Ashen Light

LECTURER
Prof. Denis Bastieri

DATE: 31tst August 2019
TIME: 9:00 – 10:30 am
LOCATION: Rigoni Stern Institute, Asiago

The Ashen Light of the Moon is the dark, but still observable to the naked eye, gibbous area which complements the crescent Moon.  The first explanation was given by Leonardo in his collections of scientific notes known as the “Codex Leicester”, which was acquired by Bill Gates for more than 30M$ and that topped the list of the most expensive books for many years.
The term “Ashen Light” comes from another Italian scientist, the Jesuit G.B. Riccioli, who observed a bewildering glow in the night hemisphere of Venus and had been used ever since to describe those two faint emissions.
The phenomenon, in the case of the Moon, is due to the light from the Sun reflected by the Earth toward the Moon and, more generally, is nowadays known as “planetshine”.
In this lecture, we will follow the lead of Leonardo and delve into the motion of the Moon around the Earth and the Sun, learning what an astronomer from the Renaissance should have known and understand why the “Ashen Light” happens.  Then, we will leverage “planetshine” as a long-term monitor of Earth’s own climate and as a tool to discover habitable planets outside the Solar System.

He obtained in 1993 the “laurea” (equivalente to a MSc) “cum laude” in General Physics in Padova, working on the astroparticle experiment CLUE, where he personally developed the remote sensoring used to produce and test the curved mirrors of the detectors.
He obtained the PhD in Physics in Padova dissertating the work “On-going studies of atmospheric showers by UV Cherenkov detectors and determination of the ratio pbar/p in the primary cosmic radiation” (1998).
In 1999 he was granted a fellowship by the University of Padova to work on the so-called “Moon shadow” a peculiar campaign aimed at determining the ratio pbar/p in cosmic rays.
Between 1999 and 2011 he was member of the MAGIC (Major Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov) Collaboration, whose aim was building and operating a 17 m Cherenkov telescope, then the largest ever conceived. He collaborated to the development of the first level of trigger, supervised the construction of the reflecting surface, coordinated the software group, the speakers’ bureau and, for many years, the working group on Gamma Ray Bursts.
In 2002 he was employed as researcher by the INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics) in Padova and since 2005 he is staff researcher at the Physics Department of the University of Padova.
Since 2002 he is member of the LAT (Large Area Telescope) collaboration and leads the Padova team. The LAT is one of the two instruments on-board the Fermi satellite, NASA’s highest profile mission in the research theme “Structure and Evolution of the Universe”. In addition, since 2012 he is the co-coordinator of the working group on extragalactic sources for the entire LAT Collaboration.
He led two dedicated University projects: one, in 2000, meant for young scientist and devoted to GRB observations and in 2009-10 the project “High redshift sources and observational cosmology”. He has a long term partnership with NVIDIA to speed up data reduction and analysis for astrophysics experiments, leveraging GPU’s multicore architecture.
Since 2012 he is the PI of the CUDA Research Center of the University of Padova, one of the three parallel computing centres in the world devoted to the reduction and analysis of data collected by astrophysical experiments.
In June 2009 he joined CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array), the next generation of ground-based gamma-ray detectors, where he is mostly following the development as a member of the Data Management group.
He is the author of more than 250 papers and of more than 50 contributions (Published only excluding self cites: h=52 see http://inspirehep.net).
He tutored many classes of students in General Physics and attending the Physics Laboratory. Since 2005 he is titular of the course of Physics Laboratory (Optics/Electronics) for students attending Physics. In addition, he tutored more than twenty students during their final work in Physics, Astronomy or Computer Science degrees and supervised or is supervising 6 PhD students in Astroparticle Physics.

Will be provided during the lecture.

LECTURE 2 –

Why is the Sky Black? The Olbers Paradox

 

LECTURER
Prof. Denis Bastieri

DATE: 31st August 2018
TIME: 10:45 – 11:45 am
LOCATION: Rigoni Stern Institute, Asiago

Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us a uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy – since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all.

Edgar Allan Poe – Eureka (1848)

He obtained in 1993 the “laurea” (equivalente to a MSc) “cum laude” in General Physics in Padova, working on the astroparticle experiment CLUE, where he personally developed the remote sensoring used to produce and test the curved mirrors of the detectors.
He obtained the PhD in Physics in Padova dissertating the work “On-going studies of atmospheric showers by UV Cherenkov detectors and determination of the ratio pbar/p in the primary cosmic radiation” (1998).
In 1999 he was granted a fellowship by the University of Padova to work on the so-called “Moon shadow” a peculiar campaign aimed at determining the ratio pbar/p in cosmic rays.
Between 1999 and 2011 he was member of the MAGIC (Major Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov) Collaboration, whose aim was building and operating a 17 m Cherenkov telescope, then the largest ever conceived. He collaborated to the development of the first level of trigger, supervised the construction of the reflecting surface, coordinated the software group, the speakers’ bureau and, for many years, the working group on Gamma Ray Bursts.
In 2002 he was employed as researcher by the INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics) in Padova and since 2005 he is staff researcher at the Physics Department of the University of Padova.
Since 2002 he is member of the LAT (Large Area Telescope) collaboration and leads the Padova team. The LAT is one of the two instruments on-board the Fermi satellite, NASA’s highest profile mission in the research theme “Structure and Evolution of the Universe”. In addition, since 2012 he is the co-coordinator of the working group on extragalactic sources for the entire LAT Collaboration.
He led two dedicated University projects: one, in 2000, meant for young scientist and devoted to GRB observations and in 2009-10 the project “High redshift sources and observational cosmology”. He has a long term partnership with NVIDIA to speed up data reduction and analysis for astrophysics experiments, leveraging GPU’s multicore architecture.
Since 2012 he is the PI of the CUDA Research Center of the University of Padova, one of the three parallel computing centres in the world devoted to the reduction and analysis of data collected by astrophysical experiments.
In June 2009 he joined CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array), the next generation of ground-based gamma-ray detectors, where he is mostly following the development as a member of the Data Management group.
He is the author of more than 250 papers and of more than 50 contributions (Published only excluding self cites: h=52 see http://inspirehep.net).
He tutored many classes of students in General Physics and attending the Physics Laboratory. Since 2005 he is titular of the course of Physics Laboratory (Optics/Electronics) for students attending Physics. In addition, he tutored more than twenty students during their final work in Physics, Astronomy or Computer Science degrees and supervised or is supervising 6 PhD students in Astroparticle Physics.

Will be provided during the lecture.