vai al contenuto della pagina vai al menu di navigazione
 

Astrophysics

The scientific staff of the DIFA – Astrophysics Sector is active in the fields of theoretical and  observational astrophysics, and of astronomical and space technology. The staff is involved in several international projects, often using the world-class observing facilities (e.g. HST, ESO VLT, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Herschel, ALMA, VLA/VLBI). Local observing facilities, regularly used also by students, include two optical telescopes (60 cm and 150 cm diameter) located in Loiano, and two radio telescopes managed by INAF-ORA: the Northern Cross, owned by the University of Bologna, and the VLBI 32m parabolic antenna. Also relevant is the relation with CINECA and its supercomputing facilities.

All the scientific activities benefit from the synergies within the unique environment of Bologna, where other institutes for astrophysical research are also located: INAF-OABO (in a building shared with the DIFA) , INAF-IASFBO and INAF-ORA. The main research activities of DIFA – Astrophysics Sector can be summarized as follows.

 

Stars and Stellar populations

M. Bellazzini (INAF-OABO), M. Cadelano (PhD student), E. Dalessandro (INAF-OABO), F.R. Ferraro (Full Prof.), B. Lanzoni (Assoc. Prof.), E. Lapenna (Post Doc), A. Mucciarelli (Assist. Prof.), L. Origlia (INAF-OABO), C. Pallanca (Post Doc.), S. Raso (PhD student), S. Saracino (PhD student), A. Zocchi (Post Doc.).

Current studies are mainly focused on the structure and dynamics of globular clusters, the properties of their stellar populations, the formation and the enrichment history of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, and the physics of stellar mass loss. These investigations are carried out by using a variety of space-based facilities (HST, ISO, Spitzer, GALEX, Chandra) and ground-based telescopes (VLT, LBT, Keck, Gemini, Subaru, Magellan, NTT, TNG), and through numerical simulations and dynamical models.

One of the main science streams of the group is the use of globular clusters as cosmic laboratories for Astrophysics, Dynamics and Fundamental Physics. This project was initiated with an Advanced Grant of 1.9 million Euro funded by the ERC within the Seventh Framework Programme “Ideas” and it currently is one of the major research streams of the group. The project uses three classes of “exotic stars” (blue stragglers, millisecond pulsars and intermediate-mass black holes) as test particles to probe the dynamical evolution of star clusters.  A variety of results has been obtained in this contest by the group, who published more than 60 papers in international peer-reviewed papers over the last five years.  The complete list of results and published papers can be found at  project web site.

Collaborations: INAF-OABO, ESO Garching, Liverpool University, UCLA, Universidad Concepcion (Chile), Indiana University (Bloomington, USA), Space Telescope Institute (Baltimore, USA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China), Yonsey University (Korea), Observatoire de Paris (France), NRAO (Charlottesville, USA), Max-Planck-Institute für Radioastronomie (Bonn, Germany)

Web sites: Cosmic-Lab http://www.cosmic-lab.eu/Cosmic-Lab/Home.html

Funding: UniBo, ERC, PRIN-INAF

 

Galaxies and Interstellar Medium

F. Annibali (INAF-OABO), C. Bacchini (PhD Student), M. Bellazzini (INAF-OABO), F. Brighenti (Assoc. Prof.), F. Calura (INAF-OABO), A. Cimatti (Full Prof.), L. Ciotti (Full Prof.), G. Clementini (INAF-OABO), P. Focardi (Assist. Prof.), F. Fraternali (Assist. Prof.), A. Garofalo (PhD student), G. Iorio (PhD Student), C. Nipoti (Assist. Prof.), R. Pascale (PhD Student), S. Pellegrini (Assoc. Prof.), M. Tosi (INAF-OABO)

 

Galaxies are studied both from the observational point of view (especially in X-ray, optical and 21-cm line), and theoretically, with the aid of numerical simulations and analytical methods (stellar dynamics, potential theory). The main activities carried out at DIFA include the study of dynamics and kinematics, structure, scaling laws, Dark Matter halos, formation and evolution of elliptical, spiral and dwarf galaxies. Strictly related investigations concern the diffuse matter within galaxies and its relationships with the environment, in particular gas hydrodynamics, extraplanar gas, star formation, AGN and SN feedback, cooling flow models and their variants, the intracluster medium. Modified Newtonian gravity is also studied from the theoretical and numerical point of view.

