further details ...

July 5, 2012 : Confirming the nature of an intermediate mass black hole thanks to its radio emission

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In 2009, an international team of researchers discovered the best candidate intermediate mass black hole to date. In a follow-up studypublished in Science Express on the 5th July 2012 and conducted by asimilar research team led at the IRAP (CNRS/Université Toulouse III -Paul Sabatier) and which also included scientists from the CEA in Saclay, the intermediate mass black hole hypothesis has been confirmedand further light shed on this rare type of object. Thanks to new observations, the researchers demonstrated that this black hole alsoshows sporadic ejections of matter (jets), in a similar way to stellar and supermassive black holes. Such jets have never been detected froman intermediate mass black hole. Thanks to the emission, the scientists have estimated the mass of the black hole to be between9000 and 90000 times the mass of our Sun. These pioneering results have allowed analogies between all types of black hole to be made. Read the Press Release ...

June 20, 2012 : Euclid jumps final hurdle

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ESA today formally adopted the largest collaboration of astronomers in the world to help build the Euclid satellite. This is the final phase to the selection of Euclid as part of their ``Cosmic Vision” programme and sets in motion an army of scientists and engineers to build and fly this new mission by the end of this decade. Euclid will study the ``dark universe” with great precision, tracing the distribution and evolution of the enigmatic dark matter and dark energy throughout the Universe. Read the Press Release ...

March 14, 2012 : The Feeding Habits of Teenage Galaxies

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New observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope are making a major contribution to understanding the growth of adolescent galaxies. In the biggest survey of its kind astronomers have found that galaxies changed their eating habits during their teenage years - the period from about 3 to 5 billion years after the Big Bang. At the start of this phase smooth gas flow was the preferred snack, but later, galaxies mostly grew by cannibalising other smaller galaxies. Read the Press Release ...

February 28, 2012 : The TAROT telescope measures the size of a Kuiper Belt object

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The asteroid Quaoar is a member of large planetoid located beyond the orbit of Pluto. Discovered in 2002, Quaoar dimensions were determined roughly by the measurement of its brightness and some assumptions about the nature of its soil. This leads to large uncertainties. Read the Press Release ...

February 21, 2012 : Discovery of young stars surrounding a black hole of intermediate mass

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A young star cluster harboring an intermediate mass black hole: it is the astonishing discovery of an international team including researchers from  IRAP (CNRS / University Toulouse 3) and AIM (University Paris-Diderot / CEA / CNRS). This result allows to better understand the origin of black holes of this type, still poorly understood, but also of supermassive black holes and more widely of galaxies. It is published on the website of the Astrophysical Journal. Read the Press Release ...

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