News & Press releases

Number of entries: 119

10
April 2020

The ICE conference "Cosmology and quantum vacuum" in the meeting report of CERN Courier on March 2020


Meeting report of ICE international conference by S. D. Odintsov
Meeting report of the ICE international conference Cosmology and the quantum vacuum, by S.D. Odintsov, published in CERN Courier on March 2020 (https://cerncourier.com/a/cosmology-and-the-quantum-vacuum/).
02
March 2020

4th Institute of Space Sciences Summer School: Artificial Intelligence for Astronomy (Postponed due to COVID 19 to the summer of 2021)


From July 13th to 17th 2020.
4th Institute of Space Sciences Summer School
It is with regret that the Institute of Space Sciences has decided the cancel the Summer School for this year, 2020. The evolution regarding the covid19 situation over the next months is quite unclear. Moving ahead with the organization of the Summer School would imply taking decisions about traveling arrangements, lodging and logistics in general that would place us and you in a very uncertain territory.
It might even be possible that even if travel restrictions are relaxed, we might still be forced to keep a minimum distance that would prevent us from using a lecture room.
For these reasons, we believe the sensible decision is to suspend the Summer School and move it forward to the summer of 2021. We will not keep the information of registered participants, so we will start anew next year.
We thank all of you for the interest you have shown in the Summer School, and hope to see you next year.

Thank you for your understanding too.

The  Organizing Committee.
28
January 2020

Juan Carlos Morales, Premi Ciutat de Barcelona in experimental sciences and technology 2019


Juan Carlos Morales is awarded with the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona in experimental sciences and technology
Ada Colau, Major of Barcelona City giving the prize to Joan Carles Morales
Juan Carlos Morales, researcher at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC) and the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC), has been awarded with the Ciutat de Barcelona prize for experimental sciences and technology for 2019.
The panel, integrated by Maria Garcia Parajo, Carme Rovira, Sergi Jordà and Nanda Rea, have been awarded him for the discovery of a giant, gaseous planet around a low mass star (GJ 3512), which questions the theories established on the formation of planets and proposes new scenarios completely unknown until now.
22
January 2020

Euclid Meeting 2020 in Sitges (Barcelona)


Euclid Meeting 2020 will be held in Sitges (Barcelona, Spain) in May 4-8.
The Euclid Meeting 2020 will be held in Sitges (Barcelona, Spain) between May 4th and 8th. It is organized by the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) and Institute of Space Science (ICE, CSIC).

Euclid is an ESA mission to investigate the geometry of the Universe and understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy. This mission will be launched in mid-2022 from the Guiana Space Center.

In this meeting the different Working Groups  and the Instrument Teams will discuss  about teh status of the mission now that we are  two years away from launch.

More information in the webpage of the Meeting (https://www.ice.csic.es/research/euclid2020/)
21
January 2020

Proxima Centauri amazes us again: a possible second low-mass planet is found orbiting the nearest star to the Sun


New observations of Proxima Centauri have made it possible to reveal the presence of a candidate low-mass planet orbiting the star.
Artistic representation of the planetary system around Proxima Centauri.
Lorenzo Santinelli
  • The candidate planet is orbiting the star at a distance 1.5 times greater than that separating the Earth from the Sun
  • The study, with the participation of an IEEC researcher at ICE-CSIC, is published in the journal Science Advances.

New observations of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Solar System at a distance of 4.2 light-years, have made it possible to reveal the presence of a candidate low-mass planet orbiting the star at a distance 1.5 times greater than that separating the Earth from the Sun.

The discovery, published today in the journal Science Advances, was made by an international team including Guillem Anglada-Escudé, a researcher from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE - CSIC) and was led by Mario Damasso (National Institute for Astrophysics-Astrophysical Observatory of Turin), and Fabio Del Sordo (University of Crete and the Institute of Astrophysics at FORTH), thanks to the data collected with spectrographs installed in Chile. Compared to other candidates discovered around more distant stars, Proxima c - as it has been named - is an ideal planet in that complementary techniques can be used to confirm its existence and better characterize it in the near future.

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star about 8 times less massive than the Sun; Proxima b, a (most likely) rocky planet, was discovered orbiting the star within its habitable zone in 2016. Proxima b was found by analyzing the star’s radial velocities from spectra collected with the UVES and HARPS spectrographs that are installed, respectively, on the Very Large Telescope array in Cerro Paranal and on the 3.6-m La Silla telescope, both belonging to the European Southern Observatory in Chile. Following this discovery, further Proxima observations were made in 2017 with HARPS as part of the Red Dots project, with the aim of studying this planetary system in greater detail.

