Jun 20, 2024
The Euclid Consortium has awarded the Euclid Consortium STAR 2024 prize, in the Senior Scientist category, to Jean-Charles Cuillandre, a researcher in the Astrophysics Department (DAp) of the IRFU at CEA Paris-Saclay, for his customized pipeline that generated Euclid's magnificent "Early Release Observations" (ERO) public images, seen by billions of people, and kick-started the scientific exploitation of the data.
Jun 19, 2024
NASA recently presented the Silver Group Achievement Award to 232 experts worldwide for their contribution to the commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). These experts worked around the clock during the six months of commissioning. Their hard work ensured that the final performance of all the instruments exceeded the original specifications. The team includes six Frenchmen, four of which belong the Astrophysics Department at Irfu, CEA Paris-Saclay.
Jun 14, 2024
An international research team, including scientists from CEA, has just revealed the chemical composition of a disk of matter rotating around a young star, where new planets are forming. The results reveal the largest number of carbonaceous molecules ever observed in such a disk, including some detected for the first time outside our solar system. These findings have implications for the potential composition of planets forming around this star.
May 30, 2024
The NECTAr chip, developed at IRFU and at the heart of the NectarCAM camera's eyes, is capable of operating in ‘ping-pong mode
In the quest to unravel the mysteries of the Universe, astrophysicists and engineers are pushing the boundaries of technology to capture the fleeting signals of cosmic events. Leading this big effort is the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), a global initiative to build the world's most advanced ground-based gamma-ray observatory.
May 28, 2024
A team of theorists from the CEA's Astrophysics Department (DAP), working within the Laboratory for Modeling Astrophysical Plasmas (LMPA), have carried out simulations using the CEA's supercomputers, with the aim of understanding the formation of stars and protoplanetary disks. Months of computational work have enabled us to achieve resolutions never achieved before, revealing new details about the formation of these objects.
May 23, 2024
The Euclid collaboration today publishes five reference papers on the mission and ten scientific papers based on the first images unveiled to the public in November 2023, as well as the new images presented today by ESA. This phase of preliminary observations conducted last fall provides a glimpse into the telescope's exceptional performance.
May 15, 2024
Although significantly more common in the Universe, ultra-cool dwarf stars remain poorly understood due to their low luminosity. Consequently, our understanding of their planetary population remains limited, even though they represent a substantial fraction of the planets in our Milky Way. It is in this context that the SPECULOOS program was developed, aiming to explore exoplanets around this type of star.
May 03, 2024
An international team of researchers, including members from CEA, utilized NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to map the weather of the hot gas giant WASP-43 b. Measurements in mid-infrared obtained with the MIRI instrument, combined with 3D climate models and other observations, suggest the presence of thick and dense clouds on the night side, clear skies on the day side, and equatorial winds reaching up to 8,000 km/h, mixing atmospheric gases around the planet.
Mar 28, 2024
Magnetars are neutron stars displaying the most intense magnetic fields observed in the Universe. To tackle the still-open question of the origin of these extreme magnetic fields, a scenario was proposed by a team from the Department of Astrophysics (DAp) at CEA Saclay, invoking the Tayler-Spruit dynamo mechanism, triggered by matter falling onto the young neutron star after the supernova explosion.
Mar 27, 2024
An international team, including the Astrophysics Department of CEA-Saclay, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA), utilized one of the world's most advanced spectrographs to detect the smallest "stellar tremors" ever recorded in an orange dwarf star, making it the smallest and coldest star observed to date with confirmed solar oscillations.
Mar 20, 2024
UPDATE [03/26/2024]: The optics de-icing procedure has been a success!
UPDATE [03/26/2024]: Euclid's optics de-icing procedure has produced much better results than expected. The main suspect in the blurred vision of Euclid's VIS instrument was the coldest mirror behind the telescope's main optics. After warming it by just 34 degrees, from -147°C to -113°C, was enough for all the icy water to evaporate.
