Scientists at IASF-Palermo study gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, isolated pulsars, X-ray binaries, high energy cosmic rays.
The main core of the scientific activity carried out at the IASF-Palermo is the study of high energy astrophysics and cosmic ray physics. Scientists at IASF Palermo are involved in several national and international projects aimed at the study of astronomical sources characterized by extreme physical phenomena and very high energies. Aim of the Astrophysics and Astroparticle programme is to encompass the science as well as the development of instruments (or subsystems) for space, with strong involvement of the Instrument science group and the engineers. Specifically, scientific activity is mainly focused on the study of:
- Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), short-lived and luminous flashes of gamma-rays from space;
- Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), astronomical objects characterized by very high luminosities concentrated in small volumes;
- Isolated Pulsars, neutron stars with strong magnetic fields which emit on a narrow beam along their magnetic axis;
- X-ray binaries, a class of binary stars luminous in X-rays;
- Ultra-high energy cosmic rays, extremely energetic subatomic particles, mostly protons, but also some heavier atomic nuclei.