The team coordinated by Damasso and Del Sordo have analyzed these new measurements, for a total of about 17 years of observations. In doing so, they revealed the presence of a signal with a period of 5.2 years that is compatible with the existence of a second planet with a minimum mass of about 6 times the mass of the Earth, and with an orbital radius of 1.5 astronomical units (i.e., similar to the average distance between Mars and the Sun).

"According to our analysis, the presence of this periodic signal seems very convincing, and the available data do not seem to indicate a clear physical cause other than the presence of a planet, although we still cannot completely rule out other explanations," Damasso says. "In fact, it is very difficult to find a planet with a relatively low minimum mass and such a long orbital period by only using the radial velocity technique" underlines Damasso. “A signal like the one we found could be due to a cycle of magnetic activity of Proxima, which can mimic the presence of a planet. Further observations are therefore needed to confirm our discovery over the next few years.”

"It is a fascinating result," says Del Sordo, "we are adding a new piece to the knowledge of our closest planetary system." He then adds: “The signal we have found is at the limit of instrumental capabilities. In our study, we show that astrometric data taken with the Gaia satellite is expected to play a decisive role in confirming the existence of this planet. The position of Proxima c's orbit is not easily explained by current models of planetary formation and evolution, and many questions are thus being raised on how it could have formed just over 5 billion years ago."

"Apart from the exciting science in the paper, we are very happy about this because it is the result of early releasing data and the resulting spontaneous collaboration with the lead authors of the paper. For example, several of the Red Dots team members further contributed to the paper and are co-authors, and it also includes contributions from pro-Am astronomers from the American Association of Variable Stars Observers that also participated in the public campaign”, says Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who led the Red Dots observations and corresponding public campaign. 

Links More information
This research is presented in the article "A low-mass planet candidate orbiting Proxima Centauri at a distance of 1.5 AU" by M. Damasso et al., published in Science Advances on 15 January 2020.

The Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) promotes and coordinates space research and technology development in Catalonia for the benefit of society. IEEC fosters collaborations both locally and worldwide and is an efficient agent of knowledge, innovation and technology transfer. As a result of over 20 years of high-quality research, done in collaboration with major international organisations, IEEC ranks among the best international research centers, focusing on areas such as: astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, and Earth Observation. IEEC’s engineering division develops instrumentation for ground- and space-based projects, and has extensive experience in working with private or public organisations from the aerospace and other innovation sectors.  

IEEC is a private non-profit foundation, governed by a Board of Trustees composed of Generalitat de Catalunya and four other institutions that each have a research unit, which together constitute the core of IEEC R&D activity: the University of Barcelona (UB) with the research unit ICCUB — Institute of Cosmos Sciences; the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with the research unit CERES — Center of Space Studies and Research; the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) with the research unit CTE — Research Group in Space Sciences and Technologies; the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) with the research unit ICE — Institute of Space Sciences. IEEC is integrated in the CERCA network (Centres de Recerca de Catalunya).

Contacts
IEEC Communication Office
Barcelona, Spain

Rosa Rodríguez Gasén
E-mail: comunicacio@ieec.cat 

Lead Scientist at IEEC
Institute of Space Science (ICE-CSIC)
Barcelona, Spain

Guillem Anglada-Escudé
Researcher
E-mail: anglada@ieec.cat, anglada@ice.csic.es

Press Release created by the IEEC Comunication Office with the collaboration of Science Wave
21
January 2020

IEEC researchers at the heart of new space mission to study the state of matter under extreme conditions


A new space mission, called eXTP (Enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission), will have at its core Spanish astronomers.
X-ray Timing and Polarimetry mission (eXTP)
eXTP Consortium
  • Meeting in Barcelona on 21-22 January 2020 will kick off the eXTP X-ray satellite mission for the Spanish astronomy community

A new space mission, called eXTP (Enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission), will have at its core Spanish astronomers. The mission, designed to study fundamental physics topics such as what is happening on the vicinity of black holes or what is the state of matter inside neutron stars, is a collaboration between several European countries and China. 

