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Istituto italiano di astrofisica - national institute for astrophisics

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The Time Machine Factory
We are pleased to announce that the conference "The Time Machine Factory" will be held in Torino (Italy), from October 14 to 19, 2012. The conference is being organized by Osservatorio Astrofisico of Torino- INAF, INRiM and Politecnico di Torino.
The Hercules fighting galaxies
A new spectacular image from the VST (VLT Survey Telescope) the Italian instrument realized from INAF - OA Capodimonte in collaboration with ESO.
Highlights news
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President news
Athena Italian Day
Athena: the Extremes of the Universe, from Black Holes to Large-scale Structure. Rome, Italy, INAF Sede centrale, March 22nd, 2012
X-ray Astronomy: towards the next 50 years!
International conference, Oct 1st to Oct 5th, 2012, Milan (Italy)
Re-Ionization: When and How?
National Workshop. April 11-12, 2012. IASF Milano, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano
Solar Storm and auroras in progress
NASA claimed the second strongest solar storm just happened since the beginning of the new solar cycle. The comments of INAF’s solar astrophysicists Alessandro Bemporad and Mauro Messerotti.
The Feeding Habits of Teenage Galaxies
New observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope are making a major contribution to understanding the growth of adolescent galaxies. In the biggest survey of its kind astronomers have found that galaxies changed their eating habits during their teenage years - the period from about 3 to 5 billion years after the Big Bang.
VISTA Stares Deep into the Cosmos
ESO's VISTA telescope has created the widest deep view of the sky ever made using infrared light. This new picture of an unremarkable patch of sky comes from the UltraVISTA survey and reveals more than 200 000 galaxies. It forms just one part of a huge collection of fully processed images from all the VISTA surveys that is now being made available by ESO to astronomers worldwide. UltraVISTA is a treasure trove that is being used to study distant galaxies in the early Universe as well as for many other science projects.
Call for proposal TNG and REM
Call for proposals including new instrument Harps-N at TNG and RoS2 at REM is now open for observing time for the period August 1st, 2012 - January 31st, 2013. The proposalsshould be submitted by Monday 16th Apr, 2012, 13:00 UT.
Astrophysics with AGILE: Five Years of Surprise
April 16-17, 9th AGILE Scientific Workshop “Astrophysics with AGILE: Five Years of Surprise” April 18, 10th AGILE Scientific Workshop "Lightning, Terrestrial Gamma-Ray Flashes, and Meteorology".
Catania observatory meets prisoners
The astronomers of the Inaf, National institute for astrophysics, and the astronomical observatory of Catania have joined a new project called “L'Astronomia nei luoghi di disagio” (Astronomy in place of discomfort). Physicists and astronomers will teach to prisoners the life of the stars and some fundamentals of astronomy.
Tsunami children astronomers for one day
Japanese young boys and girls, from 10 to 13 years old, will be the leading actors of a special event arranged by the Inaf-Observatory of Rome. These little artists will present 80 works during the art exhibition called “Watanoha Smile – Frammenti della città” in the city of Zagorolo, near Rome, from the 24th of March to the 2nd of April.
Black holes: a new theory is coming
Astronomers from the UK and Australia have put forward a new theory about why black holes become so hugely massive, growing so fast that they are ten billions of times heavier than the Sun. Black holes grow sucking in a disc of gas spiraling around the hole. The astronomers are now trying to find some solutions and explanations and they're testing new theories. They are wondering what would happen if the gas came from different directions at the same time. This might explain how these black holes got so big so fast.
The engine of the Crab Nebula
The pulsar at the heart of the Crab nebula is bursting with energy. This was just confirmed by the MAGIC collaboration operating two large telescopes on the Canary islands. MAGIC observed the pulsar and found out periodic emission of short pulses stretching till the energies as high as 400 GeV. This is 50-100 times more than expected from theory.
Billions of Rocky Planets in the Habitable Zones around Red Dwarfs
A new result from ESO’s HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. The international team estimates that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun’s immediate neighbourhood. This is the first direct measurement of the frequency of super-Earths around red dwarfs, which account for 80% of the stars in the Milky Way.
The Italian Pathway to SKA
First National Meeting on Science and Technology with SKA MIUR - Rome, 19-20 giugno 2012
EXOMARS: Esa goes on with Russian support
After NASA abandoned the EXOMARS project, the European Space Agency (ESA) turned to the support of the Russian Federal Space Agency (RosCosmos), which will donate the delivery system, the Proton rocket. The european mission will start in 2016. The comment of the President of INAF and COSPAR Giovanni Bignami.
Two oldest planets found: 12.8 billion years old
Four Italian astronomers have found the two oldest alien planets yet discovered. The two huge planets have been found orbiting a star 375 light-years away from the Earth and scientists estimate an age around 12,8 billion years.
