IRAM is an international research institute for radio astronomy. Its overall objective is to explore the universe and to study its origins and evolution.

IRAM was founded in 1979 and its headquarters are located in Grenoble, France. With a staff of more than 120 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative personnel, IRAM develops and maintains two observatories: the 30-meter telescope located on the Pico Veleta near Granada, Spain, and the NOEMA interferometer (currently an array of nine 15-meter telescopes) in the French Alps. Both instruments are prime facilities for radio astronomy and among the most powerful observatories today operating at millimetre wavelengths. [...]
March 12, 2018
Multiple fibers in the heart of the Orion star-forming region
A unique combination of ALMA and IRAM 30m observations reveals the internal gas structure in Orion with unprecedented detail. The new data show that the gaseous material in this star cradle is highly organized forming a wispy network of filamentary structures prior the formation of stellar embryos.
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March 12, 2018
10th IRAM millimeter interferometry school
The 10th IRAM millimeter interferometry school will be held October 1st - 05th 2018 at the IRAM headquarters (Grenoble, France). It is intended for students, post-docs and scientists who want to acquire a good knowledge of interferometry and data reduction techniques at millimeter wavelengths, with a special emphasis on the NOEMA interferometer and its new capabilities.
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December 8, 2017
IRAM and two Chinese partner institutions have signed a Scientific Cooperation Agreement in the framework of the NOEMA project
IRAM, the Institute for Radio Astronomy in the Millimeter Range (Grenoble, France) has signed two cooperation agreements with the University of Nanjing (China) and the Purple Mountain Observatory (Chinese Academy of Sciences). The primary goal of these agreements is to strengthen cooperation in the Millimeter Astronomy, and in particular in the framework of NOEMA...
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December 6, 2017
The most distant black hole in the cosmos
Astronomers have discovered the most distant quasar known, which is so far from us that its light has taken more than 13 billion years to reach us. We see this quasar as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang, and its light carries valuable information about the early history of the universe...
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November 30, 2017
IRAM closes in on NOEMA's full potential: PolyFiX and the Nine Antenna Array
We are very pleased to announce the successful implementation of the wideband high-performance correlator PolyFiX in concert with the nine antenna array. The commissioning of PolyFIX represents the next crucial milestone in the quest for ever higher sensitivity. The very first observations of a line survey at high-redshift in the 3mm-band are given below as a foretaste of NOEMA's full potential that is now within grasp.
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September 19, 2017
MEMS & IMAGING Summit 2017
In the framework of the LabEx project FOCUS (Focal Plane Array for Universe Sensing), IRAM will participate to the MEMS & IMAGING Summit 2017 at MINATEC in Grenoble, from September 20 to 22. FOCUS is a French research project...
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June 20, 2017
NOEMA continues array upgrade
NOEMA continues its successful array upgrade with the implementation of the 9th antenna this spring. Together with the installation of the new NOEMA wide band receivers in all existing 9 antennas, the array is ready for the installation and commissioning of the new NOEMA correlator Polyfix foreseen for the end of the summer...
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March 31, 2017
Une première image du trou noir au centre de notre galaxie?
C’est grâce à un réseau mondial de radiotélescopes qu’une équipe internationale d’astronomes essaiera en avril, une première dans l’histoire de l’astronomie, d’obtenir une image du centre de notre galaxie, là où se trouve un trou noir géant. Ce projet mondial s’appelle Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) et associe des télescopes du monde entier – de l’Europe jusqu’au pôle sud, en passant par le Chili et Hawaii. Le télescope de 30-mètres de l'IRAM est la seule station d'observation en Europe...
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March 31, 2017
Imaging the black hole at the center of our Galaxy
An international team of astronomers will join in April and try for the first time in the history of astronomy, to capture an image of the center of our galaxy, where a giant black hole lies. This worldwide project is called Event Horizon Telescope (EHT); it combines telescopes across four continents from Europe to the South Pole, through Chile and Hawaii. The IRAM 30-meter telescope is one of them...
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March 7, 2017
Beyond the appearances: The anatomy of the Orion Jedi revealed by radio-astronomy
Using the IRAM 30-meter radio-telescope, an international team of astronomers has obtained the most comprehensive radio-survey of the Orion B star-forming region, famous for hosting the iconic Horsehead and Flame nebulae. Through a careful dissection of the cloud into regions of different molecular composition, they shed new light on how the darkest and coldest inner parts give birth to new stars. Following mankind's tradition of associating characters with features on the sky, the radio astronomy view of Orion B seems to show the skeleton of a fighting Star Wars Jedi!
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March 3, 2017
IRAM reveals phosphorus molecular compounds in the solar-type star-forming region L1157
The IRAM 30-meter radiotelescope was used to lead a systematic search for molecules containing phosphorus (P) towards L1157-B1, a shock wave front created by the propagation of a supersonic jet emanating from a solar-type protostar. Several spectral lines of phosphorus mononitride (PN) were detected and, for the first time in a solar-type star-forming region, the lines of phosphorus monoxyde (PO), a molecule of high biological interest.
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January 16, 2017
RadioNet Programme Received Funding from the European Commission
RadioNet, the European Programme for radio astronomy, has been awarded a grant of 10 million Euro for the next 4 years from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. As one of RadioNet's major partner institutions, IRAM will be the leading participant and coordinator of AETHRA, a joint research programme that will exploit cutting edge technologies for next generation receivers...