The eXTP X-ray satellite (enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission) is envisioned to be launched in 2027, with four instruments onboard. One of them, the Wide Field Monitor (WFM), will have Margarida Hernanz, a researcher from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), as its principal investigator. The ICE-CSIC group will also be responsible for the mechanical and thermal design of the WFM instrument, and the development of the entire mechanical assembly of its cameras.

The mission’s plan is to study the state of matter under extreme conditions of density, gravity and magnetism. The main goals are the determination of the equation of state of matter at very large densities, probing the theory of gravity in extreme environments, as well as the study of the behavior of light in the presence of ultra-strong magnetized stars. With these aims, the primary targets are isolated and binary neutron stars, stellar-mass and supermassive black holes and magnetars - neutron stars with gigantic magnetic fields - respectively.

Several scientists of IEEC (ICE-CSIC) are involved in the scientific design of the eXTP X-ray satellite: in particular, Nanda Rea, Laura Tolos, Diego Torres, Francesco Coti Zelati and Alessandro Patruno have been working for several years in the scientific shaping of the instrument for neutron star studies. The technical challenges about the design of the WFM instrument are the responsibility of engineers from IEEC (ICE-CSIC), in particular José Luis Gálvez, Lluís Gesa, Mikel Lamensans and Eduard Mirabet.

Researcher Margarita Hernanz says: "Being the PI of the WFM for eXTP is a challenging and exciting task, both from the scientific and technological point of view, done in close collaboration with the most expert teams in the field of X-ray astronomy in the world. It will allow the scientific community to get access to an incredible wealth of data, crucial for solving problems within fundamental physics and astrophysics."

The WFM instrument will be composed of a set of 3 pairs of coded mask cameras, equipped with silicon detectors, covering a wide field of view. Its mission will be to scan the sky in search of rare events for which it will then be able to emit triggers, so that the other instruments onboard the satellite, that have a narrower field of view, can make more precise observations. 

The idea of this mission stems from a former European Space Agency (ESA) mission proposal, called LOFT (Large Observatory For X-ray Timing). The feasibility study, funded by ESA, was completed in 2013 with an excellent evaluation. Even though LOFT was not selected for launch, the idea was continued by a collaboration between China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland, who are now actively participating in the development of eXTP. 

On the 21 and 22 January 2020, ICE-CSIC is hosting a workshop dedicated to the scientific and technical advances in the development of the eXTP mission. The objective of the meeting is to publicize the science and possibilities that eXTP will offer to the Spanish astronomical community, as the large involvement of Spain in this mission will provide unique opportunities for research. The meeting is organised and funded by the Spanish Red de Infraestructuras de Astronomía (RIA) and ICE-CSIC.

Links More information
The Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) promotes and coordinates space research and technology development in Catalonia for the benefit of society. IEEC fosters collaborations both locally and worldwide and is an efficient agent of knowledge, innovation and technology transfer. As a result of over 20 years of high-quality research, done in collaboration with major international organisations, IEEC ranks among the best international research centers, focusing on areas such as: astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, and Earth Observation. IEEC’s engineering division develops instrumentation for ground- and space-based projects, and has extensive experience in working with private or public organisations from the aerospace and other innovation sectors.  

IEEC is a private non-profit foundation, governed by a Board of Trustees composed of Generalitat de Catalunya and four other institutions that each have a research unit, which together constitute the core of IEEC R&D activity: the University of Barcelona (UB) with the research unit ICCUB — Institute of Cosmos Sciences; the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with the research unit CERES — Center of Space Studies and Research; the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) with the research unit CTE — Research Group in Space Sciences and Technologies; the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) with the research unit ICE — Institute of Space Sciences. IEEC is integrated in the CERCA network (Centres de Recerca de Catalunya).

Contacts
IEEC Public Information Office
Barcelona, Spain
Rosa Rodríguez Gasén
E-mail: comunicacio@ieec.cat 

Lead Scientist at IEEC
Institute of Space Science (ICE-CSIC)

Barcelona, Spain
Margarida Hernanz
Researcher
E-mail: hernanz@ieec.cat, hernanz@ice.csic.es

Press Release created by the IEEC Comunication Office with the collaboration of Science Wave
 
13
January 2020

TESS dates an ancient collision with our galaxy


A single bright star in the constellation of Indus reveals new insights on the ancient collision of our galaxy with Gaia Enceladus.
TESS mosaic of Sectors 1, 12 and 13
T. Mackereth - University of Birmingham
  • The observation of a bright star with NASA's TESS space telescope has provided new information about an encounter that would have happened between the Milky Way and a smaller galaxy about 12.5 billion years ago.
  • The study, with the participation of IEEC researchers at ICE, is published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
A single bright star, situated in the constellation of Indus — visible from the southern hemisphere — has revealed new insights on an ancient collision that the Milky Way underwent with another smaller galaxy, called Gaia-Enceladus, early in its history.

