The enigma of icy bodies in the Solar System
Researchers from CEA and Paris-Diderot University think they have discovered the phenomenon behind the exceptional thermal insulation of small icy bodies located beyond Jupiter: an underlayer of amorphous ice water, a few centimeters below the ... More »
The INTEGRAL satellite to search for the source of gravitational waves
One instrument of the INTEGRAL satellite that continuously monitors the sky was active at the time of the discovery by the LIGO instrument of the first ever-detected gravitational wave, GW150914, resulting from the merger of two black holes. It ... More »
An exceptional flaring activity from a galactic black hole revealed by the INTEGRAL satellite
Analysis of the high-energy emission from the microquasar V404 Cygni has lead to the discovery of gusts of electron and positron (the electron anti-particle) plasma. This amazing discovery was possible thanks to the exquisite sensitivity of the ... More »
Launch of the Japanese X-ray Astronomy satellite Astro-H
The X-ray astronomy satellite Astro-H was successfully launched on 17 February 2016  at 17H 45 (UT 8H45) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The satellite was put into orbit 14 min later and the first tests started. ASTRO-H is a ... More »
Finding to impact understanding of stellar evolution
An international collaboration, involving the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory of CEA-IRFU, managed to determine, from asteroseismology, that up to 65% of stars more massive than the Sun (between 1.6 and 2 solar masses) have a very high ... More »
Recent change in the optical and gamma-ray polarization observed in the center of the Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula, thought for decades to be a "standard candle", has recently seen this status challenged by the observation of intense high-energy gamma rays flares. An Irish and French team (centre for Astronomy of the Université ... More »
The old stars are slowing less quickly than expected
An international team of researchers, including the Astrophysical Department- AIM laboratory at CEA-IRFU, has established that the measure of the stellar ages derived from their rotation rate or gyrochronology must be revised for older stars that ... More »
3D-maps of galaxy clusters
A new 3D map of galaxy clusters has just been published by a research team led by Maguerite Pierre from the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory of CEA-IRFU through a survey of two regions of the sky, each covering about 25 square degrees (about ... More »
Cosmology with cosmic shear observations
In a review article in "Reports on Progress in Physics", Martin Kilbinger of Astrophysics Department - AIM Laboratory at CEA-IRFU presents a comprehensive assessment of the results obtained from observations of the cosmic shear in ... More »
The enigma of the quasi-periodic oscillations
A team of researchers from CEA (Astrophysical Department and CEA-DAM) and the LUTH Laboratory (Paris Observatory) has just published a comprehensive study of an enigmatic phenomenon of quasi-periodic oscillations at the surface of strongly magnetic ... More »
A key for unsderstanding galaxy evolution
As part of an observing program carried out with the Hubble Space Telescope, a group of researchers from the “Service d’Astrophysique-Laboratoire AIM” of CEA-IRFU led by Anita Zanella discovered the birth cry of a massive ... More »
Formation of solar systems: the role of "planets traps"
A team from the laboratory "Astrophysics, Instrumentation, Modeling" Paris-Saclay (AIM - CNRS / CEA / Université Paris Diderot) has developed a new model representing the evolution of protoplanetary disks over millions of years. ... More »
Opening of the CEA-Paris Sud exhibition at Cité des Sciences Paris on March 17th, 2015
In the context of the International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015), the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory at CEA-IRFU, in collaboration with the Institute for Space Astrophysics Orsay (IAS), presents the exhibition "2015: A Light ... More »
Stellar seismology reveals the history of the rotation of stars
An international team of researchers, led by the Astrophysics Department of CEA-IRFU, has accurately measure the rotation period and the level of magnetic activity of 310 stars with masses close to the Sun, the largest ever assembled sample. These ... More »
The next European cosmology mission starts construction
The space mission EUCLID, intended to map the universe in order to understand the influence of dark matter and dark energy, just passed the implementation phase. The EUCLID mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), involving scientists from ... More »
First successes in forecasting solar flares
Researchers at the Center for Theoretical Physics (CNRS / Ecole Polytechnique) and Astrophysics Department-Laboratory AIM (CNRS / CEA / Université Paris Diderot) have identified a key phenomenon in the emergence of solar flares. Using ... More »
Progress and involvement of the CEA into this chinese and french space mission
2014 has been a fruitful year for SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor), a chinese and french space mission dedicated to the study of gamma-ray bursts. The decisions taken at the highest level, the governments in March ... More »
A new method for the reconstruction of the finest details
