A night of science, appetizers and friends … is there a better plan for a Tuesday after class or work? Join us for our “AstroChat Night” in Bologna at 19:30 on Tuesday, 22 October at Birreria Popolare (Via dal Luzzo 4a).

Organized by the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO), this event is your opportunity to chat with our panel of experts to resolve some of your curiosities about the Universe, learn about the latest advancements in science technology and find out what it takes to become a scientist in the exciting world of astronomy and astrophysics. Have you ever wondered what kinds of objects are in outer space? Do you know why astrophysics is useful for daily life? Have you ever wondered if what you see in movies about the Universe is real? Would you like to pursue a career in science but don’t know where to start? Come with all your questions and have a seat with our experts — the science and the appetizers are on us!

CTA, whose headquarters is located in Bologna, is holding its bi-annual Consortium meeting in Bologna during the week of 21 October so we’re lucky to have four CTA members to answer your questions (in Italian or English): Carla Aramo (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN), Vito Conforti (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, INAF), Rubén López-Coto (INFN) and Chiara Montanari (CTAO):

Carla Aramo

I am in charge of the Naples group of CTA-INFN and work on the characterization of the photodetectors in the camera of the Medium-Sized Telescope prototype, pSCT, for CTA, which reveal the Cherenkov light emitted by the particles in the cascades that develop in the atmosphere. I also work in the characterization of the atmosphere with the use of the Lidar ARCADE, which I helped install on the CTA-North site in La Palma. I also take care of outreach and scientific communication, organizing many activities both for schools and for public events, such as the “European Researchers’ Night”.

Vito Conforti

I’m a computer scientist. My adventure began at the age of 10 with my first Olivetti PC, without a hard disk and with a green monitor. At the age of 13 I attended the first Computer Science course where my passion for the subject was born. My adventure at INAF started with the goal of creating a generic Instrument Workstation supporting ground instrumentation and space telescopes. Over time I became responsible for the data acquisition system and software manager of the ASTRI-Horn telescope (Small-Sized Telescope proposed for CTA). I also participate in the implementation of the CTA Observatory telescope control system.

Rubén López-Coto

I am a physicist, with a PhD in astroparticle physics. I have studied the most extreme gamma-ray Universe for more than nine years, investigating the physics behind the most exotic events in the Cosmos and trying to understand how particles can move almost at the speed of light and where they are produced. I also work in the software and hardware development of Cherenkov telescopes. All this allowed me to travel around the world to collaborate with groups from different countries and to live in very different cities. I currently work at INFN as Deputy Software Coordinator of the Large-Sized Telescope for CTA.

Chiara Montanari

The only label I can accept is “Life Explorer”, and the reason is evident: we all are exploring life! I am an engineer with 15 years polar mission experience. I participated in five missions in Antarctica, leading the missions at the most extreme international research bases on the planet. In 2015, I published a book named “Cronache dai ghiacci” about my experience in the Antarctic Plateau, where I proposed the extreme environment as a metaphor of the current world. I am now working for the CTA construction project as the Interface Manager for the CTAO in Bologna.

This event is part of the “CTA around the world” program created by CTAO with the aim of carrying out outreach events about the highest-energy Universe and CTA at different cities around the globe, where CTA meetings take place. Events performed under this program are conducted by CTA members in the local language.

We look forward to seeing you in Bologna at Birreria Popolare on Tuesday, 22 October!

Contact: CTAO Outreach and Education Coordinator, Alba Fernández-Barral

More information:

CTA is a large-scale, global project to build the world’s most powerful instrument for ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. It will be not only the largest and most sensitive high-energy gamma-ray observatory ever built, but also the first observatory open to the world-wide astronomy and physics communities as a facility devoted to high-energy astronomy. The observatory will be located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma (Spain), and near the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert (Chile). More than 1,500 scientists and engineers from 31 countries are engaged in the scientific and technical development of CTA. The preparation of the design and the implementation of the observatory is managed by CTAO.

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First 'CTA around the world' Event to be Held in Bologna on 22 October - CTAO