Foto del docente

Cristian Vignali

Associate Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics

Director of First Cycle Degree in Astronomy

Curriculum vitae

Current research position
Researcher at the Bologna University, Astronomy Department

Previous research positions
June 2004 to January 2005
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bologna University, Astronomy Department
Scientific subject: "Obscuration in X-ray sources at intermediate and high redshifts"

April 2003 to May 2004
Postdoctoral Fellow at INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna
Scientific subject: "Physics and evolution of X-ray sources: analysis and interpretation of multi-wavelength data"

April 2001 to March 2003
Postdoctoral Scholar at the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, The Pennsylvania State University (US)

December 2000 to March 2001
Postdoctoral Fellow at INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna
Scientific subject: "Analysis and interpretation of hard X-ray sources detected by the HELLAS survey with BeppoSAX"

February 2001
PhD in Astronomy at the Bologna University
Scientific subject: "The High-Energy Large Area Survey (HELLAS): probing the multiwavelength properties of the sources making the
hard X-ray background"
Supervisors: Prof. G.G.C. Palumbo, Dr. A. Comastri

July 1996
Laurea degree in Astronomy (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Bologna
Scientific subject: "On the X-ray absorption in Active Galactic Nuclei"
Supervisors: Prof. G.G.C. Palumbo, Dr. A. Comastri

November 1991 to July 1996
I attended the Astronomy courses at the University of Bologna

Employment history
February 1997 to December 1997
Civil service at the Modena Hospital

Professional skills

  • Referee per some of the major astronomical journals (ApJ, AJ, MNRAS, A&A, EXPA, New Astronomy).
  • Awarded NASA grants for Chandra data and ASI grants for Chandra and XMM-Newton data (both proprietary and from the archive). Grants for accepted NuSTAR observations.
  • Member of the "High-redshift Universe" panel for the US mission Con-X (become IXO together with the ESA mission XEUS, then Athena).
  • Among the co-Is of the XEUS proposal for the ESA Cosmic Vision (future missions). The proposal was successful. Among the co-Is of the subsequently approved Athena mission.
  • Member of the working groups (WGs) "Formation and early growth of black holes" e "Accretion through cosmic time" within Athena collaboration.
  • Member of the work packages (WPs) Euclid WP8 ("Multi-wavelength synergies") e WP9 ("Type 1 and 2 AGN"). In the Euclid collaboration since 2010.
  • Member of the proposed X-ray mission Lynx (WGs on "Large-scale structure" and "High-redshift Universe").
  • Member of the SOC and LOC for the "X-ray Astronomy 2009. Present status, multi-wavelength approach and future perspectives'' (Bologna, September 2009).
  • Member of the LOC for the 9th AGN conference (Ferrara, May 2010).
  • Member of the LOC for the Workshop "Whereabouts, Physical State and Metallicity of the Missing Baryons in the Local Universe" (Cervia, May 2012).
  • Co-organizer of "The high-redshift Universe" Workshop (Bologna, June 2012).
  • Member of the SOC for the XXL 2014 consortium meeting (Sexten, June 2014).
  • Member of the LOC for the NuSTAR meeting 2015 (Bologna, March 2015).
  • Member of the SOC for the XXL 2015 consortium meeting (Mljet, June 2015).
  • Member of the SOC for the XXL 2016 consortium meeting (Mykonos, June 2016).
  • Member of the SOC for the international conference ``Hot spots in the XMM sky: cosmology from X-ray to radio" (Mykonos, June 2016).
  • Member of the SOC for the EWASS 2016 SS05 ``A multi-messenger view of mergers and multiple supermassive black holes" (Athens, July 2016).
  • Referee for the evaluation of XMM-Newton proposals.
  • Referee for national/international project fundings.
  • Co-organizer of official ``Thursday" seminars at the Observatory/Astronomy Department (2009-2016).
  • Co-organizer of internal cycles of seminars for PhD students ("Physical properties of AGN", 2010; "Missing baryons", 2011; "Accretion onto compact objects and its role in shaping galaxies", 2013; "The high-redshift Universe, and the role of galaxies and AGN to cosmic reionization", 2015;
    "A multi-wavelength view of the Galactic Center", 2017).
  • Italian AGN deputy for the XXL Survey.
  • Member of the XXL-HSC joint working group.
  • Co-chair of the XXL AGN WG.

Many observational programs carried out as either PI or co-I in all bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. Photometric and spectroscopic observing runs at the ESO 3.6m Telescope at La Silla (Chile), at the 3.5m Italian National Telescope (TNG) at La Palma (Canary Islands), and at the 1.5m Telescope at S. Pedro Martir (Mexico).
In the sub-millimeter, observations with the SCUBA instrument (Hawaii).
In the X-ray band, observations with ROSAT, ASCA, BeppoSAX, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Suzaku and NuSTAR.

