🚀 Luigi Piro is the coordinator of #AHEAD2020 and director of research at INAF/IAPS. His main science topics are Gamma-Ray Bursts, Gravitational waves (GW) and multi-messenger counterparts of black holes (BHs) and netwron-star (NS) mergers, active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and new instrumentation for high energy space astronomy.
How do you describe your journey in astronomy so far?
📣 After my graduation in Rome with a thesis on AGNs, I got a research position in Bologna, then moved to Tokyo to work on a Japanese X-ray satellite. Returned to Italy as Project Scientist of BeppoSAX, the Italian X-ray astronomy satellite, from 1991 to 2006, directing its scientific activities. I focused on the mystery of Gamma-Ray bursts, successfully solving it with BeppoSAX. Then, I started the development of new cryogenic detectors for X-ray astronomy with my group, working towards the realization of the future European large X-ray observatory Athena. In parallel I was coordinator of AHEAD and, now, AHEAD2020. My experience with GRBs was useful to help discovering the X-ray counterpart of the famous GW event on Aug. 17, 2017, and we hope to continue with new similar discoveries with our team in the next observing runs.
Why did you choose to study astrophysics?
📣 As a kid I was fascinated by science investigations and discoveries, in particular in physics. I got my fist small scope when I was 6 years old, the time I decided I would become an astrophysicist.
Do you have a favorite scientific theory?
📣 The discovery of the afterglow of GRBs and of their cosmological nature that we did with BeppoSAX. For this discovery the team was awarded the Bruno Rossi Prize of the American Astronomical Society in 1998 and the Descartes Prize 2002 of the European Commission.
Why is AHEAD2020 important to you?
📣 Because it helps our community to be at the forefront of new scientific challenges, now even more exciting with the advent of the multimessenger window, by promoting a strong integration across Europe.
What is the best word describing Astronomy?
#AHEAD2020 is a consortium aimed at integrating and opening research infrastructures across Europe for High Energy Astrophysics, Multi-Messenger Astronomy and also Gravitational Waves. Discover more about AHEAD2020 and the Hot and Energetic Universe by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbT4o3-FRII&ab_channel=AHEAD2020