An international team of researchers has used NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to measure the temperature of the rocky exoplanet TRAPPIST-1 b. This is the world's first detection of thermal emission from a rocky exoplanet as small and “cool” as the rocky planets in our own solar system. TRAPPIST-1 b receives about twice the amount of energy as Venus receives from the Sun and four times more than Earth. The result indicates that the dayside of the planet has a temperature of about 227°C (500 K) and suggests that it has no significant atmosphere. The study, co-authored by three researchers from the Dap, has just been published in the journal Nature, on Monday 27 March.
CEA has delivered to CNES the flight version of the ECLAIRs instrument software for the SVOM satellite. This concludes a major instrumental development phase conducted by CEA over a period of 6 years to produce what is maybe one of the most complex software packages ever carried on a French scientific space instrument. The latest version of the software equips the ECLAIRs onboard computer, which departed to China in early 2023. It will be used during the satellite integration tests in Shanghai in preparation for the launch planned for early 2024. This software will analyse in real time the data from the instrument in flight, in order to detect gamma-ray bursts and localise them to better than 12 arcmin on the sky, to reorient automatically the satellite for follow-up observations, and to alert the scientific community.
The ATLAS collaboration announced at the Moriond conference the observation of simultaneous production of four top quarks. This is one of the rarest and heaviest processes ever observed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This measurement, coordinated by IRFU, allows to test the Standard Model of particle physics in its most complex predictions.
Reactor antineutrino anomalies are a decade-long puzzle in neutrino physics. They are manifested by deviations of the order of a few percent between measurements and predictions. These deviations have been observed in the number of antineutrinos measured by more than a dozen experiments at nuclear reactors, and in the shape of the kinetic energy distributions by the seven most recent ones. They could have been the way to a new physics beyond the standard model, but the recent experiments, including the STEREO experiment carried by IRFU, have closed this door.
In a work just published in Physical Review Letter , a team of physicists from IRFU and the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel of DRT have shown that these anomalies could come from biases in the measurements of fission electrons used as a reference for the prediction. They have developed a beta strength function model to reduce the biases in the calculation of the energy spectra of electrons from fission of fissile reactor nuclei. The two "anomalies" on the antineutrino flux and the "bump" at 5 MeV in the antineutrino energy spectrum are now reproduced by their model. This allows to propose an explanation to solve an enigma of more than 10 years.
The European Research Council has just announced the names of the winners of the Advanced Grant. This 2023 edition rewards in particular two researchers from the CEA's fundamental research department for their work in the fields of astrophysics and neuroscience. Anaëlle Maury is the leader of the PEBBLES project. This project consists of developing an innovative methodology to characterise the properties of dust around very young stars in the process of forming their proto-planetary disks. Dust is one of the key elements in the physical processes regulating the formation of stars and their planetary systems, but recent observations are overturning the models used until now to describe its evolution from submicron grains to pebbles. Observing and modelling the properties of dust grains during the earliest phases of disk formation promises to provide important insights into the conditions leading to the formation of solar systems such as our own. Through PEBBLES, the teams will use new dust models that are better suited to denser astrophysical environments and will use them in comparison with observations from space missions and ground-based observatories from the infrared to the millimetre range.