From the Chinese’s Supernova of AD 1054 (Crab Nebula) to Dark Energy

Prof. Massimo Turatto

University of Padova


Like living beings, the stars, the basic building blocks of the Universe, are born and die.

Furthermore, just as living beings are different from each other, and such differences have strong impact on their lives and deaths, so are stars.


Some stars simply pass away quietly, other die with terrific explosions releasing all the material they are made of in the circumstellar environment, thus available for generating new stars.

Such terrific explosions are called Supernovae and are among the most interesting events in the Universe.


My contribution will be a review for non-specialists, aimed at illustrating the past knowledge on Supernovae, dated over a millennium of years ago, from China. I will then describe their present scientific interest and the perspective for the future.

Massimo Turatto is Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Padova (National Institute for Astrophysics – INAF) since 2011.

Previously he worked also in Soviet Union (Byurakan, Armenia), Cile and Germany (European Southern Observatory, and at the Astrophysical Observatories of Catania and Trieste (of which was director in 2010-2011).

His main field of research are Supernovae, for which he coordinated several international collaborations that used the main observational facilities from ground and space.

He has over 950 publications with more that 13000 citations.

He has been member of several international committees among which the Scientific Council of INAF, the European Telescopes Strategy Review Committee, the European Science Vision for Astronomy, the ESO Observing Programmes Committee.

In 1993 he won the Borgia Prize of the of the National Academy of Lincei

Will be provided during the lecture