Welcome to Massimo Robberto's Homepage STScI logo

Massimo Robberto in his office at STScI

About me...

I work at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore as Branch Manager for NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera), the main instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST). I am AURA (American Universities for Research in Astronomy) Observatory Scientist, as well as Research Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University.

My main expertise is in the concept, development and operations of novel astronomical instrumentation. Before JWST/NIRCam, I was instrument scientist for the infrared channel of the WFC3 (Wide Field Camera 3) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope; I have conceived and proposed SPACE, a Dark Energy mission selected by the European Space Agency for the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 plan (now part of the Euclid mission). I am currently Instrument PI of the ATLAS Probe satellite, under study for the next 2020 Decadal Survey.

For ground based telescopes, I am Principal Investigator of SCORPIO, the next facility instrument for the 8m Gemini South telescope and the prime camera-spectrograph for LSST followup, and of the SAMOS spectrograph for the 4m SOAR telescope also in Chile, the first multi-slit spectrograph designed for an adaptive optics system. In the past I have build the MAX camera for the UKIRT telescope in Hawaii, a coronograph for the ESO/NTT telescope, and a few other instruments.

Recently I have served in the Program Panel on Optical and Infrared Observations from the Ground for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020), charted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

My main research field is Star Formation, the Orion Nebula in particular. I have led two Hubble Treasury Programs on the Orion Nebula Cluster. The first one (GO10246), awarded with 104 orbits of HST time in Cycle 13 to study the Orion Nebula Cluster has produced one of the most beautiful images ever made by Hubble (at least according to National Geographics). The science data products for this project are avaialble on the STScI MAST archive here. The data produced by the second Treasury Program (GO13826) are still being analyzed but have already produced a couple of HST press releases, i.e. HST2017-11 on the discovery of a runaway star and HST2018-03 on the discovery of very-low mass companions.

Before joining AURA, I worked for the European Space Agency as Astronomer assigned to the Hubble program (1999-2005); earlier in my career, I was staff astronomer at Max Planck Institut fuer Astronomie, Heidelberg (1995-1999) and tenured Research Astronomer at Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino (1987-1999). I hold a Summa cum Laude degree in Physics and a PhD in Astronomy from University of Torino.

Asteroid 2008 QE12 - Robberto is orbiting somewhere in the Solar System. Click here to see where it is now.

For my list of publications on the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) check Publications-ADS.
Pre/Reprints of most papers published on refereed journals can be found on arXiv.org at Publications-astroph

The purpose of this page is to provide my contact information. I will try to give sporadic updates on my recent scientific research&nbsp, especially papers in advance of publication and hard-to-find reprints of studies done for functional work. There are also links to data sets on star formation, some software tool, and perhaps a bit of personal information.

Contact Information

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Preprints | Presentations and Podcasts | Internal Reports | Datasets | Orion Treasury Program | Vitae | Software | Projects | Pictures

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Revised May 2013 - Massimo Robberto