Emanuele Nardini


nardiniAstroFIt 2 – COFUND fellow since December 1, 2016.

Project ended on November 30, 2019.

INAF Research Centre: Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Email: emanuele.nardini at inaf.it

Curriculum vitae

In the media:



Project title: SMBHwind – Black Hole Feedback: Towards the Unification of Outflows in Active Galactic Nuclei


In the centre of almost every galaxy resides a supermassive black hole (SMBH) equivalent to several millions/billions of Suns. The striking correlation between its mass and the properties of the host galaxy suggests that some kind of mutual influence has been in place during most of the SMBH growth phase. While the proof for such a SMBH/host galaxy co-evolution is still missing, outflows are often invoked as the underlying physical mechanism. Indeed, due to the huge amount  of energy released via SMBH accretion, in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) the radiation pressure can  be so intense to expel the gas from the central regions and push it outwards throughout the galaxy.

Outflow signatures arising over a wide range of distances from the nuclear SMBHs have now been  detected in a significant fraction of AGN in the form of X-ray, UV and far-IR absorption features, or spatially resolved, broad emissione-line wings. The inferred mass outflow rates on kpc scales are  capable of depleting the gas reservoir available to star formation in a few million years.

Evidence is rapidly growing that the most powerful winds emanated from the SMBH accretion discs carry enough energy to trigger a galaxy-wide snowplough effect. In this wake, the different outflow manifestation we are witnessing can be regarded as consecutive snapshots of the same AGN feedback picture. It is therefore time for a systematic survey of AGN-driven winds, aimed at shedding light on the physical conditions underlying their launch, expansion, and interaction with the ambient gas. Prompted by some recent compelling results, this research project will take advantage of a multiwavelength perspective and of the best available and forthcoming facilities to move towards the unification of AGN outflows, with the ultimate goal of understanding how galaxies are shaped by the high energy physical processes that take place in their innermost regions.

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