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Astrophysics of Interstellar Matter

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3 days 21 hours ago

An international research team involving scientists from IAS and other laboratories 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 carbon-containing molecules observed to date in such a disk, and have implications for the potential composition of planets that could form around this star. These results, published in the journal Science, were obtained as part of the MIRI instrument's guaranteed time program, developed by a consortium of laboratories in Europe and the USA and involving the IAS.

3 weeks 2 days ago

The first scientific results from Euclid, the European space cosmology mission, were unveiled on Thursday May 23, 2024: 15 scientific papers, including 5 general ones about the space mission, its instruments and processing, and 10 on the first astrophysical observations. These first observations and articles confirm Euclid's performances, and mark the start of the “Euclid era” for cosmology. The nominal mission will last 6 years, with partial data delivery within 1 year, and the first data delivery within 2 years.

1 month 3 weeks ago

The Horsehead Nebula has been discovered in the visible range as a dark cloud appearing in extinction at the edge of a giant molecular complex in Orion. It is a photo-dominated region (PDR) illuminated by a massive star. It is of great interest to astrophysicists, as it is the ideal object for understanding the interactions between UV radiation emitted by stars and interstellar matter, the way radiation propagates inside dense clouds, and the impact of radiation on matter (photo-evaporation, ionization, dissociation, fragmentation, heating, etc.).

3 months 3 weeks ago

An international team, involving scientists from IAS, IRAP, ISMO and LERMA, has shed light on the destruction and reformation of a large quantity of water in the planet-forming disk “d203-506” located at the heart of the Orion Nebula. This discovery was made possible by an original multidisciplinary approach that combines observations from the JWST space telescope and quantum physics calculations. The study, carried out as a part of the PDRs4All¹ Early Release Science (ERS) program and led by Marion Zannese, a PhD student at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, has been published in Nature Astronomy.

10 months 2 weeks ago

Water is essential for life as we know it. However, scientists debate how it reached the Earth and whether the same processes could seed rocky exoplanets orbiting distant stars. The preferred mechanism is water-bearing asteroids bombarding the surface of a young planet. An international research team involving scientists from IAS has just discovered water in the inner disk of the young star PDS 70, well inside of the orbit of two growing giant planets.