Mar 05, 2024
After being awarded the 2020 Tate Prize for International Leadership in Physics, astrophysicist Dr. Catherine Cesarsky is honored with another prestigious award: the 2024 Fritz Zwicky Prize in Astrophysics & Cosmology for her outstanding contributions to understanding galaxy evolution through infrared space observations, as well as for her leadership in developing contemporary astronomy observation infrastructure.
Feb 28, 2024
XMM-Newton's energetic universe joins forces with the Euclid satellite's vision of the sky. A thousand hours of X-ray observations, over a region 40 times the size of the moon, will complement multi-wavelength studies of the cosmic evolution of galaxy clusters. A decisive association to constrain cosmological scenarios and reveal the nature of dark energy.
Feb 15, 2024
Sara Bolognesi, a physicist in Irfu's particle physics department, has been awarded the CNRS 2024 silver medal in the particle physics speciality. This medal rewards researchers for the originality, quality and importance of their work, which is recognised internationally and contributes to the reputation of French research. 
Feb 12, 2024
With more than 5,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, administrators and students, CMS is one of the largest scientific collaborations in the world. With members from more than 240 institutes and universities in nearly 50 countries around the world, the collaboration exploits the data provided by the CMS experiment, one of the two giant general-purpose detectors installed along the circumference of the LHC, CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
Feb 08, 2024
Exotic, very neutron-rich nuclei: a laboratory for nuclear interactions
For the first time, an experiment has provided key observations on the spectroscopy of the neutron-rich unbound oxygen nuclei (proton number Z = 8), oxygen 28 (N = 20) and its neighboring isotope at N = 19, oxygen 27.  They were produced in high-energy reactions and observed by direct detection of their decay products, 24O and three or four neutrons.
Feb 02, 2024
On January 17, the T2K collaboration announced the launch of the second phase of its experiment, as stated in a press release. This phase will exploit an upgrade of the beam, whose nominal power has been increased from 450 kW to 710 kW, with the aim of reaching 1.2 MW by 2027. An improved version of the experiment's near detector ND280 is also being implemented, incorporating new time-projection chambers using resistive-Micromegas technology designed and developed by the IRFU teams.
Jan 25, 2024
ESA's Scientific Program Committee has adopted the LISA mission, giving the go-ahead for construction of the instrument and satellites. For the first time, LISA will observe the Universe through gravitational waves from space.
ISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), the European Space Agency's large-scale mission to explore the Universe by observing the many sources of gravitational waves, was adopted on Thursday January 25 by ESA's Scientific Programs Committee, meaning that the concept and technology are recognized as sufficiently advanced for construction of the instrument and satellites to begin. Launch is scheduled for 2035.
Jan 22, 2024
The James Webb Space Telescope has produced a new portrait of the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-39b, a "hot Saturn" some 700 light-years away. After the first near-infrared observations in 2022, which revealed for the first time the presence of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, it was observed again in 2023, but this time in the far infrared, using the MIRI spectrometer.
Jan 22, 2024
A comprehensive revision of the summation method lays new and solid foundations for the calculation of antineutrino spectra emitted by a nuclear reactor. This major advance sheds new light on the origin of the reactor antineutrino anomalies, and will be
Supported by CEA's "digital simulation" cross-disciplinary program, Irfu, the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel of DRT and the Service d'Étude des Réacteurs et de Mathématiques Appliquées of DES teamed up to carry out a thorough review of calculations of antineutrino spectra from nuclear reactors.
Jan 17, 2024
To unravel this mystery, several teams with diverse skills from the Astrophysics Department had to come together, as the architecture that unites the star to its planet is highly complex. They had to combine a detailed understanding of stellar and planetary physics, exploring their interactions, with a thorough knowledge of the observations made by NASA's Kepler satellite to be able to decipher the data.
Dec 21, 2023
NewAthena, a pioneering X-ray observatory, will enable us to make major scientific progress in our understanding of the hot and energetic universe.
