Massive black holes devouring matter and ejecting outflows.


In the centers of many galaxies, there are massive black holes devouring matter and ejecting outflows that significantly affect galactic evolution.

It is unclear how these black holes reached huge masses in short cosmological times and how exactly they alter the birth of new stars.

INAF-IASF Palermo is in charge of a large international research program called SEAWIND (Super-Eddington Accretion: Wind, Inflow, and Disk; PI: Ciro Pinto) aimed at tackling crucial open questions on the accelerated growth of black holes.

The SEAWIND team studies nearby black holes that are stripping away matter from companion stars or from the interstellar medium at extremely high rates. In particular, data from state-of-the-art telescopes that operate in the X-ray and other energy bands is combined with advanced analysis techniques to investigate the nature of black hole fast outflows and inflows of matter. Further focus is devoted to the development of future technologies and space missions related to this research field.

Contact person
Ciro Pinto

Team @ IASF-PA
Antonino D’Aì
Melania Del Santo
Simona Paiano
Ciro Pinto
Fabio Pintore
G. Rodriguez Castillo


We are experts from 11 INAF institutes and 5 universities (IUSS Pavia, Roma Tre, Tor Vergata, Palermo, Cagliari, see figure below). 41 researchers provide knowledge of accretion physics, ejection, and disc-outflows coupling. They have been grouped in three main working packages (WPs): WP-Accretion led by Paolo Esposito (IUSS Pavia), WP-Ejection led by Ciro Pinto (IASF Palermo) and WP-Coupling led by Stefano Bianchi (Roma Tre). Thanks to support from PRIN MUR 2022 (SEAWIND project) and INAF LG 2022 we will enrol 4-5 postdocs to fulfil the programme objectives. A substantial fraction of the research will be performed on a large amount of observing time awarded for several facilities including XMM-Newton, NUSTAR, Chandra and Swift.


The project is supported on two parallel lines of research that focus on accretion and ejection properties of black holes and other compact objects, respectively. The projects have been awarded two independent grants (both with PI: Ciro Pinto): PRIN MUR 2022 for the project “SEAWIND” (250k€, funded by European Union – NextGenerationEU) and INAF LARGE GRANT for the project “BLOSSOM” (200k€).

Postdoctoral positions (2) at INAF – IASF Palermo – the 1st of which focuses on high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy (PI / manager: Ciro Pinto). Application link: AdR 1 / postdoc position @ IASF Palermo link – Awarded: Virginia A. Cuneo Patino. “SEAWIND: studio di accrescimento super-Eddington in sistemi binari ai raggi X e nuclei galattici attivi / study of super-Eddington accretion in X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei“. A 2nd position is open: AdR 2 / postdoc position @ IASF Palermo linkdeadline: 31/03/2024 23:59 (CEST, expired, evaluation is ongoing). “BLOSSOM: Studio di crescita rapida di buchi neri in sistemi binari e nuclei galattici attivi / Study of rapid growth of black holes in binary systems and active galactic nuclei“. For more detail on both positions, contact Ciro Pinto from IASF-PA (ciro.pinto[at]

Postdoctoral position at Università degli Studi Roma Trethe call is now closed (PI / manager: Federica Ricci) – Awarded: Matilde Signorini.” SEAWIND: Caratterizzazione del regime di accrescimento super Eddington in AGN tramite spettroscopia X broadband / Characterisation of the Super-Eddington accretion regime in AGN via broadband X-ray spectroscopy“. For more detail contact Federica Ricci from Uni Roma 3 (federica.ricci[at]

Postdoctoral position at Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS Pavia) – the call is closed (PI / manager: Paolo Esposito) – Awarded: Rajath Sathyaprakash. “Accrescimento super-Eddington in sistemi binari X e nuclei galattici attivi / Super-Eddington accretion on compact objects, from X-ray binaries to active galactic nuclei“. For more detail contact Paolo Esposito from IUSS Pavia (paolo.esposito[at]