The work, led by the University of Birmingham and in which the researcher of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) at the Institute of Space Science (ICE-CSIC) Aldo M. Serenelli has participated, has used the characterisation of a single ancient, bright star, called 𝝂  Indi, to study the history of the Milky Way.  Stars carry “fossilized records” of their histories and, hence, the environments in which they formed. The team used data from spatial and ground-based telescopes to unlock this information from the star 𝝂 Indi.

The star was aged using its natural oscillations (asteroseismology), detected in data collected by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Launched in 2018, TESS is surveying stars across most of the sky to search for planets orbiting the stars and to study the stars themselves. When combined with data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia Mission, TESS data have revealed that 𝝂  Indi was born early in the history of the Milky Way, 11.5 billion years ago, and later the Gaia-Enceladus collision altered its motion in our Galaxy.

William J. Chaplin, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham and lead author of the study, said: “Since the motion of 𝝂 Indi was affected by the Gaia-Enceladus collision, the collision must have happened once the star had formed. That is how we have been able to use the astereoseismically-determined age to place new limits on when the Gaia-Enceladus event occurred.”

The presence in our galaxy of many stars belonging to Gaia-Enceladus indicates that its collision with the Milky Way had and has had a large impact on the evolution of our Galaxy. Understanding this is now a very trending topic in astronomy, and this study is an important step in determining exactly when this collision occurred.

"Stellar oscillations are very sensitive to the internal structure of the star, which changes as it evolves. This sensitivity has allowed us, by comparing the observations made by TESS and models of stellar structure and evolution developed at our institute, to determine with great accuracy the age of 𝝂 Indi and, therefore, the moment in the history of the Milky Way when it formed", explains Aldo M. Serenelli, IEEC researcher at ICE.

The work also demonstrates the potential of asteroseismology made with TESS, and the possibilities that arise when it is possible to combine observations with state-of-the-art instruments, even in the case of a single bright star.

Links
More information
This research is presented in the paper “Age dating of an early Milky Way merger via asteroseismology of the naked-eye star 𝝂 Indi”, de W. J. Chaplin, A. M.  Serenelli et al., which is published in the journal Nature Astronomy on 13 January 2020.
The Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC  — Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya) promotes and coordinates space research and technology development in Catalonia for the benefit of society. IEEC fosters collaborations both locally and worldwide and is an efficient agent of knowledge, innovation and technology transfer. As a result of over 20 years of high quality research, done in collaboration with major international organisations, IEEC ranks among the best international research centers, focusing on areas such as: astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, and Earth Observation. IEEC’s engineering division develops instrumentation for ground- and space-based projects, and has extensive experience in working with private or public organisations from the aerospace and other innovation sectors.  

IEEC is a private non-profit foundation, governed by a Board of Trustees composed of Generalitat de Catalunya and four other institutions that each have a research unit, which together constitute the core of IEEC R&D activity: the University of Barcelona (UB) with the research unit ICCUB — Institute of Cosmos Sciences; the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with the research unit CERES — Center of Space Studies and Research; the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) with the research unit CTE — Research Group in Space Sciences and Technologies; the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) with the research unit ICE — Institute of Space Sciences. IEEC is integrated in the CERCA network (Centres de Recerca de Catalunya).

Contacts
IEEC Communication Office
Barcelona, Spain
Rosa Rodríguez Gasén
E-mail: comunicacio@ieec.cat 

Lead Scientist at IEEC
Institute of Space Science (ICE-CSIC)
Barcelona, Spain
Aldo M. Serenelli
ResearcherE-mail: aldos@ice.csic.es

Press Release created by the IEEC Comunication Office with the collaboration of Science Wave
20
December 2019

Science and development of eXTP in Spain


RIA meeting: publicize the science and possibilities that eXTP will offer to the Spanish astronomical community.
Poster oficial

