Astronomy is experiencing an extraordinary moment thanks to technological developments at the limit of the possible: the results follow one another in a continuous stream, not least collecting Nobel Prizes as in 2017, 2019 and 2020. So much so that the astrophysicist Patrizia Caraveo, for years a research manager of INAF and who has dedicated his career to the study of neutron stars, in his new book “Sidereus Nuncius 2.0 – Heavenly messengers in the new astronomy “ (Mondadori Università 2021) outlines a picture of the “overwhelming” development of this ancient science and the path of the “astronomical, and more generally scientific, revolution, which is resulting from Galileo’s observations masterfully described in the ‘Sidereus Nuncius’, printed in Venice in 1610 “.
For Caraveo “the Sun, the Moon and the stars have played a very important role in the history of mankind. In addition to being the clock and calendar of all the civilizations that have populated the Earth, they have been considered divinities and have always had great relevance in different cultures “. The scientist, in her speech on the Veneto Institute of Sciences, Letters and Arts, underlines that “We have learned a great deal by observing the movement of the planets with the naked eye and our ancestors they elaborated the observations by building a pattern that saw us in the center of the Universe surrounded by the celestial spheres where the planets and stars move. This vision of the cosmic order, which had dominated Western thought for over a millennium, was unhinged by Galileo Galilei, thanks to the introduction of his telescope “.
But what is astronomical research today? From the book by Patrizia Caraveo we learn that “light is not the only way to explore the cosmos because there are other celestial messengers: cosmic rays, neutrinos, dust and gravitational waves”. Astronomy is the oldest science but also the most modern and innovative. Results, often unexpected and surprising, open new horizons for understanding the Universe “underlines in her book the scientist who was awarded, among the various prizes received, with the National President of the Republic Prize and in 2021 with the Enrico Fermi Prize. “It is a continuous challenge that never ceases to fascinate us” finally adds Patrizia Patrizia Caraveo who is part of the 2003 Group for scientific research and of the 100 women against stereotypes.
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