Kepler Explorer App: Planets At Your Fingertips
Kepler Explorer, a new app for iPads and iPhones developed by OpenLab, provides interactive displays of recently discovered planetary systems based on Kepler data. The app starts with drop-down menus listing all the Kepler-discovered planetary systems, including our own solar system.The app is now available for free on the iTunes Apple Store.
Herschel sees dusty disc of crushed comets
Astronomers using ESA's Herschel Space Observatory have studied a ring of dust around the nearby star Fomalhaut and have deduced that it is created by the collision of thousands of comets every day.
ALMA Reveals Workings of Nearby Planetary System
A new observatory still under construction has given astronomers a major breakthrough in understanding a nearby planetary system and provided valuable clues about how such systems form and evolve. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that planets orbiting the star Fomalhaut must be much smaller than originally thought.
Vesta shown by NASA's Dawn mission
NASA's Dawn mission has rivealed new images of the giant asteroid Vesta, uncovering new intriguing secrects of its surface. The latest results include stunning colorized images that suggest that the giant asteroid has an unexpectedly wide variety of rocks on its surface and gravity data that show Vesta is curiously dense at the south pole.
Rogue stars ejected from the galaxy are found in intergalactic space
Vanderbilt astronomers report in the May issue of the Astronomical Journal that they have identified a group of more than 675 stars on the outskirts of the Milky Way that they argue are hypervelocity stars that have been ejected from the galactic core.
Ultra-distant galaxy: MACS1149-JD1
NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have spotted the most distant galaxy ever seen and studied by astronomers.
Hydrogen on Vesta hints at water
The giant asteroid Vesta is surprisingly rich in one watery ingredient, hydrogen.
NASA's NuSTAR celebrates first 100 days
September 21 2012 marks 100 days since NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, called NuSTAR, launched into space from the L-1011 "Stargazer" aircraft.
INAF announces the opening of the second Call of the AstroFIt Programme. To be eligible, researchers must be holders of a doctorate or have at least 4 years of research experience. Applicants with more than 8 years of post-PhD research or a total of 12 years of research experience are not eligible to participate.
Very little magnetism in this odd couple
The new observations of IGR J17544-2619 obtained by the NASA satellite NuSTAR have shed light onto some of the most obscure properties and behaviours of SFXTs. The unprecedented accuracy of these measurements has allowed the team led by Varun Bhalerao at the Inter University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (India), with the participation of INAF researchers Patrizia Romano and Lorenzo Natalucci, to see a cyclotron line in the X-ray spectrum of this source, the unambiguous signature of the interaction between the stellar matter and the magnetic field of the compact object that is attracting it.
A milestone toward E-ELT construction
ESO will enter into final discussions with the winning bidder of the tender process for the design, manufacture, transport, construction, on-site assembly and verification of the Dome and Main Structure of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Nicolò D'Amico (INAF's President): "It will bring important returns for italian industries".
That strange haze on Ceres
A new study with ground-based telescopes conducted by a team of INAF astronomers strengthens the hypotheses provided by the Dawn spacecraft images: the dwarf planet seems to have an internal activity on its own which becomes evident when the light intensity of the mysterious bright spots varies
Discovered for the first time the “birthplace” of a fast radio burst
An international team of astronomers, including Marta Burgay, Delphine Perrodin and Andrea Possenti from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), identified for the first time the place of origin of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB), enigmatic radio signals lasting just a few milliseconds, which appear without warning in the sky
The INAF's Sardinia Radio Telescope (Credits: Gianni Alvito)
The infrared image on the left shows the field of view of the Parkes radio telescope with the area where the signal came from marked in cyan. On the right are successive zoom-ins in that area. At the bottom right is the Subaru optical image of the FRB galaxy, with the superimposed elliptical regions showing the location of the fading 6-day afterglow seen with ATCA.Credit: D. Kaplan (UWM), E. F. Keane (SKAO)
This image shows the increased delay in the arrival time of the Fast Radio Burst as a function of the frequency. The delay in the signal is caused by the material it goes through between its point of origin in a distance of 6 billion light years and Earth.Credit: E. F. Keane (SKAO)
Gravitational waves: Italy in the forefront of a new understanding of the Universe
The announcement of the first direct detection of a gravitational wave opens a new era in physics and new perspectives in the investigation of the Universe. In this new page in the history of international research, Italy plays a major role, being the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) both involved in a number of projects.
