The INAF-OAB research activity spans a broad range of topics
in astronomy, from planets to stars and galaxies, clusters of galaxies and cosmology, and instrumental and technological developments.
Most programs are carried out in collaboration with other Italian and International Institutes.
A specific aspect of the science programs at INAF-OAB is the focus on high-energy astronomy.
On the scientific side, important observing programs carried out with BeppoSAX, XMM-Newton, Chandra, Swift, Rossi-XTE and INTEGRAL, together with large archival databases from past X-ray missions permitted the realization and partecipation to important projects.
The scientific objectives involve neutron stars and black holes in our galaxy, massive black holes at the centres of galaxies (AGNs), hot plasmas in stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Closely associated theoretical work includes the study of relativistic plasmas around black holes and in particular relativistic jets and the Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) phenomenon, possibly related to the collapse of a massive star in a black hole.
On the technological side the group that develops mirror is recognized worldside as one of the leading groups in this field. On board Swift satellite is one of the X-ray mirror developed by INAF-OAB. Swift is a NASA mission with British and Italian partecipation, focused on the localization and spectral evolution of GRBs.
INAF-OAB is also involved in the development of new high-energy space projects such as Simbol-X (the first hard X-ray mission based on multilayer-coated X-ray mirrors and formation flight architecture), XEUS (the only Large Size astrophysical mission selected for study by ESA as part of its Cosmic Vision programme), SVOM, HXMT and Polar-X.
INAF-OAB is also involved in the realization of mirrors for MAGIC a ground-based imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope for the detection of very high energy (VHE) Gamma rays.
With regard to optical astronomy, the INAF-OAB stellar group is very active in the field of stellar pulsations and in the search of extrasolar planets. For these studies scientific data from CoRoT satellite are exploited by INAF-OAB researchers.
For observational extragalactic stronomy and cosmology very important is high-level international standard research based on cosmological surveys. Nowadays our researches are exploiting VIMOS scientific data throughout very large redshift surveys like VVDS and COSMOS.
With regard to optical technology INAF-OAB is involved in different projects: the gOlem optics group was leader in the construction of REM (Rapid Eye Mount) a robotic optical/infrared telescope dedicated to the follow-up of the GRBs detected by SWIFT. We have also to remember the realization of d.o.lo.res a low resolution spectrograph for the TNG telescope.
Nowadays INAF-OAB coordinates the Italian partecipation to ESO spectrograph X-Shooter for VLT.
X-shooter is a highly efficient single slit spectrometer with very large wavelength coverage (UV-NIR) and intermediate resolutions (R 4000-14000). The spectrograph is now in the final phase of integration by ESO. It will be integrated to VLT in Cile in the second half of 2008 and it will start operating early 2009. INAF-OAB is responsible for project management and for the realization of the Visual arm. According to Danish partner, pre-integration of Visual and UV arms were ultimated by INAF-OAB at the end of 2007.
The optics group is also involved in the preliminary studies for design and realization of very high-resolution spectrometers ESPRESSO (third generation instrument for VLT) and CODEX (for E-ELT) and partecipates to the study phase for spectroscopical IR mission SPACE.