Bright Night 2022, European Researchers Night in Pisa

Sep 7, 2022

ìBright Night, the European Researchers’ Night in Tuscany, returns again this year on September 30th. As always, EGO and Virgo will participate with various activities for people of all ages, guided tours in the morning at the Observatory in Cascina and other events in the afternoon in the city centre in Pisa. Here are all the details! (note: all activities are in Italian)

booths in Largo Ciro Menotti

At Bright Night’s ‘Space Odyssey’ square, located in Largo Ciro Menotti, you will find two booths by EGO and Virgo: ‘Virgo listening to the cosmos’ and ‘Messengers from space’. In the latter, entirely dedicated to children, the following two activities will be repeated throughout the day.

Postcards from space

Black holes merging, stars exploding or colliding, generating gravitational earthquakes… The deep Universe is a stage always in turmoil, whose surprising cosmic landscapes we are discovering thanks to increasingly sophisticated and sensitive telescopes and antennas… What if we were the actors on this stage? In this workshop, children aged 8 to 12 will be able to give free rein to their imagination, express themselves through their bodies with moments of guided theatrical improvisation, and create incredible Postcards from Space. 

The activities, lasting about 30/40 minutes, will take place at 16.45, 18.15 and 19.45. Reservations can be made by sending an email to stating the time, number and names of participating children.

The sound of the universe

The Virgo gravitational wave detector is a huge ear listening to the cosmos, but at the same time, in order to pick up the faint signals coming from deep space, it is constantly listening to and monitoring everything that happens in the environment: the wind, the impact of sea waves on the Tyrrhenian coast, small and large earthquakes, but also all the noises, signals and ‘disturbances’ produced by humans. In this workshop we will play at listening and distinguishing, as Virgo does, between cosmic and environmental or man-made sounds. How would the sound of a gravitational wave reach our ears? Can we recognise it in the enormous amount of noise in which we are immersed? By listening, children and teenagers will help Virgo’s scientists track down the invisible wave! 

The activity, lasting about 30/40 minutes, will take place at 16.00, 17.30 and 19.00. Reservations can be made by sending an email to indicating the time, number and names of the participating children.


guided tour of EGO and Virgo

During the morning, it will be possible to participate in guided tours of the observatory, in which researchers will take visitors on a journey to explore Virgo and its discoveries. The tour includes an introductory seminar on what gravitational waves and the cosmic phenomena that generate them are.

The guided tours will be held in three shifts

9.30 a.m.: 3 high school classes
10 a.m.: 2 middle school classes
11.30 a.m.: 3 high school classes 

To book please write to stating

Name of school and class
Number of participants
Selected timetable


“listening to cosmic messengers”, by Barbara Patricelli, Largo Ciro Menotti (time tbd)

Astronomy of the future is multi-messenger, i.e. it observes the same phenomenon by looking at it from many angles, receiving information from many so-called ‘messengers’. These include light, in its entire spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays, particles and finally gravitational waves, cosmic earthquakes generated by violent phenomena in the universe, which reach Earth and are picked up by large instruments such as the Virgo interferometer in the countryside near Pisa. On the stage of the ‘Space Odyssey’ square in Largo Ciro Menotti, Virgo Collaboration researcher Barbara Patricelli will take us on a journey through the history, horizons and future challenges of this new astronomy.



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56021 Cascina (PI) – Italy
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