CHEOPS under polishing
In anticipation of the satellite launch, scheduled for the end of 2017, the surface finishing and the polishing of CHEOPS flight primary mirror have begun, carried out by Media Lario SRL, a SME based in Bosisio Parini, near Lecco.
CHEOPS under polishing
In anticipation of the CHaracterising Exoplanets Satellite (CHEOPS) mission launch, scheduled for the end of 2017, the surface finishing and the polishing of CHEOPS flight primary mirror have begun, carried out by Media Lario SRL, a SME based in Bosisio Parini, near Lecco
JIRAM warms up
The probe Juno NASA is getting ready for his objective, Jupiter: the appointment to the insertion in orbit of the largest planet of the solar system is going to be on next July, 4. Among the many activities in preparation for that moment, the scientific team responsible for the Italian instrument JIRAM (InfraRed Jovian Auroral Mapper), one of the ten that equips the scientific payload of the mission, was turned on twice, on January 25 and February 9, to carry out some tests on its camera.
AstroFIt2 – First Call – Ranking List
The grant will be offered to the 9 (nine) candidates with the highest grades. In case of withdrawal, the position will be replaced by the next in the ranking list.
Starlight on show: a constellation of initiatives on the birth of Astrophysics
The Starlight, the Birth of Astrophysics exhibition is now open: organized by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), the exhibition will be open until 21 June 2016 at the INAF facilities in Arcetri (near Florence), Rome, Capodimonte (near Naples), Palermo and Padua.
CTA will have its permanent headquarters in Italy
The National Institute for Astrophysics wins the European competition: the board of the project has decided that the headquarters of the international organization leading one of the most prestigious infrastructure of modern physics will be located in Italy
Super-Massive And Supersonic: The First Black Hole Studied With The Sardinia Radio Telescope
Using the brand-new Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT), a giant parabolic dish of 64 meters diameter, a team of astronomers from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the University of Cagliari have produced a detailed image of a super-massive black hole proceeding at high speed towards the core of the distant cluster of galaxies designed as 3C 129
500 years of “Orlando Furioso” in Teramo
To celebrate 500 years of the first edition of Ludovico Ariosto’s chivalricpoem “Orlando Furioso”, in which the author imagines a space flight before its time, on 22 July 2016,the Astronomical Observatory of Teramo will host the play “Su l’ali del destrier verso la Luna”.
Alien Olivine on Vesta?
The olivine found on the surface of the Main Belt's asteroid studied by the Dawn mission may have been deposited in the last billion years by other celestial bodies, as a consequence of their impact. These are the results of a series of simulations conducted by a team of researchers led by Diego Turrini (INAF)
Can asteroid Ceres “heal” its own scars?
Contrary to expectations, Ceres – the largest celestial body in the asteroid “main belt”, a region located between Mars and Jupiter – shows less craters than expected on its surface, as shown in a study led by Simone Marchi, associate researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), recently published in Nature Communications. The study is based on data from DAWN, the NASA mission in which Italy participates with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and INAF.
ADASS 2016 - Trieste
The annual Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) will be held 16-20 October at the Stazione Marittima Conference Centre, Trieste, Italy. The hosts of ADASS XXVI is the Trieste Astronomical Observatory (OATs) of the Italian national Institute of Astrophysics (INAF).
JUNO probe successfully completes first Jupiter flyby
A flyby of planet Jupiter at a speed of more than 200 thousand kilometres per hour, up to a distance of about 4,200 kilometres from the surface of the gas giant. This is the target reached on 27 August by JUNO, NASA’s mission that has Italy as the main partner of the US Space Agency.
Fast Radio Burst, an open question
Less than ten years ago, a new class of celestial phenomena were discovered, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). They are transient radio impulses lasting a few milliseconds, so rapid that it is not possible to understand from which part of the sky they come from. They are sometimes detected by radiotelescopes, and were observed for the first time in real time in 2014 by Parkes radiotelescope in Australia.
New discoveries about gamma-ray bursts
Nature Communications recently published a study on the so-called short gamma-ray bursts (SGRB) carried out by an international team of scientists, including Stefano Covino and Paolo D’Avanzo from INAF/ Brera Astronomical Observatory
Novae the Beryllium and Lithium factory
Paolo Molaro, astronomer at the National Institute for Astrophysics and head of a team of researchers, has discovered a high abundance of Beryllium-7 in the material expelled from Nova Sagittarii no. 2, a star discovered by amateur astronomer John Seach in 2015 in the constellation Sagittarius, one of the brightest celestial objects in its class in recent years, among the few visible to the naked eye.
The First Pietro Baracchi Conference