Collaborations:  Center for Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysics Division (Cambridge, MA, USA), Department of Astrophysical Sciences (Princeton University, NJ, USA), Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Columbia University, NY, USA), Department of Physics and Astronomy (University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA),  INAF-OABO, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute (University of Groningen, NL), Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics (Oxford University, UK)

Web sites: HALOGAS http://www.astron.nl/halogas/ , MHONGOOSE http://mhongoose.astron.nl/

Funding: UniBO, PRIN-MIUR, PRIN-INAF

 

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)

M. Brusa (Assist. Prof.), M. Cappi (INAF-IASFBO), A. Comastri (INAF-OABO), D. Dallacasa (Assoc. Prof.), F. D'Ammando (Post Doc.), L. Feretti (INAF-ORA), R. Gilli (INAF-OABO), G. Giovannini (Full Prof.), M. Giroletti (INAF-ORA), M. Gitti (Assist. Prof.), P. Grandi (INAF-IASFBO),

C. Gruppioni (INAF-OABO), G. Lanzuisi (Post Doc.), R. Lico (PostDoc), M. Mignoli (INAF-OABO), M. Orienti (INAF-ORA), R. Nanni (PhD), S. Pellegrini (Assoc. Prof.), F. Pozzi (Assist. Prof.), E. Torresi (Post Doc.), C. Vignali (Assoc. Prof.), F. Vito (POST DOC.), A. Zanichelli (INAF-ORA).

Active galaxies are important to study the phisics of galaxy formation and evolution. In particular we would like to understand the interaction between the central Super Massive Black Hole (SMBH) and the galaxy properties. Population studies as well as deep multi-wavelength studies of individual sources are necessary to understand the physical properties of this class of sources. In more detail: X-ray surveys and deep multi-wavelength observations (e.g. XMM-COSMOS, C-COSMOS, CDFS, ELAIS, Herschel/PEP among others) are exploited to identify AGNs in the key epoch of AGN-galaxy co-evolution and constrain the nature of diffuse X-Ray background. Follow-up observations in the optical and near infrared (e.g. with X-Shooter, SINFONI and SOFI data)  are used to explore the effects on galaxy evolution of feedback from luminous Quasars at z~1-3, in terms of the study of their BH-host galaxy properties or kinematics properties (research funded by the FP7 Career Integration Grant "eEASy"; PI Brusa). Accretion and ejection mechanisms are studied in the radio, infrared and X-ray to understand the complex physics of black holes up to high redshifts. The impact of the AGN on the host galaxy is carried on also analysing galaxies in the local Universe, taking advantage of new sub-mm data from the ALMA telescope. Given the proximity these sources, it is possible to study in detail how the AGN radiation field  impact the physics of the molecolar clouds in the interstellar medium, i.e. the sites were new stars born.

Moreover samples of high and low power radio sources, young radio sources, Brightest Cluster Galaxies, and the faint radio population are investigated with modern radio interferometers and multi-wavelength data to understand the nature and origin of the radio loudness. Some us are members of the FERMI collaboration to observe the whole sky in the Gamma-Ray band.

In 2016 the project Super Massive Black Holes, PI G. Giovannini, in collaboration with INAF-IRA, has been included among the strategic projects for the scientific collaboration between Italy and Japan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Collaborators are the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Many common scientific projects are now in progress in this context, including VLBI observations. The project includes the participation of the three Italian radio telescopes for common observations with the four radio telescopes in Japan.

Researchers of present group are involved (core members of Key-projects) in the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and in the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project.

Collaborations: Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge MA, USA), NRAO (USA),  European VLBI Network, Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, Max Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (Garching bei München, Germany).

Web sites: eROSITA  http://www.mpe.mpg.de/eROSITA , ATHENA http://www.the-athena-x-ray-observatory.eu/ , COSMOS survey  http://cosmos.astro.caltech.edu/ , CDFS survey  http://www.bo.astro.it/xmmcdfs/deeprime/ ,  http://www.sr.bham.ac.uk/~ejos/CLoGS.html  , http://www.nrao.edu/ , http://www.evlbi.org/ , http://www.jive.eu/

Funding: UniBo, PRIN-INAF, Marie Curie Career integration grant, FARB, ASI, INAF, MAECI.

