Our research group aims at assessing the physical conditions in which clusters of galaxies and large-scale structures form and evolve in our Universe. These studies are based both on archival and proprietary data collected at several wavelengths (radio: GMRT, VLA; optical: ESO 3.6m, NTT, VLT, CFHT, HST; X-ray: Chandra, XMM-Newton) and on cosmological numerical simulations. International collaborations are active for a fruitful exploitation of these datasets and for a proper definition of the scientific requirements of the next generation of space missions, like Euclid (see also ongoing activities at OABO), Athena+, SKA.
Researchers at DIFA/Univ. Bologna: F. Brighenti, D. Dallacasa, G. Giovannini, M. Gitti, L. Moscardini, C. Nipoti
Post-docs: N. Cappelluti (OABo), C. Fedeli (OABo), I. Formicola (OABo), C. Giocoli (DIFA), M. Roncarelli (DIFA), M. Sereno (DIFA/OABo)
Grants awarded in the last 3 years: PRIN-INAF 2012, AstroFit 2012, PICS 2012, PRIN-MIUR 2012, ISSI (2010-2012), ASI (I/009/10/0)
Publications in the last 3 years: >100
– Scaling relations of galaxy clusters in the X-ray, radio, mm bands: observational data and numerical simulations
– Characterization of merging clusters and connection to the formation of radio halos and relics through the analysis of X-ray (Chandra, XMM-Newton) and radio (GMRT, EVLA) data, both proprietary and archival ones
– Properties of the ICM (interplay with AGNs, metallicity distribution, morphology, outskirts) from X-ray data and hydrodynamical simulations
– Strong and Weak Lensing analysis of galaxy clusters: participation to the CLASH Multi-Cycle Treasury Program of the HST
– X-ray analysis of the CLASH sample with proprietary and archival data
– Usage of galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes: preparatory work for the upcoming Frontier Fields Initiative
– Image simulations of galaxy clusters: usage of state-of-the-art codes to produce realistic images of galaxy clusters obtained from N-body/hydrodynamical simulations, including their lensing effects
– Studies of the large-scale structures with the cosmic X-ray and IR background radiation
– VIPERS: galaxy clustering, RSD, bias and growth rate at z>0.5
– Hydrogen reionization with strong lensing: investigation of the escaping ionizing radiation at z<4 and the neutral Hydrogen fraction of the IGM at z>7 with Ly-alpha emission line statistics
– Activities in the scientific exploitation of the database of galaxy clusters selected in the XXL survey
– Activities related to the Euclid mission (building of database of galaxy clusters and evolution of galaxies in clusters)
– Definition and feasibility studies of the scientific case on galaxy clusters for the next-generation of X-ray satellites (WFXT, Edge, IXO/Athena+)
On longer timescales (~ 2030), transformational science is expected by Europe’s next generation X-ray telescope Athena+. In particular two key questions in Astrophysics will be addressed: 1) How does ordinary matter assemble into the large scale structures that we see today? and 2) How do black holes grow and shape the Universe?
The Athena+ mission provides the necessary angular resolution, spectral resolution, throughput, detection sensitivity, and survey grasp to revolutionize our understanding of these issues. These capabilities will also provide a powerful observatory to be used in all areas of astrophysics. The Bologna Team is actively participating to the Science Team activities with a leading role in the definition of the scientific priorities on the study of the formation and evolution of galaxy clusters.
The Wide Field X-Ray Telescope (WFXT) is a medium-class mission concept designed to be 2-orders-of-magnitude more sensitive than any previous or planned X-ray mission for large area surveys and to match in sensitivity the next generation of wide-area optical, IR and radio surveys (e.g. LSST, Euclid, SKA). The WFXT extragalactic surveys will reach limiting fluxes comparable to the those of the major Chandra and XMM surveys, but over 1000 times larger areas. These surveys are expected to provide an astrophysical dataset of more than 0.5 millionclusters of galaxies to z ~ 2, 10 millions AGN to z > 6, and 0.1 million normal and starburst galaxies at z < 1, that will constitute a vast scientific legacy for decades.
Available Master Theses
Theses are available. Please contact staff researchers at OABo listed above.