Title: Researcher at INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, research associate with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, MA, USA)
Research interests: stellar activity, exoplanets, young stars
Publications: link to ADS (new tab/window)
Address: Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo – Italy
Phone: +39 091 233 420
2005-2008 Post-doc fellowship at University of Palermo Italy
Service to the profession
Recent results and press releases
Detection of magnetic field in Rho Oph A
With a follow up with the ESO-VLT FORS2 instrument , we have detected a magnetic field in the X-ray bright B2 star Rho Oph A. The star showed periodic enhancement of its X-ray flux every 1.2 days. We interpreted this behavior as due to an active region of magnetic origin, bright in X-rays, periodically appearing on view on the stellar surface. Spectropolarimetry observations with FORS2 have indeed confirmed that the star has a magnetic field of about 500 G as hypothesized from X-ray observations.
V1818 Ori is part of the cluster around Kappa Ori
I observed the group of young stellar objects around the Be star V1818 Ori with XMM-Newton. This group of objects was thought to be part of the Mon R2 Association at 900 pc, however it seems to sit in the ring of dust around Kappa Ori at 250 pc. By calculating the X-ray luminosities of the stars in V1818 Ori and comparing their distribution with that of other groups of young stars near Kappa Ori I determined that also V1818 Ori is part of the young spherical cluster around Kappa Ori. This study proves the effectiveness of X-ray observations in determining the structure of galactic young clusters.
The early B-type star Rho Oph A is an X-ray lighthouse
With a 140 ks XMM-Newton observation my collaborators and I discovered periodic X-ray variability of the early B-type star Rho Oph A. This is explained as an intrinsic strong magnetism and a large surface spot, or due to an unseen low mass companion in a very tight orbit.
New stars discovered in the Rho Ophiuchi Dark Cloud
Star-forming ring spotted around distant supergiant star Kappa Ori
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Finds Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old
HD 189733 is one of the best studied star with a Hot Jupiter. XMM and HST observations combined with MHD simulations suggest that planetary mass could accrete onto the star.