ESA – Space Weather Network Workshop – 12-14 October 2020

A mix of Expert Service Centre (ESC) specific and network wide sessions covering topics of interdisciplinary interest will take place over the course of three days. A new introduction to this workshop is the inclusion of training type presentations and demonstrations for portal users to highlight features and functionality of the major new release, ESA Space Weather Portal 3.1 as well as walk-throughs of ESC specific tools and products.

The UNITOV Solar and Space Physics Group, in collaboration with the Remote Sensing for Space Sciences group of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, the Solar Physics group of the INAF-OAC of Naples, the Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences of the University of L’Aquila and the INFN Section of L’Aquila presents “A Ground-Based Network of MOF-based Synoptic Solar Telescopes”

SIF National Congress 2020

The 106th National Congress of the Italian Physical Society has been held online from 14 to 18 September.

Our Group participated with three oral communication and other contributions.

Here you can find the videos of our talks:

Energetic budget for a nanoflare heated stellar upper atmosphere.

Stormy with a chance of reconnection at noon: Modeling CME propagation from the Sun to the Earth.

Il telescopio solare europeo EST: Un telescopio di prossima generazione per studiare il Sole.


The thermosphere is a layer of the high Earth atmosphere which extends into the Low Earth orbit (LEO) region. It is extremely sensitive to the activity of our star, especially to solar radiation in X-rays and ultraviolet. When the sun is at a minimum of activity, as in these years, its X-rays and UV emission is reduced and the thermosphere cools and collapses. On the contrary, when solar activity increases the thermosphere expands and penetrates into circumterrestrial space.

Since about 70% of the current operative satellites are in LEO, the expansion of the thermosphere increases drag on satellites and, changing their orbits, increases the need for orbital maneuvers with effects on orbital station-keeping and satellite life-time. The same effect is present in the case of the space debris (over 70% of the debris are in LEO).

By analyzing more than four years of data from extremely precise accelerometers, capable of measuring small accelerations (1 part out of 10 million of Earth’s gravity acceleration), on board the ESA/GOCE mission we connected the density variations of the thermosphere to the solar and geomagnetic activity. In order to model the density of the thermosphere to the solar and magnetospheric signals, we used the frequency modes that have the greatest impact on the thermosphere’s density.

The work was published in the Annales Geophysicae, an interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union:

EGU General Assembly 2020

The EGU General Assembly 2020 in the online format Sharing Geoscience Online was a bold experiment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a great success throughout the entire week. 18,036 abstracts formed the programme with 701 scientific sessions, 11,380 presentation materials accompanied the abstracts and received 6,297 comments so far (to be continued until 31 May)

Our group participated in EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online by Co-organizing Session ST4.1 Space Weather Prediction of Solar Wind Transients in the Heliosphere

and contributing to Session PS1.4 Planetary Space Weather with:

Can we forecast the arrival of ICMEs for the whole Solar Systems?

4th Dynamo Thinkshop

2nd Dynamo Thinkshop in Rome
Dipartimento di Fisica
Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
Aula Grassano – November 25-26, 2019

The workshop format, since its first edition, aims at encouraging free and relaxed discussion over topics in Solar/Stellar Dynamo, notably revolving around possible links between planetary tides and the Solar Cycle, evidences from paleocosmic ray records, solar data, theoretical matters and models.

Confirmed attendees: Albert C., Ambrifi A., Beer J., Berdyugina S., Benzi R., Berrilli F., Bigazzi A., Del Moro D., Consolini G., Ferriz A., Giesecke A., Giovannelli L., Penza V., Pietropaolo E., Rebolo R., Roth M., Seilmayer M., Stefani F., Stepanov R., Ulzega S., Vaquero J.M., Weier T.

More info here

The Moon 50 years ago! It seems like yesterday….

Yesterday, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing in the day of the Apollo 11 mission lift-off, with a small conference and a night of observation of Jupiter, Saturn, a passagge of the ISS, and the partial eclipse of the Moon, of course!

The event, gathering the Faculty staff, the students, and many interested people from outside the University was a big success!

We are considering replicating it for the Apollo 13 mission…


The partial eclipse of the Moon on 16th July 2019, as observed through one of the telescope we made available to the public

Stage a Tor Vergata: Summer 2019

Luca explaining the heat rejector prototype for the Gregor Telescope
The students testing their Galileo replica telescopes

Yesterday was a very rich day in solar educational activities during the “Stage a Tor Vergata” week. We presented the top solar observatories in the world, and in particular the European Solar Telescope – EST
Students built a replica of the Galileo’s telescope and observed the sun with white light telescopes. They also enjoyed a vist in our lab, with a close look to our instruments and prototypes.

A night at the University.

An image of the moon captured tonight through the Newtonian telescope

This week we also had our usual star party night, involving the students of the Optic course and all young astronomy enthusiasts.

Francesco lecturing to the star party participants about physics and astrophysics concepts

ALICE is running…

ALICE stands for ALert for Interplanetary Coronal mass Ejections. It is a tool to provide an email alert for the arrival of an ICME to various targets in the Heliosphere.

It is now running autonomously and whoever is interested can sign up. Different mailing lists exist for the different target of interest.

More info here.

Some contributes to the EGU2019

The Solar Physics group presented a number of poster contributions to the recent EGU General Assembly 2019 in Wien.

Forecasting the arrival of ICMEs throughout the heliosphere
by Dario Del Moro et al.

Impact of solar and geomagnetic activity on thermospheric density during ESA’s mission GOCE
by Francesco Berrilli et al.

Calibration of statistical solar flare forecast parameters for images from SDO/HMI space instrument
by Luca Giovannelli et al.

Climate and radiative properties of a tidally-locked planet around Proxima Centauri
by Daniele Galuzzo et al.