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Experimental radio, microwaves and gravitation

Instrumental activity at radio wavelengths involves two, partially overlapping, scientific communities in Italy, with different scientific objectives. Radio astronomy uses, above all, coherent receivers connected to digital electronic systems for the analysis of the converted signal, on ground-based telescopes with ever larger collecting areas. To increase further the baselines of interferometric systems, possible space missions are being studied.

The study of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background), that is, the first light in the Universe, is today carried out using coherent (radio), incoherent (bolometers) and cryogenic quantum receivers, for ground-based telescopes, balloons (Boomerang), and space missions (Planck). Lastly, gravitational experiments using radio science are carried out with interplanetary probes, using, above all, precise radio tracking measurements.

ALMA shed light on the chemical composition of a protoplanetary disk

Oct 09, 2020

ALMA shed light on the chemical composition of a protoplanetary disk The team led by Linda Podio, a researcher at INAF, observed a protoplanetary disk of less than 1 million years, which is almost edge-on. The edge-on geometry allowed observing the vertical structure of the disk and to resolve distinct chemical layers. The images obtained thanks to ALMA revealed emission from several molecules. One of these is methanol, a key molecule for the formation of the so-called “complex organic molecules”