The Moon 50 years ago! It seems like yesterday….

Yesterday, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing in the day of the Apollo 11 mission lift-off, with a small conference and a night of observation of Jupiter, Saturn, a passagge of the ISS, and the partial eclipse of the Moon, of course!

The event, gathering the Faculty staff, the students, and many interested people from outside the University was a big success!

We are considering replicating it for the Apollo 13 mission…


The partial eclipse of the Moon on 16th July 2019, as observed through one of the telescope we made available to the public

Stage a Tor Vergata: Summer 2019

Luca explaining the heat rejector prototype for the Gregor Telescope
The students testing their Galileo replica telescopes

Yesterday was a very rich day in solar educational activities during the “Stage a Tor Vergata” week. We presented the top solar observatories in the world, and in particular the European Solar Telescope – EST
Students built a replica of the Galileo’s telescope and observed the sun with white light telescopes. They also enjoyed a vist in our lab, with a close look to our instruments and prototypes.

A night at the University.

An image of the moon captured tonight through the Newtonian telescope

This week we also had our usual star party night, involving the students of the Optic course and all young astronomy enthusiasts.

Francesco lecturing to the star party participants about physics and astrophysics concepts

ALICE is running…

ALICE stands for ALert for Interplanetary Coronal mass Ejections. It is a tool to provide an email alert for the arrival of an ICME to various targets in the Heliosphere.

It is now running autonomously and whoever is interested can sign up. Different mailing lists exist for the different target of interest.

More info here.

Some contributes to the EGU2019

The Solar Physics group presented a number of poster contributions to the recent EGU General Assembly 2019 in Wien.

Forecasting the arrival of ICMEs throughout the heliosphere
by Dario Del Moro et al.

Impact of solar and geomagnetic activity on thermospheric density during ESA’s mission GOCE
by Francesco Berrilli et al.

Calibration of statistical solar flare forecast parameters for images from SDO/HMI space instrument
by Luca Giovannelli et al.

Climate and radiative properties of a tidally-locked planet around Proxima Centauri
by Daniele Galuzzo et al.

Alert for an incoming solar storm!

The Coronal Mass Ejection that was launched from the Sun early yesterday, will probably (90% confidence) impact the Earth.

Our CME prediction algorithm, running in the Space Weather services SWERTO and IPS, has forecast the arrival at 23:40 of 23-03-2019, with an incertitude of ±10 hours.

At approximately the same time, the CME will also hit the Bepi Colombo spacecraft on its long journey towards Mercury.

This CME has been launched from an Active Region that triggered also another CME few hours earlier. This latter CME will probably hit Venus, instead.

ESCAPE Kick-Off meeting

ESCAPE official project launch date was 1 February 2019. The project has a runtime of 42 months and it will be coordinated by CNRS-LAPP, Annecy.  In view of the project launch, CNRS-LAPP, the coordinator of the H2020-ESCAPE project has invited all the project partners to the ESCAPE Kick-off meeting in Annecy, France from 7-8 February 2019. 

This two day meeting will be an opportunity for all the 31 European project partners to present the planned work-package activities as well as discuss the project plan. 

7 February 2019 :  First day of the meeting agenda will present the planned work-packages activities as well as presentations from the participating ESFRI and other world-class astronomy and particle physics research infrastructures. These discussions will be open to all the participating staff members of the ESCAPE partners. First day shall conclude with a kick-off celebration accompanied by a cocktail and social dinner. 

8 February 2019 : Second day of the meeting agenda includes the first General Assembly meeting as well as the first Executive Board meeting to implement the project governance plan. The General Assembly meeting will have one representative from each partner. Whereas the Executive Board meeting will be limited to the work-package leaders. 

 For more information on the project please visit  :

IPS wins the Leonardo Innovation Award in the Radical Innovation category

Telespazio and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland team won the Leonardo 2018 Innovation Award in the Radical Innovation category. The proposal “Ionosphere Prediction Service for GNSS Users” was presented by Filippo Rodriguez (team leader), Roberto Ronchini, Stefano Di Rollo, Gian Paolo Plaia, Luca Preziosi, Vanessa Sicurello, Osman Kalden and Douwe Lambers. UTOV Solar Physics Team contribution to the IPS project is represented by: observations and algorithms for flare forecasting, algorithms for the detection of CME onset and time of arrival at 1AU, and measurements of SEPs.

The innovation is a platform which can predict when solar explosions interacting with the ionosphere will interfere with terrestrial systems. The activity of the sun produces significant effects on the ionosphere, which is the highest ionized layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. This can influence the behavior of satellite navigation systems, drastically reducing their accuracy or interrupting their proper functioning. Today, predicting weather conditions in space is of special interest: systems are therefore needed to help anticipate and measure the effect of solar activity on applications and services that use satellite navigation systems. The beneficiaries of these forecasts would include the operators of vehicles, aircraft and vessels which use receivers based on GPS, Galileo and other systems to navigate. The service is based on advanced proprietary algorithms that draw on data provided by various open source sensors and historical data. The output is forecasts which are useful in mitigating the effects of magnetic interference.
The Leonardo Innovation Award Ceremony was held at the Città della Scienza (Science City) Museum in Naples. The event was attended by Italy’s Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti, as well as senior representatives from industry, Italian institutions and the world of science.


ESCAPE Project Press Release

The first quarter of 2019 sees the exciting launch of one out of the five successfully retained INFRA-EOSC-04-2018 Cluster projects, which the European Commission supports with €16 million to boost the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

ESCAPE (European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures) aims to address the Open Science challenges shared by ESFRI facilities (CTA, ELT, EST, FAIR, HL-LHC, KM3NeT, SKA) as well as other pan-European research infrastructures (CERN, ESO, JIV-ERIC, EGO-Virgo) in astronomy and particle physics research domains.

UNITOV contribution to the ESCAPE project is using deep learning for Space Weather forecast, in collaboration with Dr. Enrico Camporeale from CWI.


Here you can find more information about ESCAPE

G. Viavattene wins the “E. Landi” prize

G. Viavattene presenting his thesis as the winner of the 2018 E. Landi prize

To commemorate the scientific career of Prof. Egidio Landi Degl’Innocenti, the INAF – Astrophysical Observatory of Turin established and financed a prize named after him, to reward the best Master Thesis in the research field of Solar Physics published in the last three years.

The 2018 edition of this prize was won by G. Viavattene, PhD student at “Tor Vergata” Rome University for his thesis: “Spectro-polarimetric analysis of a short lived solar active region”.

As the winner, G. Viavattene has been invited to give an oral presentation about his work at the SoHe3 meeting and to publish an article on the proceedings of the congress.