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January 12, 2017
NIKA captures the merging of galaxy clusters
A team of researchers from the NIKA consortium has obtained for the first time an image of the gas velocity in a merging cluster of galaxies. These observations open a new way to study the formation of the largest structures in the Universe, formed through the most energetic events since the Big Bang.
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October 1, 2016
Discover the IRAM 30 meter telescope!
A virtual visit of the IRAM 30 meter telescope and its surroundings as well as spectacular aerial views of the observatory, located on Pico Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada...
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September 8, 2016
Zooming into the skin of the Orion hunter
Combining the information from the ALMA interferometer and the IRAM 30-meter telescope, an international team of astronomers obtained the most detailed image of the Orion Bar, the frontier between the atomic and molecular gas in the closest massive star forming region from the solar system.
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September 2, 2016
University of Michigan and IRAM agree to collaborate on NOEMA
The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA) and IRAM, the Institute for Radio Astronomy in the Millimeter Range (Grenoble, France) have finalized the signature of a collaboration agreement in the area of Millimeter Astronomy and in particular for NOEMA, the Northern Extended Millimeter Array project. The agreement, which runs for five years, will serve to strengthen and accelerate the scientific and technological progress generated by NOEMA.
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August 30, 2016
The most distant cluster of galaxies in the Universe
Through a unique combination of observations made by the largest telescopes in the world, an international collaboration led by researchers from the Astrophysics Department- AIM Laboratory of CEA-IRFU has detected the most distant galaxy cluster ever discovered in the Universe . Back 11.5 billion years in the past of the Universe, the snapshot of this cluster shows 17 galaxies in a strong starburst activity, a period of intense star formation. This is the first time such a structure, captured at the time of its formation, is detected as far away, when the universe was "only" 2.5 billion years.
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July 21, 2016
Expanding molecular bubble unveiling the mysterious origin of Tycho's supernova remnant
An international team of astronomers from China, UK, and Canada has discovered an expanding molecular gas bubble surrounding the remnant of Tycho’s supernova with the IRAM 30-meter telescope. This is the very first unambiguous detection of an expanding bubble driven by the progenitor star of a Type Ia supernova, and an important clue to understanding the mysterious origin of this historical supernova and its remnant.
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June 21, 2016
IRAM opens a new spectral window on the Universe
The spectral range from 71 to 80 GHz is of fundamental importance for a number of questions in the extragalactic and galactic research areas but, despite of this, is one of the few spectral windows that remained inaccessible to interferometers. While the IRAM 30m telescope started in the winter semester 2015/2016, after the EMIR upgrade offering the possibility to observe in this spectral window,
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June 14, 2016
First detections of the key prebiotic molecule P-O in star-forming regions
An international group of scientists from the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory (INAF-OAA, Florence, Italy), the Center of Astrobiology (CAB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) and the Max-Plank Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE, Garching, Germany) has detected for the first time the prebiotic molecule P-O in star-forming regions. This molecule plays a key role in the double helix structure of DNA, and is therefore directly linked to the origin of life in the Universe.
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April 28, 2016
And then they were 8... NOEMA stays on track
NOEMA has seen the successful deployment of the 8th antenna early April with first fringes on all baselines detected only 10 days later on the 19th of April. The NOEMA project stays on track with the ambitious timescales for construction, commissioning and integration of its future antennas.
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April 20, 2016
9th IRAM Millimeter Interferometry School
The 9th IRAM millimeter interferometry school will be held October 10th-14th 2016 at the IRAM headquarters (Grenoble, France). It is intended for students, post-docs and scientists who want to acquire a good knowledge of interferometry and data reduction techniques at millimeter wavelengths, with a special emphasis on the NOEMA interferometer.
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March 24, 2016
Sulfur monoxide, a key to unlocking the birth sites of future planets?
NOEMA and IRAM 30-m radiotelescope observations have provided the very first detection of sulfur monoxide (SO) in a protoplanetary disk. The IRAM 30-m radiotelescope observations were performed in the frame of ASAI, an IRAM Large Program led by R.Bachiller (OAN/Spain) and B.LeFloch (IPAG/France). Follow up NOEMA observations were obtained by an international collaboration led by A.Fuente and S.Pacheco (OAN/Spain).
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March 03, 2016
IRAM Science Software User Meeting, April 6th-8th, IRAM Grenoble headquarters
The IRAM Science Software team will present the projects that were developed in the past 5 years and the projects that will be delivered in the next few years.
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February 5, 2016
NIKA 2 - A revolutionary imaging instrument for millimeter waves sees first light
NIKA 2, the second generation Neel-IRAM-KID-Array, is a dual band camera operating simultaneously at 150 and 260 GHz. The instrument is based on large arrays of superconducting Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KID) operated at temperatures of 100 mK. NIKA 2 is built by an international consortium, led by the Institute Neel (Grenoble France).
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January 11, 2016
The shadow of the Flying Saucer: A very low temperature for large dust grains.
ALMA and IRAM-30m observations of carbon monoxide (CO) were used to determine a very low temperature of large dust grains in the disk around a young star in the Ophiuchus star forming region. These observations were conducted by an international team, led by a scientist at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux.
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