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.
Oct 16, 2017
The discovery of a new type of gravitational wave
Using a range of detectors developed with the participation of the CEA, physicists at CEA-Irfu have scrutinized the region from which the gravitational wave was detected on August 17, 2017 by LIGO-VIRGO facilities. Unlike the four previous detections of waves of the same type discovered since 2015, this new vibration of space, called GW170817, is of different origin. It does not result from the fusion of two black holes but of two densest known stars, the neutron stars.
Mar 29, 2016
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 allowed to search the existence of a high-energy source of light, associated with this exceptional event.
Feb 29, 2016
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 INTEGRAL/SPI spectrometer during a strong outburst of the source in June 2015. These findings show that microquasars can be very efficient to provide significant pairs electron-positron and thus can be considered somehow as  “antimatter factories”.
Feb 17, 2016
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 JAXA / NASA mission under the Japanese leadership and with an ESA participation. This new observatory aims to observe and study the hot and energetic Universe. Astro-H embeds several instruments that when combined cover the spectral band 0.3-600 keV.
Mar 24, 2011
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 Service d'Astrophysique of the CEA-Irfu and laboratory APC discovered a surprising property of the light emitted by the system, a high degree of polarization.
May 27, 2010
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 including scientists of the Service d'Astrophysique of CEA-Irfu, by studying the high energy emission of molecular clouds located in the central regions of the Galaxy.


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