 

Cosmology, clusters of galaxies and galaxy evolution

M. Baldi (Assist. Prof.), M. Ballardini (Postdoc), S. Bardelli (INAF-OABO), F. Bellagamba (Post Doc.), M. Bolzonella (INAF-OABO), F. Brighenti (Assoc. Prof.), A. Cimatti (Full Prof.), L. Ciotti (Full Prof.), A. Citro (PhD Student), D. Dallacasa (Assoc. Prof.), S. Ettori (INAF-OABO), F. Finelli (INAF-IASFBO),  F. Fraternali (Assist. Prof.), C. Giocoli (Postdoc), G. Giovannini (Full Prof.), M. Gitti (Assist. Prof.), M. Hashim (Postdoc), F. Marulli (Assist. Prof.), M. Meneghetti (INAF-OABO), R.B. Metcalf (Assist. Prof.), M. Moresco (Post Doc.), L. Moscardini (Full Prof.), C. Nipoti (Assist. Prof.), S. Pellegrini (Assoc. Prof.), F. Pozzi (Assist. Prof.), S. Quai (PhD Student), M. Roncarelli (Post Doc.), M. Sereno (Post Doc.), M. Talia (Post Doc.), A. Veropalumbo (Postdoc), E. Zucca (INAF-OABO)

Studies of the formation and evolution of cosmic structures, based on analytic and numerical techniques, are performed in the standard ΛCDM framework and in alternative cosmologies (e.g. models with dynamic quintessence, coupled dark energy, modified gravity, primordial non-Gaussianity). Constraints and forecasts for the cosmological parameters are obtained by using different probes, like galaxy clustering, Baryon Acoustic Oscillations, abundances of galaxy clusters, weak and strong gravitational lensing, cosmic chronometers. Galaxy clusters are studied to understand their physical processes and exploited as cosmological probes (radio halos, radio relics, non-thermal emission mechanisms, magnetic fields, intra-cluster medium, total and baryonic mass, gas temperature and metallicity, gravitational lensing). The physics, evolutionary mechanisms and clustering properties of galaxies are studied with multi-band surveys (e.g. GMASS, COSMOS, Herschel/PEP, VIPERS, VUDS, VANDELS).

Collaborations and web sites: Euclid  http://sci.esa.int/euclid/ , VIPERS  http://vipers.inaf.it  , ATHENA  http://www.the-athena-x-ray-observatory.eu , VANDELS http://vandels.inaf.it/ , VUDS http://cesam.lam.fr/vuds/

Funding: UniBO, PRIN-MIUR, PRIN-INAF, Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship, ASI/INAF, SIR

 

The Euclid Mission

M. Baldi (Assist. Prof.), M. Ballardini (Postdoc), S. Bardelli (INAF-OABO), F. Bellagamba (Post Doc.), M. Bolzonella (INAF-OABO), F. Brighenti (Assoc. Prof.), M. Brusa (Assist. Prof.), C. Burigana (INAF-IASFBO), A. Cappi (INAF-OABO), A. Cimatti (Full Prof.), L. Ciotti (Full Prof.), G. Cosentino (Technician), O. Cucciati (INAF-OABO), D. Dallacasa (Assoc. Prof.), A. De Rosa (INAF-IASFBO), S. Ettori (INAF-OABO), F. Finelli (INAF-IASFBO), F. Fraternali (Assist. Prof.),  C. Giocoli (Postdoc), A. Gruppuso (INAF-IASFBO), E. Maiorano (INAF-IASFBO), F. Marulli (Assist. Prof.), M. Meneghetti (INAF-OABO), R.B. Metcalf (Assist. Prof.) , M. Mignoli (INAF-OABO), M. Moresco (Post Doc.), L. Moscardini (Full Prof.), C. Nipoti (Assist. Prof.), E. Palazzi (INAF-IASFBO), L. Patrizii (INFN-BO), S. Pellegrini (Assoc. Prof.), L. Pozzetti (INAF-OABO), F. Pozzi (Assist. Prof.), M. Roncarelli (Post Doc.), E. Rossetti (Technician), M. Sereno (Post Doc.), L. Valenziano (INAF-IASFBO), D. Vergani (INAF-IASFBO), A. Veropalumbo (Postdoc), C.Vignali (Assoc. Prof.), G. Zamorani (INAF-OABO), E. Zucca (INAF-OABO)

Euclid is a mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), adopted in 2012 in the framework of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025, with launch in 2020. Euclid is a high-precision cosmology mission exploiting the combination of weak lensing and large scale structure in order to constrain the dark energy equation of state, to test modified gravity models and to address other key questions of modern cosmology.  Euclid will survey 15,000 deg2 with visible and near-infrared imaging to magAB~24-25, and with near-infrared slitless spectroscopy, plus a deeper field of 40 deg2.  Euclid will also provide an immense legacy dataset. Italy is member of the Euclid Consortium together with 12 European countries and the participation of NASA and CSA. The Italian participation in Euclid is mainly supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Several scientists of the DIFA – Astrophysics Sector played a key role in the development (2007) and approval (2011) of Euclid, and currently have management, scientific (cosmology, clusters, galaxies and AGNs) and data processing responsibilities.

