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Solar astrophysics and interplanetary physics

The scientific objective of research in solar, interplanetary and magnetospheric physics, is the understanding of the variety of phenomena related to solar activity and its influence on planetary environments. This field of investigation, that explores in detail a rich variety of physical processes, important also in a more general astrophysical context, can be summarised as the study of the complex interaction between magnetic fields and plasmain a wide range of dynamical conditions. Recent years have seen significant progress in our understanding of the Sun and heliosphere, thanks to the use of new and more effective instruments, both from the ground and from space. Also, a series of instruments dedicated to the study of the properties of the terrestrial ionosphere and magnetosphere and their variations, has identified correlations between changes in the circum-terrestrial environment, whose impact on human activity can be critical, with interplanetary perturbations induced by the most energetic, solar, magnetic phenomena (flares, eruptive prominences, coronal mass ejections), encouraging significantly studies of the physics of the Sun-Earth relationship and "Space Weather".

The Italian solar, interplanetary and magnetospheric scientific community is actively involved in these fields of investigation, regularly making use of available international instrumentation both on the ground and in space, and has also contributed significantly to the building of the same instruments. Further, the community also has available adistributed observational infrastructure both nationally and abroad, constantly used forsystematic observations of the Sun and the study of Sun-Earth relations.

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