Using the latest data from the Planck and WMAP satellites, the laboratory CosmoStat (LCS) of CEA-IRFU just provides the most complete and accurate picture of the diffuse microwave background of the universe considered to be the primary light ... More »
Detection by XMM-Newton of a periodic absorption line close to the surface of a Magnetar
The intense and sporadic activity of Magnetars, rotating neutron stars, has its origin in the current model from their extreme magnetic field. At odds to the large majority of the sources of this kind, an exceptionally low value for the magnetic ... More »
A giant survey of weak gravitational lensing
An international collaboration of astrophysicists, led by Martin Kilbinger from the Astrophysics Division - AIM Laboratory AIM at CEA Saclay-Irfu and the Institute of Astrophysics Paris, has obtained the largest survey of galaxy images that are ... More »
CEA will contributes to the METIS instrument
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) Council at its meeting at ESO's Headquarters in Garching, Germany on 4 December 2012 has given full approval for the start of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) programme. With its 39,3 m ... More »
The planetary rings may be at the origin of most of the satellites around planets
Two scientists from the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur and from the Université Paris Diderot and CEA, have just proposed the first model to explain the origin of most of the regular ... More »
Computation of the X-ray emission of a supernova remnant
An international team of astrophysicists, including Samar Safi-Harb and Gilles Ferrand at the University of Manitoba (Canada) and Anne Decourchelle from the Astrophysical Department-AIM Laboratory (CEA Saclay - France), has produced the first 3D ... More »
New type of cosmic ray discovered after 100 years
Using the European X-ray astronomy satellite XMM-Newton [1], researchers from CNRS [2] and CEA [3] have discovered a new source of cosmic rays. In the vicinity of the remarkable Arches cluster, near the center of the Milky Way, these particles ... More »
The formation of a brown dwarf
A team led by Philippe André du Service d'Astrophysique-Laboratoire AIM du CEA-Irfu has just uncovered the very first stage of the formation  of a brown dwarf, one of these tiny stars with a mass just above the planets. Several ... More »
Discovery of a transient radio jet from an intermediate-mass black hole
Sporadic ejections of matter are observed in the form of radio jets from supermassive black holes in active galaxies as well as from galactic binary systems hosting a black hole of several solar masses. Do these observations indicate that jet ... More »
First experimental approach of the asymmetric explosion of a star
The explosive death of massive stars begins with the collapse of their iron core which gives birth to a neutron star. Despite spherical initial conditions, this explosion can kick the neutron star several hundred kilometers per second. Exclusively ... More »
Evidence of red giants with a hydrogen burning shell
Thanks to the data of the NASA  Kepler satellite, an international team including Rafael Garcia of the Astrophysical Department at CEA-Irfu [1], succesfully probe the heart of hundreds of giant stars for the first time. The researchers ... More »
First gamma-ray polarisation measure around a galactic black hole
Prototype of the X-ray binary systems harboring a black hole, Cygnus X-1 is the subject of many studies since its discovery in the 1960s. By studying its behavior at high energy, an international team led by Philippe Laurent, astrophysicist at the ... More »
First detection of gravity-like waves in a red giant star
Waves traveling inside the core of a giant star have been discovered by a international team of researchers including Rafael A. Garcia, member of the Service d'Astrophysique of CEA-Irfu [1]. The results were obtained using 320-day observations  ... More »
Clusters and superclusters billions of light-years away
An international team, including scientists from the Astrophysics Department-AIM and the Particle Physics Department of CEA-Irfu, has just used the Planck satellite to discover galaxy clusters with characteristics that were previously unknown. These ... More »
The scientific community had to wait 18 months for the data collected by Planck, the European Space Agency satellite. Now, the first scientific results are in. The first edition of the compact sources catalog (ERCSC, Early Release Compact Sources ... More »
The hot gas found in stars produced by laser pulses
A major international collaboration [1], involving researchers from the CEA-IRFU Astrophysics Department, CEA-IRAMIS and CEA-DAM, has succeeded in measuring for the first time the effects of light absorption by nickel in high temperature plasmas ... More »
Stars as permanent magnetic engines
Scientists from the Astrophysical Department of the CEA-Irfu and the Bonn University (Germany) have shown that stable magnetic fields may form in the non-convective regions of the stars such as the external layers of stars more massive than the Sun ... More »
An international team of astronomers, including several French researchers, has just completed a precise measurement of the distance to five distant galaxies using the ESA Herschel Space Observatory together with ground-based data from the ... More »
