VOSS 2018



Large ground and space-based photometric, spectroscopic, and astrometric surveys now coming online are changing the astronomical landscape, expanding our tools for the exploration of the universe. Variable astronomical sources can now be harvested by the thousands, including RR Lyrae, Cepheids, Miras, eclipsing binaries, etc., massively exploring both the time domain and the multiwavelength domain. This is a revolution in studies of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, which can be explored now in unprecedented detail.

The VOSS 2018 will train the next generation of researchers on the marvels of big data, time domain astrophysics, and variability surveys. We are building an exciting programme that links variable stars with photometric and spectroscopic surveys, and then gives an overview concerning the impact that stellar astrophysics has on current astrophysical and cosmological open problems. In addition, we will address the use of variable stars as distance indicators, as tracers of stellar populations in galaxies, as probes of stellar evolution, and as laboratories for fundamental physics. 


  1. Theory of stellar pulsation and evolution: pulsation and evolutionary properties of radial variables (RR Lyrae; classical, type II, anomalous Cepheids; SX Phoenicis).
  2. Stellar kinematics: radial velocities and proper motions. 
  3. Variable star searches in large databases: Current statistics, sample biases, variability detection, period search techniques, variable star classification, 
  4. Variables as stellar population tracers: pulsating stars vs eclipsing binaries. Distance indicators (RR Lyse, Cepheids, Miras and LPVs), Rare variability: Microlensing and Transients.
  5. Current and future large astronomical databases: 2MASS, Gaia, VVV, OGLE, Kepler, GLIMPSE, WISE, WFIRST, LSST, SDSS, TESS, PLATO, EUCLID, PS2.

List of the Faculty

Dante MINNITI (Chair)
Dante MINNITI (Chair)UNAB / MAS / CATA, Chile
Expertise on variable stars and stellar populations, and a
large scale infrared survey of the Milky Way. VOSS 1986 
alumnus VO Adjunct Scholar since 2008. Organizer of a
 few summer schools in astronomy around the world, including the VOSS 2007. He has published more than
 three hundred refereed papers and three outreach books,
 and has supervised more than 50 astronomy students and
 postdocs. He is currently leading the VVV near-IR survey of
the Milky Way.
Giuseppe BONO
Giuseppe BONOUniversity of Rome Tor Vergata. Italy
Expertise on theoretical stellar astrophysics, modelling of
 Cepheid and RR Lyrae variable stars. Professor at University
 of Roma Tor Vargata, he produced the most successful
 advanced theoretical models of pulsating variable stars
 (Cepheids, RR Lyrae). Leader of the Rome Astrophysics 
group, he has published more than two hundred refereed
papers on the subject. Supervisor of several graduate 
students and postdocs. He is an excellent lecturer, with
 ample teaching experience.
Kinematics of stellar systems, astrometry, with
 applications to the Gaia mission and the LSST. Staff
member at Southern Connecticutt State University.
 Leading the Southern Proper-Motion Program (SPM,
based at Yale U.) on globular clusters and satellites, and 
the Kapteyn Selected Area Project. Member of the SUSS 
III/SEGUE2 team. Measured the most extensive and
accurate catalog of absolute proper motions of globular
clusters. She has published more than 45 refereed papers.
Collaborating with the major groups at Gaia and LSST. 
Excellent lecturer.
Marina REJKUBAESO, Germany
Expertise on stellar populations, observational studies of
variable stars in nearby stellar systems. VOSS 1996 
alumnus. Staff member at the European Southern
 Observatory, institution that has become one of the major 
employers of VOSS alumni. Leader of the ESO User 
Support Department, with many years of experience in
operations and support of ESO facilities that include the
 VLT and survey telescopes VISTA and VST, as well as one of
the largest astronomical archives. She published more
 than a hundred of refereed papers on stellar population s
and nearby galaxies, and is a world leader in the field. She
has supervised of several graduate students and postdocs.
Excellent lecturer.
Guy CONSOLMAGNO, SJDirector Vatican Observatory


Guy Consolmagno, S.J. (Director)
Specola Vaticana
V-00120 Vatican City State - Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 06 698.85266 FAX: +39 06.698.84671
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Alessandro OMIZZOLO (Dean)
Alessandro OMIZZOLO (Dean)Vatican Observatory

Specola Vaticana
Vatican Observatory

00120 Stato Città del Vaticano
e.mail: staff@specola.va


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