Italo-Australian Radio Astronomy in the Era of the SKA. 1-4 November 2016, ARRC Building, Perth, Western Australia
ASTRI has 20-20 vision!
Wanted: an affordable telescope with a constant angular resolution over a wide field of view
The Italian National Institute for Astrophysics in second place in the world ranking of Nature
The scientific journal Nature has announced in recent days the list of the 100 best in the world scientific institutions with regard to international collaboration and scientific production: the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics is in second place overall.
Ragazzoni and Salinari awarded the Feltrinelli Prize 2016 for the development of adaptive optics
Considered the “Italian Nobel Prize”, the award, established by entrepreneur and artist Antonio Feltrinelli, is given annually by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in five different disciplines.
AHEAD Announcement of Opportunity Cycle 3
The AHEAD project solicits proposals for its program of transnational visits. Submission Deadlines: Call 1 (Experimental Facilities) 30 June 2018, Calls 2 and 3 (Data analysis) 31 December 2016
ExoMars mission sends first “spectacular” images from Mars
The CaSSIS team – explained Co-Principal Investigator Gabriele Cremonese from the INAF Observatory of Padua – is also working on the development of a software that makes 3D models from the images provided by the stereoscopic camera.
Fifty thousand orbits for AGILE, the all-Italian satellite
On 19 December 2016, at 06:08:53 UTC (+1 in Italy), a few months after celebrating its ten years in orbit, the AGILE satellite reached the significant milestone of 50 thousand orbits around the Earth since the day of its launch, 23 April 2007.
The new frontiers in the knowledge of the Universe. An interview with Nichi D’Amico
How did our Universe evolve? Is there life outside of Earth? What is the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy making up 95% of the Universe? The answers to these and other great scientific questions are today entrusted to powerful telescopes located on Earth and in Space, which are equipped with important, “made in Italy”, technologies developed by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). ResearchItaly, the portal of Italian research, talked to the President of INAF, Nichi D’Amico, about current and future research projects and their potential impact on the economic and social system of our country.
Most accurate 3D map of the Universe developed
A successful result obtained by the international team of the VIPERS (VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey) project, coordinated by the National institute for Astrophysics (INAF)
IXPE mission: Italy and NASA for new X-ray astronomy
NASA has announced that it is funding a new mission to study the high-energy Universe: it will be called IXPE (Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer) and will allow astronomers to explore with unprecedented details some of the most extreme astronomic objects, including stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. The mission, scheduled for the end of 2020, will count on a considerable Italian contribution through the Italian Space Agency(ASI), the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF).
The X-ray Universe 2017
The symposium (Rome, 6-9 June 2017) is the fifth meeting in the series of the international symposia "The X-ray Universe". The intention is to gather a general collection of research in high energy astrophysics. The symposium will provide a showcase for results, discoveries and expectations from current and future X-ray missions.
Thanks to the HARPS-N spectrograph, the TNG can see Venus
TThe HARPS-N spectrograph succeeded in measuring from the Earth the velocity of the clouds in the atmosphere of Venus thanks to its high precision, competing with the Japanese Akatsuki probe, which has recently begun to study the atmosphere of the second planet.
First phase of Astronomy Olympiad organized by INAF and SAIT now underway
On 14 February, the inter-regional phase of XV Italian Astronomy Olympiad attended by 850 students (435 for the junior category (14 to 15 years) and 415 for the senior category (16 to 17 years), took place in 14 Italian cities with the aim of qualifying to the national final that will be held in Cremona in April.
Risparmio e vedo il cielo. INAF joins the “M’illumino di meno” campaign
On 24 February, on the occasion of the Energy Saving Day 2017, the National Institute for Astrophysics – INAF has joined the M’illumino di Meno campaign launched by Radio Rai 2 show Caterpillar, now in its thirteenth year, which renews the invitation to turn off the lights in squares, private and public lightings across Italy.
INAF researchers participate in the discovery of two Super Earths
Two massive rocky planets 21 light-years from us, the closest known among those transiting in front of their parent star, have been detected and studied thanks to TNG Galileo National Telescope observations.
An INAF study provides new assumptions on oscillation in star layers
A team of researchers led by Enrico Corsaro, fellow of the AstroFIt2 programme at INAF in Catania, has recently published a study in Nature Astronomy which shows the relationship between the orientation of the stellar-spin axis and the environment where they formed.
Science with Hubble and JWST
Science with the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere, ed Arti Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Venice, Italy. March 20-24, 2017