Discovery of a magnetar with a magnetic field similar to the one of common pulsars
Magnetars form a class of neutron stars with a much higher (100-1000 times) magnetic field with respect to common rotation powered pulsars. This extreme magnetic field is currently believed to be the cause of their unpredictable and intense ... More »
The most famous collision of galaxies decoded using ‘high-resolution’ simulations
‘High-resolution’ numerical simulations carried out by scientists at the Astrophysics Department of the CEA-Irfu/AIM  have just revealed that the most famous galactic collision ever, the Antennae collision, produces far more stars ... More »
News observations with the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope
An international team of astronomers/astrophysicists that includes a member of the Service d'Astrophysique  (CEA-Irfu,  Saclay) has obtained new data of the spectacular surroundings of the famous supernova SN 1987A using the recently ... More »
The CoRoT satellite reveals the magnetic cycle of a star
An international team[1] led by a CEA astrophysicist of the AIM Laboratory- Astrophysics Department of the CEA-Irfu has observed, for the first time, the cycle of magnetic activity in a star using stellar seismology - the study of ... More »
The giant gas ring in Leo, formed when two galaxies collided
An international team led by astrophysicists from the Lyon Observatory (CRAL, CNRS/INSU, Université Lyon 1) and the AIM laboratory (CEA-Irfu, CNRS, Université Paris 7) has just shed some light on the origins of the giant gas ring in ... More »
Numerical simulations show new moons forming now from the rings
Numerical simulations peformed by a group of astrophysicists of the  AIM-CEA Saclay Laboratory  (University Paris Diderot, CEA, CNRS) and the Nice observatory, based on images collected by the Cassini mission, show that some tiny moons of ... More »
Molecular clouds reveal a giant outburst of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy
The central black hole of the Galaxy, today surprisingly quiet, has undergone, several hundred years ago, a violent phase of activity. This is the conclusion reached by an international team led by astrophysicists of the APC laboratory and ... More »
First images of the farthest massive galaxies
An international team of astronomers led by Dr. Masato Onodera at the Astrophysical Department of the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique in France [1] has used the Subaru Telescope [2] to take an infrared spectra of a very distant, extremely bright, ... More »
Delivery of the Flight Model for a launch planned to take place in 2014
The Astrophysics Department of CEA-Irfu, which has scientific and technical responsibility for the MIRIM imager (Mid Infrared Imager) on the MIRI spectro-imager, one of the major instruments of the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope ... More »
High resolution mapping of the first light in the Universe
Following its launch on 14 May 2009, the Planck satellite [1] has been continually observing the celestial vault and has mapped the entire sky since 13 August to obtain the first very high resolution image of the dawn of the universe. The Planck ... More »
The first asteroseismology results from the KEPLER satellite
The space mission KEPLER, launched in March 2009 to investigate exoplanets, has just delivered its first results on the vibrations of stars. Several international teams of scientists, including members of the Astrophysics Division ... More »
The influence of particle acceleration
For the first time, the events following the explosion of a star have now been simulated in three dimensions by a team from the Astrophysics Division of CEA-IRFU. The simulation includes the significant contribution of particles ... More »
Herschel discovers hundreds of proto-stars in a dark cloud
The first scientific images of the Herschel Space telescope  have just been released during a scientific conference held at Madrid (Spain) on 17 and 18 decembre 2009, only six months after launch. One the most spectacular pictures is the image ... More »
Microquaser gamma emission observed for the first time
For the first time, the high-energy gamma rays emitted by a microquasar have been spotted with certainty, thanks to NASA's Fermi telescope. The observation of the microquasar Cygnus X-3 by a French team (CEA-IRFU, CNRS-INSU and IN2P3, ... More »
A precious Chinese document brought back to light from the legendary Silk road
A spectacular document relating to the history of astronomy is brought back to light by a recent study from a group of scholars led by Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud from the CEA Astrophysical Department [1]. The document, called the Dunhuang chart, now ... More »
The FERMI observatory has discovered the most energetic gamma-ray burst ever detected
The Fermi gamma-ray space telescope  [1] has detected the most violent gamma-ray burst ever recorded; a gigantic explosion marking the death of a massive star. Light from this explosion, captured by the Fermi observatory on September 16th 2008, ... More »
Jean-Luc Starck, an experienced research scientist at IRFU (the CEA Institute for Research on the Fundamental Laws of the Universe) was awarded a 2.2 million euro grant spread over five years under the 7th European research and development framework ... More »
Dense electron clouds around neutron stars.
