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Introduction: Italian planetology today

The study of planetary bodies is currently in one of the most exciting periods in its history.
The discovery of hundreds of extra solar planetary systems has broadened the frontiers of modern astrophysics, making the scientific community re-consider the Solar System as a peculiar case within a wide variety of possible solutions. This discovery has given birth to a new multi-disciplinary science, bioastronomy, whose main goal is the study of the origin, evolution and spread of life in the Universe. In the international context of planetological studies, Italy has played a very central role for years, thanks to the efforts of the active and dynamic scientific community, that has managed to define itself leading roles in activities that go from pure theoretical research to remote observations from the ground and space, to laboratory experiments, and the construction of essential instruments that have flown, and are flying, on-board the main planetary exploration space missions. In fact, it is important to note that the planetology which is developing in recent years, uses space exploration as a primary instrument to obtain data for any attempt of
interpretation, analysis and modeling of the planetary bodies. These activities are, by their nature, financed principally by the "Agenzia Spaziale Italiana" and/or ESA. Involvement in space activities is also to be considered an obvious development of basic theoretical, observational and laboratory based research, that find a natural source of funding in INAF, and are the result and expression of a long tradition that has resulted in Italy having many of the world experts in the field of planetology.

Olivier Le Fevre - in memoriam

Jun 26, 2020

Olivier Le Fevre - in memoriam On June 25, the astronomer Olivier Le Fevre passed away

Magnetic tornadoes in the Sun’s atmosphere

Jun 26, 2020

Magnetic tornadoes in the Sun’s atmosphere A team of researchers led by Mariarita Murabito (INAF) that includes scientists of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Warwick University has provided the first observational proof that solar tornadoes are produced by swirling magnetic fields

Ultraviolet light vs. COVID19: from the Sun to artificial lamps the germicidal power of ultraviolet rays against the pandemic

Jun 15, 2020

Ultraviolet light vs. COVID19: from the Sun to artificial lamps the germicidal power of ultraviolet rays against the pandemic Results of a study carried out by the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the University of Milan, in collaboration with Istituto Nazionale Tumori and the Don Gnocchi Foundation of Milan, demonstrate the high germicidal power of short ultraviolet radiation (UV-C) on SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. This result has important public health implications on the strategies to be adopted to manage the pandemic and clearly explain how decontamination and sterilization protocols to prevent SARS-Cov-2 infection must be designed. Notably, taking off from these results a second study explains the role of Sun-derived UV-B/A in conditioning the epidemiology and the worldwide evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic