Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory

Planetology and Astrobiology

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Universe. It's a multidisciplinary science that benefits from the knowledge and skills that come from disciplines until now considered to belong to distinct areas such as biology, chemistry, astrophysics, geology and genetics.

The presence of life on Earth is directly related to both the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the initial conditions in the molecular cloud from which we originated. The life as it is known on Earth originated from complex chemical reactions, likely outcome of the interaction of organic molecules and inert material coming from space.

Therefore, in this context, we deal with the study in laboratory of chemical and physical mechanisms of synthesis and evolution of organic matter by interactions with the surfaces of minerals, photons and energetic particles. In addition, we study in the laboratory the nature of extraterrestrial material such as meteorites, interplanetary dust particles or samples brought back to Earth from space missions.

In recent years, planetary science has been able to give a more accurate description of the Solar System by means of observations made by Earth-based telescopes but also thanks to space exploration of planets, asteroids and comets. We study, therefore, the nature of comets and asteroids through spectroscopic and images analysis obtained from ground-based telescopes and from space missions. 

For more information visit our website (link)

TEAM (Phone: +39 055 2752 xxx)


John Robert Brucato
Gian Paolo Tozzi
Aldo dell'Oro
Teresa Fornaro
Giovanni Poggiali
Maria Angela Corazzi
Andrea Meneghin
Astrobiology Laboratory

Phone int.

055 2755241