Neutron stars are the most magnetized objects in our Universe. Some of them, dubbed "Magnetars" have a record magnetic field of 1011 Tesla (T), which corresponds to one million of billions times that of the Sun during a quiescent ... More »
No planets around Sirius ?
Sirius, the brightest star of the sky, is reported to have shown a change of colour, a possibility that has led some scientists to suspect a possible but yet undetected small companion. Now using a specific mask and the modern technique of ... More »
The MIRIM-OB instrument for JWST passed the test
The realization of MIRIM-OB, the optical bench of MIRI (Mid Infra Red Imager), one of the four instruments which will equip the forthcoming space telescope JWST has just completed an essential step with the demonstration that it fulfills the various ... More »
Ultra-compact detectors for high energy Astrophysics
A innovative hard X-ray camera X with excellent performances has been realized and tested at CEA. Result of three years of studies, this ultra-compact camera, called Caliste 64, is able to detect photons between 2 and 250 keV and therefore fills a ... More »
A new look at early star births (23 January 2008)
An international team of astronomers lead by scientists of the Astrophysics Division of CEA-IRFU has discovered large molecular gas reservoirs - the combustible for forming new stars - hosted in ordinary massive galaxies in the young, distant ... More »
INTEGRAL discovers a factory of positrons in the Milky Way (10 January 2008)
Surprisingly, an asymmetry in the distribution of antimatter in the central regions of our Galaxy has just been discovered. By adding all scientific data acquired since five years by the spectrometer SPI aboard the INTEGRAL satellite, a European ... More »
The unexpected shape of the Saturn moons inside the rings (7 Decembre 2007)
The high resolution images provided by the Cassini spacecraft have uncovered a surprising shape for two small Saturn satellites located inside the rings of the giant planet. An international team, leaded by Sébastien Charnoz and ... More »
The dark galaxy may just be tidal debris (15 novembre 2007)
What is a galaxy ? Stars, gas, some dust and surrounding them an invisible dark matter halo. The discovery a few years ago of a so-called « dark galaxy »  devoid of its most famous component - the stars - raised a lot of interest in ... More »
First astronomical image at 450 µm on APEX with P-ArTéMiS (6 juillet 2007)
The first Astronomical image taken by a new generation of camera called "ArTeMiS-1" were obtained with the APEX telescope in March 2007, at Chajnantor in Chile. This bolometer camera operates in the "submillimetre" domain, ... More »
An outstanding star explosion heralded by a giant outburst (14 June 2007)
A team of European, Japanese and Chinese astronomers, led by A. Pastorello from the Astrophyical Research Centre at Belfast University and including French scientists from the Paris Institute for Astrophysics (IAP) and the Service ... More »
Simulations show that they can survive giant collisions
Many small galaxies called "dwarf galaxies" are found orbiting massive galaxies like our Milky Way. They all contain less than one billion stars, hundred time less than the massive galaxies. Where do these tiny galaxies come from ? In ... More »
A camera cooled to 0.3 degree above the absolute zero
  The first images from a new generation camera called "ArTeMiS-1"  have just been obtained at theGornergrat Observatory, near Zermatt in Switzerland. This camera operates in the still poorly known "sub-millimetre" ... More »
The cosmic kaleidoscope
As it travels near matter concentrations, visible or dark, light does not travel in a straight line. It is instead deflected by gravity, as if it went through a lens. This effect, known as "gravitational lensing", is predicted by the ... More »
A new source of chemical elements
An international collaboration led by two French astronomers, Martine Mouchet from the Paris-Meudon Observatory and Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud from the Astrophysical Department of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), have just uncovered a ... More »
What is the origin of the cosmic diffuse infrared background ? A study, based on observations by the ISO infrared satellite, brings today a essential answer to this very important astrophysical question. With the help of deep sky images, obtained ... More »
The INTEGRAL payload calibration campaign was successfully completed in ESTEC.
From 2002, January 23rd to February 6th, an international team has fulfilled a very important calibration campaign on the whole INTEGRAL payload, in one of the clean room of ESA/ESTEC (The Netherlands). The satellite was in its in-flight ... More »
A team of astronomers from the Service d'Astrophysique du DAPNIA/CEA, in collaboration with scientists of the Padoue Observatory and of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) discovered in a cluster of galaxies an activity of star formation with an ... More »
On 12th July 2001, a révolutionary camera was delivered to Milano (Italy) by the Service d'Astrophysique of CEA to be integrated in the IBIS telescope. IBIS is one of the two main instruments of the INTEGRAL gamma-rays observatory. This ... More »


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