The eXTP X-ray satellite (enhanced X-ray Timing and Polarimetry Mission) is a Sino-European scientific space mission proposal designed to study the state of matter in extreme conditions of density, gravity and magnetism. eXTP includes two European instruments, based on the LOFT (Large Observatory For X-ray Timing) mission, a proposal selected by ESA for feasibility study (phase A) in the M3 call; this study was completed in 2013 with an excellent evaluation, but LOFT was not selected for launch. The collaboration between Europe and China, the embryo of the current eXTP proposal, began then, and several European countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic,Switzerland – are actively participating in the development of eXTP. Phase B of eXTP has already started both in China and in Europe, after having successfully passed an ESA review. The expected launch date of eXTP is 2027.

eXTP has a unique and unprecedented set of cutting-edge scientific instruments, which will allow for the first time simultaneous studies of polarimetry and spectroscopy with enormous temporal precision, in the energy range 0.5-30 keV. The four instruments provided are:

– The “Spectroscopic Focusing Array” (SFA): set of 9 X-ray telescopes operating in the 0.5-10 keV energy band

– The “Large Area Detector” (LAD): set of silicon detectors and a collimator operating between 2 and 30 keV, with spectral resolution better than 250 eV.

– The “Polarimetry Focusing Array” (PFA): set of 4 X-ray telescopes with an energy range between 2 and 10 keV.

– The “Wide Field Monitor” (WFM): set of 3 pairs of coded mask cameras, equipped with silicon detectors similar to those of the LAD instrument, covering a FoV of 3.7 sr and operating in the energy range of 2 to 50 keV. Spain leads the WFM, with Margarita Hernanz, from the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC) and IEEC, its PI.

These instruments will allow to carry out key studies for the determination of the equation of state of matter in conditions of supra-nuclear density, the measurement of the effects of QED on highly magnetized stars and the study of accretion in the strong field gravity regime, in addition to multiple additional topics possible since eXTP will be an X-ray observatory. eXTP is therefore of interest to a large community working on neutron stars, isolated and in binary systems, neutron stars with extreme magnetic fields (magnetars), pulsars, stellar-mass and supermassive black holes, and many other high-energy topics.

The large involvement of Spain in eXTP offers a unique opportunity to get the most out of this mission, thanks to the detailed knowledge of the instrumentation. For all this we organize this RIA meeting: publicize the science and possibilities that eXTP will offer to the Spanish astronomical community. eXTP brings together the communities involved in the ESA  proposals LOFT and XIPE.

More information: http://riastronomia.es/ciencia-y-desarrollo-de-extp-en-espana/
12
November 2019

PLAZAS PERSONAL GESTION I+D+I GARANTIA JUVENIL


Proceso selectivo para formalización 152 plazas en el CSIC para toda España, dos para nuestro instituto, fecha límite 26/11/2019
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PLAZAS DE PERSONAL GESTION I+D+I GARANTIA JUVENIL
Se abre un proceso selectivo para formalización de 152 plazas en el CSIC para toda España, de las cuales 2 han sido adjudicas al Instituto de Ciencias del Espacio. Fecha límite 26/11/2019.


C19_CAT_ICE_001  Titulación exigida: TS Administración y Finanzas, TS Comercio Internacional o titulación análoga.

C19_CAT_ICE_002 Titulación exigida: TS Administración y Finanzas, TS Comercio Internacional o titulación análoga.

Son contratos en prácticas para realizar tareas administrativas tuteladas por la Gerencia del Instituto.

Requisitos imprescindibles:
  • No haber sido contratado con anterioridad con un contrato de Garantía Juvenil con la misma titulación de esta convocatoria.
  • Estar inscrito en el sistema nacional de Garantía Juvenil (http://garantiajuvenil.gencat.cat/ca/apunta-thi/)
  • A la fecha de firma contrato ser menor de 30 años.

Los interesados deberán dirigirse  para inscribirse a esta convocatoria a (https://sede.csic.gob.es/servicios/formacion-y-empleo/convocatorias-personal/-/convocatoria/37616)
Consultas y aclaraciones: 937 37 97 88 o gerencia.ice@csic.es
 
30
October 2019

Nanda Rea receives the prize "Fundación Real Academia de Ciencias al Joven Talento Científico Femenino”


Nanda Rea receives the prize
Our researcher Nanda Rea has been received the prize "Fundación Real Academia de Ciencias al Joven Talento Científico Femenino” in the field of Physics and Chemistry in the Invernadero de La Plaza de Toros in Madrid this afternoon.
Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC)

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