Cosmology, Gruber 2018 prize awarded to Nazzareno Mandolesi and Planck telescope team
The general assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Vienna has recently awarded the Gruber Prize 2018 for Cosmology.
The prize, worth 500,000 dollars, was awarded to the two principle investigators and the team of the Planck space telescope − Nazzareno Mandolesi and Jean-Loup Puget – for having collected data that has provided cosmology with the definitive description of the universe on the largest and smallest scales.
The winners of this prestigious prize also include Italian researcher Mandolesi, a former manager of the National Institute of Astrophysics-INAF, currently retired.
“Mandolesi has been and is still today an important INAF representative, and he has set up a school of excellence that has launched INAF into the great global challenges of astrophysics and space sciences”, said Inaf President Nichi D’Amico.
The prize, one of the most prestigious for cosmology, was awarded to the Planck telescope for the “measurements that have led to the determination of cosmological parameters (matter content, geometry, and evolution of the universe) to unprecedented precision”, the Gruber Prize citation reads.
“I must say that what makes me most proud is the prize that went to the Planck Team, a team of scientists and engineers – including industry – made of hundreds of people. A team that has evolved and changed over the 25 years of the mission, but the “core” of which has remained close for all this time while addressing thousands of difficulties and issues”, said Mandolesi, as reported by Media INAF.
The Plank telescope was launched into space by the European Space Agency-ESA in 2009, with the aim of investigating the Cosmic Microwave Background, a residual signal originated about 13 billion years ago. Italy gave an important contribution to the mission being responsible for the development of the Low Frequency Instrument, an advanced instrument located onboard the satellite.