On November 8, 2023, ESA's Science Program Committee (SPC) approved the evolution of the Athena (Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics) mission, now named NewAthena, and confirmed its status as the flagship mission of ESA's Cosmic Vision program. Positioned as a pioneer in X-ray astrophysics for the coming decades, NewAthena will enable the astronomical community to make major scientific advances in our understanding of the hot, energetic universe.
Dec 18, 2023
Barbara Perri, an astrophysicist at Irfu's Astrophysics Department and an expert in space weather, has been awarded an ANR contract for the WindTRUST project, which aims to predict solar activity in order to protect against it. The WindTRUST project is based on improved numerical simulations of the environment between the Sun and Earth, in particular the still poorly understood link between the Sun's magnetic atmosphere and its fast-moving wind of energetic particles.
Dec 08, 2023
The PEPR Suprafusion, proposed by the CEA and the CNRS, is the winner of the third wave of calls for
The PEPR Suprafusion (Priority Equipment Programme for Exploratory Research), proposed by CEA and CNRS, is the winner of the third wave of calls for projects under the France 2030 plan. The €50 million funding will enable the development of high-temperature superconductors to meet tomorrow's energy and societal challenges, particularly with applications in the field of fusion.
Dec 06, 2023
Engineers from Irfu's Division of Systems Engineering (DIS), co-managers of several EPICS sub-projects, took part in a particularly rewarding "Document-athon" experience, both technically and humanely. EPICS is a collection of open-source software tools for managing the control-system part of an experiment. This is a vast and complex subject, which is constantly evolving and therefore needs to be properly documented. This documentation effort requires a lot of resources.
Nov 27, 2023
The majority of the 3400 known pulsars are "seen" in radio waves, and are located in the Milky Way. The 340 pulsars seen in gamma-rays all share the common feature of being among the 10-15% most powerful pulsars.
An international team led by French researchers, including those at DAp, publishes on November 28, 2023 in the Astrophysical Journal a compilation of 340 pulsars seen in gamma rays (30 MeV - 30 GeV) with the LAT space telescope on NASA's Fermi satellite. Prior to Fermi's launch in 2008, only 11 pulsars were known in gamma rays. This new catalog brings together all the characteristics of all known gamma-ray pulsars.
Nov 27, 2023
IRFU successfully qualified the medium-energy line delivered to Soreq in 2020 after just a few hundred hours of beam, and delivered the first cryomodule for the future linear accelerator.
Thanks to the expertise developed by the CEA during the SPIRAL2 and IFMIF projects, in 2014 the CEA signed a contract with the Soreq Nuclear Research Centre (SNRC, Israel) to build a superconducting linear accelerator called SARAF (Soreq Applied Research Accelerator Facility). The aim is to build an accelerator capable of delivering proton and deuteron beams with energies ranging from 5 to 40 MeV and intensities of up to 5 mA.
Nov 22, 2023
ExoMagnets aims to develop new theories and high-performance simulations using future exascale computing infrastructures in order to exploit existing and future observations of the magnetism of distant exoplanets.
Antoine Strugarek, an astrophysicist in Irfu's Astrophysics Department, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator contract. The core of his ExoMagnets project is to understand the magnetic coupling between an exoplanet and its star, and therefore the magnetic field of exoplanets, which is crucial for the habitability of a planet.
Nov 15, 2023
The consortium of laboratories that has developed the MIRI instrument for the JWST is benefiting from guaranteed observation time. The CEA's Astrophysics Department, which is part of the consortium, has defined and coordinated the exoplanet observation programme. Among the objects selected are a number of brown dwarfs, which are excellent proxies for studying giant exoplanets, particularly those that orbit far from their star, much further away than the planets in our solar system.
Nov 15, 2023
EIC is a future electron-ion collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) that will probe the internal structure of nucleons and nuclei with unprecedented precision.
The CEA and the DOE have a long and fruitful collaboration in many fields, including fusion, high-energy physics and nuclear physics, with ongoing projects bringing the two organisations together in these different areas. On Monday 13 November 2023, CEA and DOE signed a “statement of interest” to strengthen their collaboration in accelerator and detector science and technology in preparation for the construction of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) based at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  


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