The large ALMA interferometer reveals a population of galaxies not yet detected by the Hubble Space Telescope
An international team, led by researchers from the Department of Astrophysics/AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu has just highlighted a new population of very remote galaxies, which had so far escaped the deepest observations of the Universe. During the summer of 2016, at more than 5000 meters of altitude on the Chilean highlands, the antennas of the large interferometer ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) scrutinized for more than 20 hours one of the best studied regions of the sky.
By exploring a sample of 16 of the closest protostars, thanks to the interferometric array of the Institute of millimetric radio astronomy (IRAM), an international team of astronomers, led by researchers from the Department of Astrophysics-AIM Laboratory of CEA IRFU, has just shown that a majority of disks where planets will be formed are born much smaller than expected.
An international collaboration, involving the Astrophysics Department-Laboratory AIM of CEA irfu, participated in the study of an exoplanetary system, Kepler-107 and revealed an amazing distribution of its 4 planets of which two seem potentially resulting from a giant impact. Thanks to asteroseismology (the study of star vibrations) and the modeling of planetary transits, researchers have been able to determine the mass and radius of the central star and its planets with great precision.
On November 29, 2018, the first version of the ECU software for the ECLAIRs instrument was delivered. This computer, called Gamma Camera Management and Scientific Processing Unit, will be set on the Franco-Chinese SVOM satellite, designed to study gamma-ray bursts. It will allow the management of the ECLAIRs instrument and the detection of gamma-ray bursts by the SVOM mission in real time on board.
Outstanding results from this Japanese X-rays observatory
Despite a short period of activity, the japanese space agency (Jaxa) Hitomi satellite has shown its full potential by delivering relevant information’s on several celestial objects.
A prototype of the MXT camera arrived at the CNES in Toulouse on 25 October 2018. This is the Structural and Thermal Model (STM), which will be integrated into the telescope that will be sent to China to be mounted on the SVOM satellite Qualification Model. The objective of this model is to validate the thermo-mechanical design of the camera. It also makes it possible to check the manufacturing and assembly capacity of the various components, which represent more than 1,000 elements.
Impressing results from a large X-ray catalog of galaxy clusters
Using the ESA's XMM-Newton observatory, an international team, led by Marguerite Pierre of the Astrophysics Department of CEA-Irfu, has revealed the latest results of the XXL survey, the largest observation program X-ray produced to date by the XMM satellite. The second batch of data just published in a special issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, includes information on 365 galaxy clusters and 26,000 active galactic nuclei (AGN).
X-ray photons were detected for the first time in late August 2018 with an engineering model of the SVOM MXT focal plane. This is an important step towards the validation of the design of the detection chain. The MXT telescope, for Microchannel X-ray Telescope, will be flown on board the SVOM satellite, a collaborative project between France (CNES) and China (CAS, CNSA) to study gamma-ray bursts. It aims at detecting soft X-rays (0.
The European Spatial Agency retains the mission of exploration of galaxies
The SPICA infrared space telescope has been shortlisted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in the final competition which will see in September 2021 the choice of the next mission of medium size ESA (M5 mission). SPICA is a large infrared telescope (diameter 2.5 m) fully cooled to a temperature of only a few degrees above absolute zero.
New statistical methods reveal the finest details of the Universe
A team led by University College London (UCL), in collaboration with the Astrophysics Department of CEA-Irfu, has significantly improved the analysis of dark matter maps in the Universe with new methods of data analysis. The maps produced by this analysis demonstrate the power of these new innovative methods for analyzing future large data sets such as those expected from the upcoming EUCLID cosmological mission. These results are published in the MNRAS journal.
THESEUS pre-selected for an ESA M5 mission
On May 7, 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the three selected space missions, out of the 25 proposed, for the fifth ESA middle class mission in its scientific program Cosmic Vision, whose launch date is planned in 2032. One of these three missions is the THESEUS project (Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor), a project developed in recent years by a large European consortium in which the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu plays a major role.
The mass distribution of the different stars formed from a collapsing gas cloud has just been successfully reproduced by two researchers from the Astrophysics Department/AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu. The collapse of a gas cloud of 1000 solar mass has been reconstructed thanks to numerical simulations, varying the density and the influence of turbulence.
The HESS international collaboration, to which CNRS and CEA contribute, has published the results of fifteen years of gamma ray observations of the Milky Way. Its telescopes installed in Namibia have studied populations of pulsar wind nebulae and supernova remnants, as well as microquasars, never before detected in gamma rays. These studies are supplemented by precise measurements such as those of the diffuse emission at the center of our Galaxy.
Detection by ALMA of polarized dust emission in the protostar B335
An international team led by the Department of Astrophysics/AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu has just shown for the first time that the magnetic field plays a fundamental role in the collapse of proto-stars. Based on observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, researchers measured the polarization of dust in the B335 protostar. This polarization, emission of light in a preferred direction, results from the alignment of the dust grains under the influence of the magnetic field.
