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Large projects

INAF is working on the construction of large research infrastructures like the SRT (Sardinia Radio Telescope), with ASI, and the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) in Arizona, with the Americans and Germans. It maintains, and makes available to the community, the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in the Canaries, has completed the construction of the VST (VLT Survey Telescope) that has started to operate at the ESO observatory in the Chilean Andes, and contributes to the upgrade of scientific instrumentation at the Very Large Telescope. INAF also contributes to ESA's Cosmic Vision with participation in all the projects currently selected. INAF is also busy in programs that will define the future of astronomy and astrophysics: E-ELT, a gigantic 42 metre telescope, SKA (Square Kilometre Array), a system of over 1,500 radio antennas that together will make the largest radio telescope ever constructed, and for which the government has proposed Rome as the project headquarters. The agreement for the construction and installation of HARPS on the Galileo telescope is currently being drafted. HARPS is the most powerful "hunter" of extra-solar planets, and currently operates only in the southern hemisphere. Italy would then have an extremely precious instrument in the search for Earth-like planets in the northern hemisphere. The search for such planets in the habitable zone of their stars is among the most promising and exciting fields of research for the near future.

Light in Astronomy 2017

Nov 14, 2017

Light in Astronomy 2017 Light in Astronomy, organized by INAF in collaboration with the Italian Astronomical Society-SAIt, will be a week (13-19 November) dedicated to satisfying curiosity about the Universe thanks to the opening in Italy of INAF premises, including the astronomical observatories.

Marsis radar reveals that on Mars all that echoes is not ice

Oct 28, 2017

Marsis radar reveals that on Mars all that echoes is not ice The low dielectric constant of the Meridiani Planum deposits is consistent with a thick layer of ice-free, porous, basaltic sand. This study is fundamental to identify techniques that may help find the planet’s areas with accessible water ice.

A 3D step towards sorting out the Gamma-Ray Bursts zoo

Oct 13, 2017

A 3D step towards sorting out the Gamma-Ray Bursts zoo A powerful tool for characterizing and classifying gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) to allow their use as tracers of the expansion history of the universe has recently been presented by an international team of researchers led by Dr. Maria Dainotti