The Astronomical Observatory of Trieste (OATs) is one of the 17 Italian institutes that form the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF).

Besides being involved in frontier research in Astrophysics, OATs also carries out an intense outreach and education activity.

OATs shares projects, facilities, activities, and supervision of students with the Department of Physics of the University of Trieste.

Tight connections and collaborations are also established with other research institutes located in the Trieste area, such as the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics ICTP and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).

Other facts and figures: 

In the timespan 2014-2017, 7 FP7 projects and fellowships were still in progress:

  • 1 Marie Curie IIF fellowship GalCLU_ASTRO_COSMO (249,242,80.00 euro, 2015 to Jan 2017);
  • 2 PEOPLE- fellowships (80,000.00 euro + travel allowances each, ended in 2014 and in 2015);
  • 1 ERC St Grant, CosmoIGM (891,400.00 euro, ended in 2016);
  • 1 participation in the Cooperation-SPACE program, name of project: Genius, lNAF coordinator: Astro. Obs. of Torino (OATs budget: 100,424.00 euro, 2013-16);
  • 1 participation in the Cooperation-SPACE program, name of project: VIALACTEA, INAF coordinator: IAPS of Rome (OATs budget: 105,000.00 euro, 2013-2016);
  • 1 participation in Capacities-Infrastructures program, name of project Solarnet, INAF coordinator: Astro. Obs. of Catania (OATs budget: 15,000.00 euro, 2013-2017).

As for H2020 projects, in the time-span 2014-2017, OATs hosted the following projects:

  • EGI-ENGAGE (OATs was third party of INFN) (81,487.00 euro) – 2015-2017
  • INDIGO DATA CLOUD (187,500.00 euro) – 2015-2017
  • ASTERICS (1,459,290.00 euro) – 2015-2019
  • EXANEST (600,000.00 euro) – 2015-2019
  • EOSCPilot ( 110,625.00 euro) – 2017-2018
  • LACEGAL ( 112,500.00  euro) – 2017-2021
  • EUROEXA (363,250.00 euro) – 2017-2021
  • BEYOND PLANCK (234,610.00 euro) – 2017-2020
  • 2 PEOPLE fellowships, started in September 2016 (135,000.00 euro + travel allowances each)
  • ERC ST CLUSTERSXCOSMO (1,230,403.00 euro) 2017-2022
  • PARTICIPATION IN AENEAS (93,517.00 euro) coordinated by INAF-OABologna – 2017-2020

Also, OATs received a MERAC funding of 146,475.00 euro and, among other projects, whose funding is Italian but they envisage international participations, OATs received in the 2014-2017 period the following (in euro):

  • ASI  Euclid 703,930.00
  • ASI PLANCK 218,230.00
  • PREMIALE ESPRESSO 550,000.00
  • PREMIALE WOW 208,000.00
  • PREMIALE ELT 53,000.00
  • SKA MIUR 571,000.00
  • DHTCS MIUR 577,873.00
  • PRIN MIUR 118,665.00
  • PRIN INAF 124,000.00
  • ASI COSMOS 143.940
  • MIUR CHIPP 44.000
  • MIUR FORECAST 47.000
  • ESO GALACSI 28.800
  • ESO HIRES 11.500
  • NATO 4.000
  • FVG Divulgazione 15.000

Personnel (2017):

  • Technical/Admin: 23
  • Researchers: 35 (6 more fixed-term-basis researchers collaborate with the research staff, and 21 more researchers among grant and fellowships holders complete the whole research staff of the Institute)
  • Students: 34 students among which pre- and post-graduate students, as well as PhD students, are hosted at the OATs.

N° EU Projects (2014-2017): 

  • Horizon 2020: 9 (+ 1 participation AENEAS) + 2 PEOPLE FELLOWSHIPS
  • Other international projects: 1 MERAC, ESO ecc
  • 10 EU scientific projects were hosted at OATs as at 31 December 2017 (including Aeneas and 2 ASTROFIT fellowships).

Research Outputs (2017): 

N° of scientific production (refereed publications): 200 (SAO/NASA ADS).

N° of scientific meetings&public events (2017): 55 (average attendance of 40 researchers each; 26 visitors (8 foreigners - including seminar speakers and visiting guests) were hosted at OATs.


The OATs main building (Castello Basevi) hosts the Director’s office, the Administrative Central offices, the Computing and IT Service, the library, and research office spaces, including meeting rooms and a video-conference room for a total covered surface of sqm 1394,57. A separate building (Villa Bazzoni), located about 100 meters away, is shared with researchers of the Astronomy Section of the Department of Physics of the University of Trieste and covers a total of  sqm 933,75. Moreover, it counts on the Basovizza Observing Station, which totals up a surface of sqm 4315,35.

N° of Laboratories: 1 electronics laboratory located at Basovizza Observing station.

Research Infrastructures:  Esploracosmo; Specola Margherita Hack, all facilities dedicated to outreach purposes.

Libraries and n° of available publications/journals:  1 library, located in Castello Basevi (OATs main building) counts about 14,000 printed volumes including approximately 7,200 monographs and more than 280 journals, and a vast collection of publications and contributions from other national and international scientific institutes operating in the field of astronomy. A substantial collection of electronic resources (e.g. IEEE Xplore Digital Library, SPIE-DL, Optics Infobase, Springer Physics and Astronomy Collection, ASP Conference Series, IAU Proceedings, ect.) has been added to all this print heritage. OATs library is one of the libraries of the National Institute of Astrophysics  whose resources and activities can be consulted through the INAF Cultural Heritage Portal .  The library also participates in the ACNP and NILDE  library services.

Other structures: Computing center hosting LINUX cluster with about thousand cores + LINUX cluster for Planck data processing center + number of disc servers + servers of the IA2 Italian Astronomical Archives Service.

Fellowships, PhD Courses, Master, Summer School, etc.: 

Research, training courses as well traineeships are carried out in the main areas of astrophysics through fellowships and research grants.

OATs is active in research in all the thematic macroareas (MAs) in which INAF research and development activity is organized:

  • MA-1 Galaxies and cosmology;
  • MA-2 Stars, stellar populations and interstellar medium;
  • MA-3 Sun and solar system;
  • MA-4 Relativistic astrophysics and particles;
  • MA-5 New technologies and instrumentation.
Information for international students: 

OATs central office helps international students with pre-arrival and arrival procedures.

OATs is also partner of the Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia office that offers support to researchers arriving in Trieste, for example: language assistance if you do not speak Italian, assistance with utility-related procedures, information on tenancy agreements, support in case of problems with landlords, information on what to do before leaving Trieste.

International Partnerships: 

OATs is involved in many large International Collaborations.

Building on the expertise developed with the key-role participation in the ESA Planck mission, our Institute has now a strong involvement in the future ESA Euclid mission, holding the coordination of the Science Ground Segment, an intense participation to the activities of several Science Working Groups, also hosting the Italian Euclid Science Data Centre.

OATs researchers have a strong involvement in the development of the ESPRESSO spectrograph for ESO Very Large Telescope and in the ESO E-ELT project, in particular for the definition of the science case and development of control electronics and software.

Furthermore, OATs researchers have a growing interest in the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, with participation to the activities of pre-construction phase and definition of the key science goals. 

Contacts and Social Media/Network: 

Director: prof. Giovanni Vladilo


Central Office: Via G.B. Tiepolo 11, 34143 Trieste (Italy) - Tel. +39 040 3199 111

Basovizza Observing Station: Basovizza 302, 34149 Trieste (Italy) - Tel. 040 3199 111

Social media / social networkdott. Massimo Ramella