tor Dipartimento di Fisica


Thesis projects on Exoplanets
Tesi di Laurea sugli Esopianeti

Prof. Luigi Mancini

Associate Professor

Department of Physics, University of Rome 2
Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1
00133 Rome, Italy
Tel. +39 06 7259 4524

Hello, welcome to my home page.

I am an Associate Professor working at the Department of Physics of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. I am also affiliated at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and at the INAF Astrophysical Observatory of Turin. My current research is mostly focused on the search for new Extrasolar Planets and their physical characterisation.

I am involved in several collaborations, including HATSouth, which uses a network of identical, fully automated wide field telescopes, for detecting new transiting exoplanets; GAPS, which is undertaking a challenging observational program to characterize the global architectural properties of exoplanetary systems, by using the high-resolution spectrograph HARPS-N; CARMENES, which is carrying out a survey of 300 late-type main-sequence stars with the goal of detecting low-mass planets in their habitable zones; and MiNDSTEp, which exploits the technique of gravitational microlensing to study the population of planets in the Galaxy. I have also participated to several programs aimed to confirm the planetary nature of a subset of Kepler and K2 candidates via radial-velocity follow-up observations, and I am now working on TESS data. I also collaborate with SuperWASP and QES contributing with photometric follow-up observations of their planet candidates.

I am recently become member of the The Exo-Earth Discovery and Exploration Network (EDEN), which aims to find habitable planets within 50 light years. Actually, a large part of exoplanet community is focussing on the neighbors of the Solar system, not only for the obvious observational reasons, but also in the spirit of future exploration, because the closest planets will be the only ones that can be reached by the human being on a historical scale.

I am leading an observational program to accurately measure the characteristics of known exoplanet systems hosting close-in transiting giant planets. Our study is based on high-quality photometric follow-up observations of transit events with an array of medium-class telescopes, which are located in both the northern and the southern hemispheres. A high photometric precision is achieved through the telescope-defocussing technique. The data are then reduced and analysed in a homogeneous way for estimating the orbital and physical parameters of both the planets and their parent stars. We also make use of multi-band imaging cameras for probing planetary atmospheres via the transmission-photometry technique. In some cases we adopt a two-site observational strategy for collecting simultaneous light curves of individual transits, which is the only reliable method for truly distinguishing a real astrophysical signal from systematic noise.



simultaneous light curves

Example of typical light curves obtained with a multi-band imager: simultaneous light curves of a transit of WASP-80b observed with the GROND camera



Starspot occulted by the planet

Example of a typical light curve showing anomalies due to a starspot complex occulted by the planet during its transit: light curve of a transit of HATS-2b observed with the Danish 1.54m telescope


Advanced School on Exoplanetary Science

I am the main organizer of the Advanced School on Exoplanetary Science, whose first three editions took place in Vietri sul Mare (Italy) in May 2015, 2017 and 2019. The next edition will be held in May 2021 ASES3

Lecture Notes of the 1st School: Methods of Detecting Exoplanets

Lecture Notes of the 2nd School: Astrophysics of Exoplanetary Atmospheres


The publication list is powered by astrophysics data system


Papers in peer-reviewed journals


papers under review, proceedings, on-line data


Curriculum Vitae

Academic Qualifications

2017: Italian National Academic Qualification as Full Professor

2017: Italian National Academic Qualification as Associate Professor

2013: Italian National Academic Qualification as Associate Professor

2003: Dr. Sc. Nat., University of Zurich

2003: Ph.D. in Astrophysics, University of Salerno

1999: Degree in Physics, University of Salerno

Positions held

2014 − 2016 Research Staff Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg

2011 − 2014 Postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg

2010 − 2011 Research fellow at University of Sannio, Benevento

2004 − 2010 Research fellow at University of Salerno

Membership of collaborations

Co-Investigator and member of the executive board of the HATSouth Project

Member of the EDEN consortium

Member of the GAPS consortium

Member of the CARMENES consortium

Member of the MiNDSTEp collaboration

Journal Referee for


The Astrophysical Journal

The Astronomical Journal

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

New Astronomy

Astronomy and Computing

General Relativity and Gravitation

Observing Experience

VLT Telescope at the ESO Observatory in Cerro Paranal, Chile

LBT Telescope, Mount Graham International Observatory, USA

TNG Telescope, Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, Spain

MPG/ESO 2.2m Telescope at the ESO Observatory in La Silla, Chile

INT 2.5m Telescope, Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, Spain

CAHA 2.2m and 1.2m Telescopes at the Calar Alto Observatory, Spain

Danish 1.54m Telescope at the ESO Observatory in La Silla, Chile

Cassini 1.52m Telescope at the Loiano Observatory, Italy

Current research funding

Fondo per il finanziamento delle attività base di ricerca FFABR 2017

Progetti di ricerca, Ateneo di Tor Vergata - Mission: Sustainability 2017