News 2020

Feb 13, 2020

To measure cosmological parameters, the Euclid space telescope will use two main probes: gravitational lensing (Weak Gravitational Lensing) and galaxy distribution (Galaxy Clustering). These measurements will allow us to study dark energy and dark matter, which affect the growth of cosmic structures and the accelerated expansion of the Universe.

In addition to its implications on instrumental developments and data processing, Irfu is actively involved in the development of algorithms needed to prepare the extraction of cosmological parameters that will be derived from Euclid measurements.

Coordinated by Valeria Pettorino, physicist at Irfu's CosmoStat laboratory, in collaboration with Tom Kitching (UCL[1]) and Ariel Sanchez (MPE[2]), an international team from the Euclid collaboration with complementary expertise in theory and observation has just completed a 3-year study characterizing the performances expected from Euclid for these observational probes.

Publication an Arxiv:

[1] University College London ; [2] Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics
Jan 23, 2020

Arrived safely. The focal plane of the visible imager on the Euclid satellite has just been delivered by Irfu to the laboratory responsible for the instrument (MSSL/UK) to continue its integration into the satellite, which is scheduled to take off in 2022. 

The first studies of this focal plane have been carried out at Irfu since 2010 and after almost 10 years of development and testing, it was fully tested by Irfu in 2019. This Focal Plane is composed of 36 CDDs totalizing more than 600 million pixels. Each image acquired in flight by this focal plane will make it possible to characterize more than 50,000 galaxies. It is the second largest camera, observing in the visible, launched into space after that of the Gaïa satellite. In space, its observations will allow the measurement of galaxy deformations due to weak gravitational lensing effects induced by clusters of dark matter that light encounters on its way to us. These gravitational distortion effects measured at different ages of the Universe will provide measurements of the distribution of dark matter and will be a constraint on dark energy.

*Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Jun 02, 2020
VLT/SPHERE observations of the star AB Aurigae pinpoint a giant planet in formation

Motivated by unusual features recently observed with the ALMA instrument in a proto-planetary disc around the star AB Aurigae, an international team of astrophysicists including a researcher from the Department of Astrophysics / Laboratory AIM of the CEA-Irfu of Paris-Saclay has just obtained a very sharp high-contrast image of a S-shasped sub-structure in the gaseous and dusty disc surrounding the star. This remarkable structure, unique and captured thanks to the excellent image quality of the ESO VLT SPHERE instrument, indicates the presence of a giant planet in formation, confirming a theoretical scenario of the birth of planets. Published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, and subject of an ESO announcement, this work is a precursor to future research programmes on protoplanetary disks with the future ELT/METIS instrument.

May 20, 2020
The fourth catalog of Fermi-LAT sources comes on line

The Fermi-LAT collaboration has published its fourth source catalog, named 4FGL. Based on eight years of data, it contains 5064 celestial objects emitting gamma rays at energies around 1 GeV, adding more than 2000 high-energy sources to the previous collection (published in 2015). More than one fourth of the objects are of unknown nature, calling for numerous follow-up studies. Although its volume is modest compared to the billions of sources listed in optical catalogs, the 4FGL catalog is by far the deepest in gamma-ray astronomy and serves as a reference to the entire domain. The catalog, coordinated by a researcher at the Astrophysics Department (AIM Laboratory) of CEA-Irfu at Paris-Saclay, is accessible on line at the NASA Fermi web site. In parallel, the 4LAC census of active galactic nuclei (coordinated by a researcher at CNRS/CENBG) is also made available to the community.

Jul 28, 2020
Link between magnetars and Fast radio bursts

An international campaign including ground-based and space telescopes, including the INTEGRAL satellite, discovered end of April 2020 very short pulses in both X-rays and radio waves coming from a compact object in the Galaxy, the magnetar SGR 1935+2154. The simultaneous observation of these signals is seen for the first time in this type of source and attests a connection between magnetars and Fast radio bursts, a class of radio sources whose origin is today poorly known. This work, that includes researchers from the Astrophysics Department/ AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu of Paris-Saclay, is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and subject press release of a European Space Agency (ESA).


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