Daniele Bjørn Malesani


I am a postdoc working at the astronomy department of the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). At the same time, the Cosmic Dawn Center is graciously hosting me for 50% of my time.

I am an observational astronomer, interested in the field of transients. These are objects that vary catastrophically in the sky. Many are related to the deaths of stars, such as supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Kilonovae are a newly discovered type of transients, connected to gravitational wave sources, originated when orbiting pairs of compact stars (black holes and neutron stars) smash against each other and merge, usually forming a (bigger) black hole.

Transients can be very bright, and while they’re active we can see them further away in the universe. As such, they are important probes of their environments. For example, gamma-ray bursts allow to test the composition of the medium of high-redshift galaxies. Kilonovae are an important site where elements heavier than iron are produced: everybody’s jewelry may come from a pair of colliding neutron stars.

I am involved in international programs, such as the Stargate and ENGRAVE consortia, aimed at exploiting every aspect of these transient sources.