Astronomical data reduction and analysis
Large experience of the main X-ray data reduction and analysis software packages (xspec, ftools, xselect, ximage, xronos, ciao, sherpa, sas), and some experience with the optical data reduction packages (iraf, midas). Data reduction and analysis of optical photometric and spectroscopic data, as well as sub-mm (SCUBA) and X-ray data using the main X-ray observatories of the last twenty years.
Experience also with the photometric redshift technique (package hyperz), with the survival analysis (package asurv), and with partial correlation analysis.

General and computer skills

Large experience in X-ray data reduction and analysis, and interpretation of data obtained from the main telescopes of the last 15-20 years (e.g., ROSAT, ASCA, BeppoSAX, Suzaku, Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR using some of the main software packages (xspec, ftools, xselect, ximage, xronos, ciao, sherpa, sas, midas). Experience in optical photometric and spectroscopic data reduction and analysis using iraf and midas. Some experience in sub-mm data reduction and analysis using surf, and with photometric redshift packages (e.g., hyperz) and tools for survival and partial correlation analysis. Large experience in programming (fortran language), and some basic knowledge of IDL and Tcl/Tk. Large experience in managing catalogs and astronomical databases.

During my PhD years and in the following period I helped undergraduate/graduate students in their studies and research programs.

Meetings attended
A list of national/international Astronomical Meetings attended since 1996 is listed below.

