IAA-CSIC engineer Francisco Bailén wins the 2021 award for the best thesis from the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

Each year the award recognizes excellence in research in astrophysics



The International Astronomical Union (IAU) PhD Prize, which recognizes the outstanding scientific achievements of doctoral students in astronomy from around the world, has been awarded in its 2021 edition in the category "Facilities, technologies and data science" Francisco Javier Bailén, engineering researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC). It is a distinction that recognizes works of excellence, and in this edition 120 doctoral theses have been presented, defended between December 16, 2020 and December 15, 2021.

Francisco Javier Bailén, member of the Solar Physics group of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), has won the award with his thesis Spectropolarimetric and imaging properties of Fabry-Pérot etalons. Application to solar instrumentation.

Fabry-Pérot etalons are commonly used in solar instrumentation as narrow-band tunable filters because of their high spectral resolution and because they offer a much larger field of view than conventional slit spectrographs. Spectropolarimetric properties and image quality in these instruments are dominated by the optical quality of the etalon and the type of illumination it receives. However, the behavior of these devices has only been partially evaluated to date, often ignoring their possible inhomogeneities, anisotropies or the alignment and manufacturing errors by which they are affected.

"This thesis aims to evaluate the spectral, polarimetric and image quality characteristics of solar magnetographs based on etalons for the two configurations used normally: collimated and telecentric –says the researcher–. On the one hand, this work provides a greater understanding of the performance and limitations of current instruments and, on the other hand, it offers tools that facilitate the design of future instruments with greater precision and quality”.

The researcher, who will receive the award at the next general assembly of the IAU, is currently working, among others, on the Sunrise III project, which has an outstanding participation of the IAA-CSIC and which will study solar magnetism from a stratospheric balloon.

The IAU is an international astronomical organization that brings together more than 12,000 researchers professionally dedicated to astronomy, with a presence in more than one hundred countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU is also the internationally recognized authority for the designation of celestial bodies. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomy.


Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
Unidad de Divulgación y Comunicación
Silbia López de Lacalle - sll[arroba]iaa.es - 958230676