Claudia Cicone


ciconeAstroFIt 2 – COFUND fellow since October 1, 2016

Project ended on August 31, 2019.

INAF Research Centre: Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

Email: claudia.cicone at

Twitter: @claudiacicone

Curriculum vitae

In the media:


Project title: COURAGE – Cold OUtflows Ruffling the AGn Environment


The aim of my research is to test models of galaxy evolution invoking internal feedback mechanisms to regulate and, in extreme cases, rapidly suppress star formation in galaxies. A multi-wavelength observational approach, combining insights from the radio/millimeter to the X-ray bands, will be adopted to investigate multi-phase energetic outflows that can be the manifestation of “radiative-mode” feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN).

My study builds on the recent discovery that fast (vmax ≥ 1000 km s-1), massive (Mgas ≥ 108 MSun) kpcscale outflows of molecular gas may be ubiquitous in galaxies hosting starbursts and/or powerful AGNs. In my previous works I have shown that the mass-loss rates, kinetic powers and momentum rates are significantly boosted when the AGN dominates the bolometric luminosity of the host galaxy. The inference is that the energetic output of the AGN can undermine even the coldest and densest phase of the interstellar medium (ISM) that directly fuels star formation, resulting in a potentially dramatic feedback on galaxy evolution. A plausible mechanism for the coupling between the AGN radiation and the cold ISM may be provided by ultra-fast highionization

winds originating from the accretion disk and observable in the X-ray, which can efficiently transfer  kinetic energy to the ISM and drive the large-scale molecular flows observed at millimeter wavelengths.

My project aims at providing answers to the most pressing open questions in this field, and develops around three main themes: (i) the physical properties of molecular outflows; (ii) the outflow acceleration mechanism and (iii) the AGN feedback at high redshift. A central point of this investigation will be tracking the AGN feedback from the nuclear scales, where the whole process is believed to originate through hot winds visible in the X-ray, to the kpc-scales of the host galaxy, where the back-reaction on the cold ISM can be observed in the form of extended molecular outflows. Such analysis requires the use of observations at both Xray and mm/radio wavelengths. For the former, the expertise available at my host INAF institution will play a crucial role. For the latter, I note that a total of 6h of ALMA time, 12h of JVLA time and 22h of NOEMA time have already been allocated to this project (PI: Cicone).