Collaborations and web sites: Euclid Consortium http://www.euclid-ec.org/ , http://sci.esa.int/euclid/

Funding: UniBo, ASI, PRIN-MIUR

 

Astronomical Instrumentation and Technology

G. Bregoli (INAF-OABO), G. Cosentino (Technician), A. De Rosa (INAF-OABO), E. Diolaiti  (INAF-OABO), I. Foppiani (INAF-OABO), M. Lombini (INAF-OABO), E. Rossetti (Technician), L. Schreiber (INAF-OABO)

EELT AND MAORY - We performed the conceptual design study of a MultiConjugateAdaaptiveOptics system (MAORY) for the future ESO European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT, 39m). The study, funded by ESO and partially by the European Seventh Framework Programme, has been carried out by a consortium involving also INAF OAPD, INAF Arcetri and ONERA. The construction of such a system has been recently been allotted by ESO to INAF, with E. Diolaiti (INAF-Bologna Observatory) as project director.

SOLAR CONCENTRATORS - By applying the procedure adopted in astronomical telescope, we developed a general method to manipulate the image in solar concentrators in order to boost the receiver performance. The method consists in the introduction of controlled deformations into monolithic mirrors. Numerical optimizations of reflective surfaces have been performed to obtain, given the mean concentration ratio, non-imaging optics producing spots that match the receiver features. The free-form optics optimized with our method leads to a substantial gain in efficiency if compared to a “normal” imaging mirrors, without including secondary optics or complex dish segmentation.  We calculated that the efficiency of a dense array receiver can closely approach the performance of the single cells employed.  The study, initially developed in the the Ph.D. Thesis of Alessandra Giannuzzi, eventually led to a patent, shared by UniBo and INAF. (Funds: Ph.D. fellowship allotted by MIUR, program for innovation in Energy production)

LOIANO 152 cm TELESCOPE - Maintenance and updating of the Loiano telescopes are shared with INAF-OABO.

EUCLID mission -  E. Rossetti is responsible of developing the RESS algorithm aiming at the optimization of the redshift measurements for the Euclid NISP spectroscopic instrument data (funds: ESA/ASI program).

Funding: UniBo, MIUR, ESA/ASI

 

History of Astronomy and outreach

F. Bònoli (Assoc. Prof.), P. Focardi (Assist. Prof.)

The main activities in this area are the analysis of the Bologna historical contributions to the development of astronomy, and the preservation and study of the historical instrumentation of the “Museo della Specola”. After major restoration works of the 18th-century tower which hosts the Museum, the setting up of instruments and displays has been completed, and the Museum is today opened six days a week, with guided tours. The project of reorganization, digitalization and online publishing of the Historical Astronomical Archives of the Department is near to be completed and studies on the most relevant of the historical documents are in progress.
Several outreach activities are performed in collaboration with the astronomical institutions in Bologna in order to promote and spread astronomy towards the schools and the general public.

Funding: UniBo

Downloads

Contacts

DIFA Reception-Astrophysics: Navile

via Piero Gobetti 93/2

40129 - Bologna

tel: +39 051 2095809

Marco Baldi

Junior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5742

Fabrizio Bonoli

Adjunct Professor

Presidenza della Scuola di Scienze

Via Selmi 3

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5790

Fabrizio Brighenti

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5799

fax: +39 209255700

Marcella Brusa

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5781

fax: +39 051 20 9 5700

Andrea Cimatti

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5817

Luca Ciotti

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5723

Daniele Dallacasa

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5713

Francesco Rosario Ferraro

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5774

Paola Focardi

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5717

Filippo Fraternali

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5749

Gabriele Giovannini

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5716

tel: +39 051 6399415

Myriam Gitti

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5798

fax: +39 051 20 9 5700

Barbara Lanzoni

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5792

Federico Marulli

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5721

Metcalf Robert Benton

via Ranzani, 1

40127 - Bologna - Italia

tel: +39 051 20 95747

Lauro Moscardini

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5726

Alessio Mucciarelli

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5705

Carlo Nipoti

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5722

Silvia Pellegrini

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5812

fax: +39 051 20 9 5700

Francesca Pozzi

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5761

fax: +39 051 20 9 5700

Cristian Vignali

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Piero Gobetti 93/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5785