7th “Paolo Farinella" Prize, 2017
To honor the memory and the outstanding figure of Paolo Farinella (1953-2000), an extraordinary scientist and person, a prize has been established in recognition of significant contributions given in the fields of interest of Paolo, which span from planetary sciences to space geodesy, fundamental physics, science popularization, security in space, weapons control and disarmament.
Nomination for the 7th "Paolo Farinella" award (2017)
Italian researchers participated in the discovery of a distant galaxy at the edges of the Universe
An international research team led by researcher Austin Hoag, University of California, which included Laura Pentericci, an astronomer at the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF)in Rome, together with Italian researchers Tommaso Treu, University of California-Los Angeles, and Michele Trenti, University of Melbourne in Australia, has discovered a small and faint galaxy at the very edges of the Universe.
Matteucci Medal awarded to Marco Tavani
The Italian National Academy of Sciences has awarded Marco Tavani, National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the Matteucci Medal, the award for Italian and foreign physicists for the fundamental contribution made to the progress of science through their works or discoveries.
Cassini Scientist for a Day: the competition for young scientists sets new records
New record numbers for the 15th edition of Cassini Scientist for a Day, the international competition launched by NASA and promoted in Europe by the European Space Agency (ESA), open to lower and upper secondary school students. In Italy, 181 students participated in the competition, sending a total of 81 essays to a panel of researchers and experts in science communication.
INAF researcher involved in the discovery of a millisecond pulsar
An international team of astronomers led by Ivan Zolotukhin of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) of Toulouse, also including Matteo Bachetti, a researcher of the INAF in Cagliari, has discovered that this pulsar is at the beginning of the recycle phase, i.e. the process that causes slow and "turned-off” neutron stars to turn on again as “millisecond pulsar”.
Farewell to Giovanni Bignami
Great astrophysicist and former President of INAF and ASI, Bignami passed away suddenly while in Madrid where he was carrying out his research activities.
Italian researcher led an international team that observed small nearby galaxies
A team of researchers, led by Claudia Cicone (Inaf), has observed a sample of small nearby galaxies.
CTA DG-13.06.2017.pdf
Position of the Director General for the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory
The Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) is searching for a Director General to lead the organization. Applications should be submitted by September 1st, 2017
Job Announcement: Scientific Director and Administration Responsible of FGG
The Board (Patronato) of Fundacion Galileo Galilei - INAF (FGG), manager of the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), invites applications for the position of "Scientific Director and Administration Responsible of FGG". Applications received by 31 August 2017 will be given full consideration.
ISSI selected two projects by INAF researchers
Two projects coordinated by INAF researchers have been selected by the Swiss International Space Science Institute-ISSI to exploit the opportunity that every year is offered to research projects to promote international collaboration and exchange of knowledge among researchers.
INAF contributes to the development of the African Vlbi array
Italy will contribute with INAF and its researchers Alessandro Orfei and Marcello Giroletti to the development of the AVN-African Vlbi Network, the new African Vlbi-Very Long Baseline Interferometry array equipped with a technology that uses several radiotelescopes, one far from the other, in a simultaneous and coordinated way.
2017 GAL Hassin Award to Battiston and D’Amico
This year, the prestigious award of the GAL Hassin Foundationhas been awarded to two major names of Italian astronomy: Prof. Roberto Battiston, President of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), “for his achievements in fundamental and astroparticle physics” and to Prof. Nicolò D’Amico, President of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), “for his achievements in radioastronomy and in particular in the study of pulsars”.

Space, ASI’s Sardinia Deep Space Antenna inaugurated

Sep 09, 2017

Space, ASI’s Sardinia Deep Space Antenna inaugurated The SDSA is located at the Sardinia Radio Telescope-SRT: the large radio telescope for the study of the Universe, situated near Cagliari and developed by the National Institute for Astrophysics-INAF in collaboration with ASI, Regione Sardegna and the Ministry of Education, University and Research-MIUR.

Space, Let’s go to Mars

Sep 09, 2017

Space, Let’s go to Mars An educational video game to explore the Red Planet

Carina Nebula, INAF identifies new star formations

Sep 09, 2017

Carina Nebula, INAF identifies new star formations The Gaia-ESO Survey: Global properties of clusters Trumpler 14 and 16 in the Carina nebula study conducted by Francesco Damiani from INAF of Palermo, involving a number of researchers from the INAF observatories of Arcetri, Bologna, Catania, Padua and Palermo, has been recently published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.