2020 News

November 24, 2020
Funding promises a new performance era for the IRAM 30m
The IRAM 30-meter telescope is a lighthouse facility for millimeter wave astronomy since more than three decades and, for this type of telescope, unequaled in sensitivity and scientific productivity with world leading instrumentation. The Spanish science ministry has now decided to dedicate important amounts of European structural funds (FEDER) to refurbish and upgrade the facility.
Read more
November 19, 2020
Artificial intelligence, a game-changer for studying stellar nurseries
Star formation is a complex riddle because molecular hydrogen, the material that forms stars, cannot be directly detected at the low temperatures that prevail in the molecular interstellar medium. Radio-astronomers and signal and image processing experts have recently joined forces to develop new techniques that shed light into this long-standing astrophysical problem. By applying a new pluri-disciplinary approach to a state-of-the art mapping survey of 20 molecules in the famous Orion molecular cloud with the IRAM 30-meter telescope, the ORION-B team has...
Read more
November 13, 2020
A star, eventually!
It is a story many parents are hoping for: Imagine there’s a very young kid that seems like a real low-performer, but then it turns out that secretly it has its very powerful moments - such that the odds are pretty good it will become a real star, eventually. In fact, this is very much what an international team of astronomers found when they examined the very young protostar IRAM 04191 with the NOEMA observatory...
Read more
October 13, 2020
IRAM Executive Council member Reinhard Genzel is awarded Nobel Prize in Physics
The prestigious award honours the scientist Reinhard Genzel for the discovery of the supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy. Reinhard Genzel has been member of IRAM’s Executive Council for now more than 30 years, a major proponent and facilitator of the NOEMA project and a power user of the IRAM facilities.
Read more
September 29, 2020
The NOEMA observatory: antenna 11 joins the array
As of September 2020, antenna 11 has joined the NOEMA observatory for scientific observations following a very successful and efficient commissioning. Despite the tight antenna maintenance schedule this year and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, observations with the entire eleven antenna array were made possible...
Read more
September 23, 2020
Wobbling shadow of the M87* black hole
In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration delivered the first image of a black hole, revealing M87* - the supermassive object in the center of the M87 galaxy. The EHT team has now used the lessons learned last year to analyze the archival data sets from 2009-2013, some of them not published before. The analysis reveals the behavior of the black hole image across multiple years, indicating...
Read more
September 1, 2020
IRAM 30-meter telescope detects a possible precursor of biological RNA
Using the IRAM 30-meter telescope, a group of astronomers led by Víctor M. Rivilla detected for the first time the molecule hydroxylamine (NH2OH) towards the molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027 in the center of our Galaxy. This molecular species has been the subject of intensive research in the last years due to its importance in prebiotic chemistry.
Read more
July 28,2020
A growing stellar system directly fed by the mother cloud
For the first time, astronomers have observed a conveyor belt from the outskirts of a star-forming dense cloud directly depositing material near a pair of young forming stars. Scientists at the German Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) and the French Institut de Radioastonomie Millimétrique (IRAM) found that gas motions in the conveyor belt, dubbed a 'streamer', mainly obey the gravitational pull of the innermost part of the core, near the protostar pair.
Read more
July 1, 2020
Tiny globules around young and massive stars: what do they hide?
A unique combination of the IRAM 30-meter telescope and SOFIA images of the Orion Nebula reveals how the winds and UV radiation from young massive stars eat up their natal molecular cloud. The detection of small molecular globules inside the disrupted material can be explained as a result of the unavoidable cloud destruction process. These tiny globules, however, hide unexpected surprises.
Read more
May 25, 2020
COVID-19 epidemic - UPDATE 2
Following the development of the COVID19 epidemic and the measures foreseen and scheduled by the French and Spanish authorities, IRAM adapts its activities to the specific national situation. During the last two weeks gradual restart of activities at the Grenoble headquarters and the Granada office has taken place.
Read more
April 7, 2020
Mysterious Heart of Quasar 3C 279
The IRAM 30-meter Telescope participated in first Event Horizon Telescope observations of a black-hole powered jet. One year ago the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration published the first ever image of a black hole in the nearby galaxy M 87. Now the collaboration has extracted new information from the EHT data on the distant quasar 3C 279: they observed the finest detail ever seen in a jet produced by a supermassive black hole.
Read more
March 18, 2020
COVID-19 pandemic -- UPDATE
Following the development of the COVID19 epidemic and the measures recently enforced by the French and Spanish authorities, the activities at the institute headquarters in Grenoble as well as at the Granada office have been reduced to a strict minimum.
Read more
March 6, 2020
Guidelines for IRAM users and visitors during the corona virus epidemy
The evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) over recent days requires us to update and strengthen prevention measures for staff and visitors. In this context, we wish to inform you on the present update of preventive measurements for IRAM users and visitors.
Read more