  • II Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Riccione, Italy, 1996). Poster contribution.
  • AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division Meeting (Estes Park, USA, 1997). Poster contribution.
  • III Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Roma, Italy, 1998). Oral contribution.
  • III INTEGRAL Workshop "The Extreme Universe" (Taormina, Italy, 1998).
  • XIX Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics (Paris, France, 1998).
  • Workshop "X-ray surveys and the history of accretion in the Universe" (Roma, Italy, 1999).
  • Symposium "X-ray Astronomy 1999: Stellar Endpoints, AGN, and the X-ray Background" (Bologna, Italy, 1999). Poster contribution.
  • Workshop  "Large scale structure in the X-ray Universe" (Santorini, Greece, 1999). Oral contribution.
  • IV Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Trieste, Italy, 2000). Oral + poster contribution.
  • Workshop "Two Years of Science with Chandra" (Washington, USA, 2001). Poster contribution.
  • V Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Como, Italy, 2002). Oral + poster contribution.
  • International Workshop on "X-ray Surveys, in the light of the new observatories" (Santander, Spain, 2002). Poster contribution.
  • Symposium on "The restless high-energy Universe" (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2003). Poster contribution.
  • Tenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting (Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil, 2003). Oral contribution.
  • Symposium on "AGN Physics with the SDSS" (Princeton, USA, 2003). Oral contribution.
  • Conference on "Multiwavelength AGN Surveys" (Cozumel, Mexico, 2003). Oral contribution. 
  • VI Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Volterra, Italy, 2004). Oral contribution.
  • Conference on "Growing black holes" (Garching, Germany, 2004). Poster contribution.
  • COSPAR Meeting (Paris, France, 2004). Two oral contributions.
  • Conference on "Superunification of Active Galactic Nuclei: Black Hole Mass, Spin and Accretion Rate (Elba Island, Italy, 2005). Oral contribution.
  • Conference on "Galaxies and Structures through Cosmic Times" (Venice, Italy, 2006). Poster contribution.
  • VII Italian National Meeting on AGNs (Montagnana, Italy, 2006). Oral contribution.
  • International Astronomy Meeting "The multicolored landscape of compact objects and their explosive progenitors" (Cefalu', Italy, 2006). Oral contribution.
  • Conference on "At the Edge of the Universe. Latest results from the deepest astronomical surveys" (Sintra, Portugal, 2006). Oral contribution.
  • Conference on "The central engine of Active Galactic Nuclei" (Xi'an, China, 2006). Poster contribution.
  • A Chandra Science Workshop "Extragalactic surveys" (Cambridge - Boston, US, 2006). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "The extreme Universe in the Suzaku era" (Kyoto, Japan, 2006).
  • Conference "XEUS: Visions of the Extreme Universe" (London, UK, 2007).  
  • Workshop "CNOC2" (Chiemsee, Germany, 2007). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "Obscured AGN across Cosmic Time" (Seeon, Germany, 2007). Two short oral contributions.
  • Workshop "La scienza di Herschel" (Rome, Italy, 2008).
  • Workshop " An XXL extragalactic survey: prospects for the XMM-Newton next decade" (Paris, France, 2008).
  • Conference "The X-ray Universe 2008" (Granada, Spain, 2008). Poster contribution.
  • COSPAR Meeting (Montreal, Canada, 2008). Oral contribution.
  • Workshop "Exploring the Hot Universe with IXO'' (Garching, Germany, 2008).
  • Workshop "Multi-wavelength Astronomy & Virtual Observatory'' (Madrid, Spain, 2008). Invited oral contribution.
  • Symposium "Simbol-X: focusing on the hard X-ray Universe'' (Paris, France, 2008). Oral contribution. 
  • Meeting on "Safari Science'' (Saclay, France, 2009).
  • Conference on "Accretion and ejection in AGN: a global view'' (Como, Italy, 2009).
  • Conference on "The energetic cosmos: from Suzaku to ASTRO-H'' (Otaru, Japan, 2009).
  • Workshop on "Wide Field X-ray Telescope'' (Sexten, Italy, 2009). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "X-ray Astronomy 2009. Present status, multi-wavelength approach and future perspectives'' (Bologna, Italy, 2009).
  • IX Italian National Meeting on AGNs "Black Holes and Revelations" (Ferrara, Italy, 2010). Concluding remarks.
  • Workshop "Infrared/X-ray Connection in Galaxy Evolution" (MSSL, UK, 2010). Oral contribution.
  • Workshop "What drives the Growth of Black Holes?" (Durham, UK, 2010). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "Accretion and Outflow in Black Hole Systems?" (Kathmandu, Nepal, 2010). Invited oral contribution.
  • Conference "IXO Science Meeting: Present status and future prospects in X-ray Astronomy" (Roma, Italia, 2011).
  • Workshop "Bridging electromagnetic astrophysics and cosmology with gravitational waves" (Milano, Italia, 2011). Invited oral contribution.
  • Conference "From dust to galaxies" (Parigi, Francia, 2011). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "New Horizons for High Redshifts" (Cambridge, UK, 2011). Poster contribution.
  • Conference "The starburst-AGN connection under the multiwavelength limelight" (Madrid, Spagna, 2011). Oral contribution.
  • X Italian National Meeting on AGNs "Dall'orizzonte degli eventi all'orizzonte cosmologicos'' (Roma, Italy, 2012).  
  • Conference "Half a century of X-ray Astronomy'' (Mykonos, Greece, 2012). Oral contribution.
  • Conference "X-ray Astronomy: towards next 50 years!'' (Milano, Italy, 2012). 
  • Conference "A Panchromatic View of Galaxy Evolution 30 years after IRAS" (Paphos, Cyprus, 2013). Oral contribution.
  • ENIGMA (Exploring the Nature of the Inter- and Circum-galactic Media) Workshop (Heidelberg, Germany, 2013). Invited Oral contribution.
  • IAU Symposium 304: "Multiwavelength AGN Surveys and Studies" (Yerevan, Armenia, 2013). Invited Oral contribution.
  • First EU-FP7 FISICA Workshop: Science Goals of sub-arcsecond Far-Infrared Space Observatory (Rome, 2014). 
  • XXL-AGN Meeting (Athens, Greece, 2014). Oral presentation. 
  • "High Energy Processes around Compact Objects" (Florence, Italy, 2014). Oral contribution.
  • "The X-ray Universe 2014" (Dublin, Ireland, 2014). Oral contribution and poster. XXL Meeting (Sexten, Italy, 2014). Oral contribution.
  • "The first billion years of galaxies and black holes" (Sexten, Italy, 2014).
  • "AGN versus star formation: the fate of the gas in galaxies" (Durham, UK, 2014). Poster.
  • XI Italian National Meeting on AGN "Where Black Holes and Galaxies Meet" (Trieste, Italy, 2014). Invited review contribution.
  • ISSI Meeting on "Unveiling multiple AGN activity in galaxy mergers" (Bern, Switzerland, 2014). Oral contribution.
  • NuSTAR Science Team Meeting (Bologna, 2015).
  • XXL Meeting (Mljet, Croatia, 2015). Oral contribution.
  • "Demographycs and environment of AGN from multi-wavelength surveys" (Chania, Crete, 2015). Oral contribution.
  • XXL Cosmology workshop (Florence, 2016). Oral contribution.
  • Italian SPICA Workshop 2016 (Rome, 2016). Oral contribution.
  • XXL Meeting (Mykonos, Greece, 2016). Oral contribution.
  • "Hot spots in the XMM sky: Cosmology from X-ray to Radio" (Mykonos, Greece, 2016). Oral contribution.
  • "Illuminating the Dark Ages: Quasars and galaxies in the Reionization Epoch" (Heidelberg, Germany, 2016). poster.
  • EWASS Symposium (Athens, Greece, 2016). Oral contribution + Short oral contribution.
  • "The X-ray Universe 2017" Meeting (Rome, Italy, 2017). Oral contribution + poster.