News 2011

March 2011

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 used stellar seismology to analyze very small oscillations in surface brightness to infer the characteristics of the heart of the stars. In the large sample studied, they have managed to distinguish where the nuclear fusion reactions take place, in the core of the stars or in a ... 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  of the Kepler satellite by means of stellar seismology. These waves, known as gravity modes, produce very small changes in the brightness at the surface of the star. The vibrations of the star offer the possibility of measuring the density, chemical composition, and the ... More »



“The research teams are really enthusiastic about what they do and it was fantastic listening to them. The event provided an excellent opportunity to meet them”

  said one participant at the Master's Day held at the end of January.





IRFU's Double Chooz group has just published some surprising results regarding the flux of antineutrinos generated by uranium and plutonium fission products in nuclear power reactors. A more precise estimate of this flux has revealed a +3% shift with respect to the predictions considered as the benchmark for the past 25 years. The re-analysis of the most important past reactor neutrino experimental results, in the light of this new flux prediction, lead to the so called 'reactor antineutrino anomaly'. Including other ... More »

January 2011

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 clusters, which contain up to a thousand galaxies, are the largest structures in the Universe. Many of them are located very far away from us, and we still know relatively little about them. Astrophysicists were able to detect the new clusters thanks to the imprint left in ... 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 Catalogue), with several thousand sources detected by Planck, has been published and presented in the context of an international colloquium, held from 11th to 14th January 2011 at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in La Villette (Paris). Read the joint press ... More »
  The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, a collaboration with contributions from researchers at the CNRS and CEA, has just released the widest sky survey ever carried out to the international scientific community at the annual meeting of the American Astronomy Society held in Seattle between January 10 and 13, 2011. This survey provides an image and a catalog of sources covering almost all of the sky in five colors and with a quality never before achieved in terms of the sky coverage and the accuracy of the luminosity ... More »
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