The very first moments of a star explosion
An unprecedented observation of a supernova, an explosion of a massive star, was captured in its early days by an amateur astronomer, at the exact moment when the supernova became visible in the sky.
A theoretical breakthrough paves the way for anticipation of solar storms
A single phenomenon could control all solar flares. This is what researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA-Irfu and Inria have just proposed in an article in the front page of the journal Nature on February 8, 2018. They highlighted the presence of a reinforced "cage" in which a "magnetic cord" develops, an entanglement of twisted magnetic lines of force at the origin of the solar flares.
A galactic cohabitation more hectic than expected
The MegaCam camera developed at CEA-Irfu has revealed previously unsuspected structures within the famous Stephan Quintet, a spectacular combination of five galaxies. The discovery of a very large red halo, consisting of old stars, centered on one of the elliptical galaxies, NGC 7317, shows that the group of galaxies is still in very strong interaction, an aspect totally ignored in previous studies.
Giant galaxies that no longer form stars have 100 times more gas than expected.
By succeeding for the first time to analyze the light of nearly 1000 very distant elliptical galaxies, more than 10 billions light-years away, a team of researchers including three astrophysicists from the Astrophysics Department of CEA-Irfu has just revealed that these galaxies of the beginning of the universe contain a lot of gas but do not form stars. A real enigma that challenges our understanding of the evolution of these giant galaxies.
TO BE TRANSLATED Après une sélection sévère, les premières cibles d'observation du télescope spatial James Web (JWST) qui doit être lancé au printemps 2019, viennent d'être dévoilées.
The Near IR Spectrometer Photometer (NISP) is an infrared spectro-photometer that will equip the Euclid Space Telescope (launch planned for 2021) to better understand dark matter and dark energy. After three years of R&D leading to a qualification model, and 6 months for the construction and testing of the flight model, the two NISP cryomotors successfully passed all the acceptance tests in November.
Under the dome of the Palais de l'Institut de France of the Académie des Sciences, a prize-giving ceremony took place on Tuesday 21 November. Three researchers from Irfu were rewarded for their outstanding work, in the field of cosmology for Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille (DPhP) and David Elbaz (DAp), and on the properties of dust and interstellar gas in the Near Universe for Suzanne Madden (DAp).
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has reached a key milestone with the completion of cryogenic tests on its telescope and instruments. Working within an international consortium, France, in particular the CEA, the CNRS and the CNES, has played a key role in the development, for the scientific successor to the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, of the Mid-InfraRed Imager (MIRIM) that will enable it to see wavelengths of 5 to 28 microns.  
Planetary migration: magnetic or tidal effects ?
A large part of the exoplanets known today are in very close orbit around their star, allowing very intense interactions between the planets and the host star. An international collaboration, led by researchers from Department of Astrophysics-AIM Laboratory at CEA-Irfu, has shown that these planets in close orbits migrate rapidly, due to the combined effect of tidal forces and magnetic forces. This study provides essential elements for understanding the formation and evolution of star-planet systems.
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.
The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) consortium brings together 1300 scientists from 32 countries. They have published their scientific aims in a document over 200 pages long. This is the result of several years of work, and includes contributions from approximately fifteen Irfu researchers involved in X-ray and gamma-ray observatories (Fermi, Integral, XMM-Newton, H.E.S.S., etc.).
The Cassini probe will finish this September 15, 2017 its mission of more than 13 years around Saturn. On board, the smallest instrument, a detector only 5 millimetres long, was developed by the Department of Astrophysics of CEA-Irfu, which carried it out in collaboration with CEA/LETI (Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory).
An international team including two researchers from the Department of Astrophysics-Laboratory AIM of CEA-Irfu detected for the first time the presence of the CH+ molecule in distant galaxies of the young universe, thanks to the large ALMA interferometer. The presence of this particular molecule demonstrates the existence around the young galaxies of large turbulent reservoirs of low-density cold gas.
The study of solar vibrations reveals the astonishing behavior of the thermonuclear center of the Sun
By analyzing more than 16 years of data collected by the GOLF instrument onboard the SOHO satellite, an international collaboration involving two researchers from the Department of Astrophysics-Laboratory AIM of CEA-IRFU has demonstrated a rapid rotation of heart of the sun. For the first time, researchers were able to indirectly determine the properties of solar gravity waves, oscillations affecting the innermost layers of the star.
The secret of the star magnetic cycles
Thanks to new numerical simulations, a scientific team led by researchers from the Astrophysics Department-Laboratory AIM of CEA-Irfu has succeeded in explaining why the magnetic field of the Sun reverses every 11 years. Scientists have highlighted the existence of a strong feedback between the star magnetic field and its internal rotation profile, with temporal modulations that ultimately determine the period of the cycle.
The European PLATO mission definitively accepted at ESA. The PLATO space mission (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) was adopted at a meeting of the Scientific Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA) on 21 June 2017. PLATO aims to discover rocky planets around nearby stars, similar to our Sun.


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