IASF-Palermo, the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica (Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics), is a research structure of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF). The institute was founded by Prof. Livio Scarsi in 1981.
The key topic of the institute is the study of the universe through observations from space and ground-based observatories in the X-ray and gamma-ray energy bands and high energy cosmic rays.
Scientists at IASF-Palermo study gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, isolated pulsars, X-ray binaries, high energy cosmic rays.
A considerable part of the institute’s efforts aims at research and development of scientific instrumentation for space missions (satellites and stratospheric balloons) and ground-based observatories, and for methods and methodologies for images and data analysis.
Since the very beginning, IASF-Palermo has been involved, with a high level of responsibility, in a number of international scientific missions and programs, like BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, JEM-EUSO, ASTRI, CTA.
The institute is very active also in the public outreach with regular educational programmes and public engagement activities aimed at school students, science teachers and the general public.
IASF-Palermo has a staff of 24 scientists and 10 technicians and administrative officers, and hosts about as many post-docs, Ph.D. and fellows.