VIrtual Roentgen and Gamma Observatory

VIrtual Roentgen and Gamma Observatory
(VIRGO.UA, VIRGO) in Ukraine

With joint efforts of the Physics Faculty of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Department of Quantum Field Theory and Cosmomicrophysics, Department of Astronomy and Space Physics, Astronomical Observatory) and the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and with the financial support of the Geneva Observatory, the INTEGRAL Science Data Center (ISDC), the Virtual Roentgen and Gamma Observatory (VIRGO) was established in Kyiv in 2006. It is a scientific computer center for high-energy astrophysics to support research in the field of space microphysics (computing astroparticle center) and the use of data from space missions in the X-ray and Gamma ranges, for example, INTEGRAL mission.

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Within the VIRGO project, in April - June 2006, 4 cycles of lectures were held together with practical classes to acquaint all interested persons with the capabilities of the center and provide them with assistance in using the center's data. About 40 participants from Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine took part in the lectures and practical classes. In April and May 2007, the next two cycles of lectures were held, and on May 28-30, the First VIRGO conference was held based on the results of the Center's work.

In January 2013, a branch of the VIRGO Center was opened in the Astronomical Observatory of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

The directions of scientific research of the center cover almost all relevant areas of astrophysics, in particular, the study of active nuclei of galaxies, the large-scale structure of the Universe, hot X-ray gas in galaxy clusters, the search for the astrophysical presence of dark matter, the study of the center of the Galaxy in the GeV-TeV range, sources and mechanisms of the acceleration of cosmic rays, remnants of supernovae, intergalactic magnetic fields based on processing data from the INTEGRAL, XMM-Newton, Chandra, and Fermi space missions.

During the existence of the VIRGO Center of KNU, its employees published more than 200 works in prestigious international and Ukrainian scientific journals and defended 8 candidate theses, and dozens of master's and bachelor's theses.

The VIRGO Center of the Physics Faculty of KNU is actively used in the educational process of the Department of Astronomy and Space Physics. Here, for senior students, laboratory practicals are held from the special courses "Special scientific seminar on astrophysics", "Physics of compact objects", "Relativistic astrophysical objects", "X-ray astronomy", "Gamma-ray astronomy", "Introduction to the Standard Model and high-energy astrophysics", related to data processing of optical, X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes, as well as practical lessons from the courses "High-energy astrophysics", "Modern computer technologies", "Computational methods in astrophysics", "Astronomical catalogs and databases" etc.

Main areas of activity and current tasks:

  • Study of active nuclei of galaxies (AGNs), in particular, quasars and isolated AGNs, galaxies with double nuclei;
  • Research of AGNs located in clusters;
  • Establishing astrophysical constraints on light axion-like dark matter particles from X-ray observations of the Coma cluster;
  • Using MINOT (Modeling of the ICM (Non-)thermal content and Observables prediction Tools, https://github.com/remi-adam/minot) and CRPropa (Cosmic Ray Propagation Framework, https://crpropa.desy.de/) – astrophysical software for modeling the physical processes of propagation and interaction of charged particles in our and other galaxies;
  • Magnetic fields of the accretion disks of AGNs, influence the formation of jets;
  • Setting limits on the values of primary magnetic fields in voids from observations of cascade gamma-radiation from TeV blazars, cataloging promising blazars;
  • Modeling and research of the large-scale structure of the universe;
  • VIPERS Morphology and Statistical Analysis of Galaxies (http://vipers.inaf.it/).
  • Construction of X-ray galaxy catalogs (in particular, the Xgal20 catalog, cross-matched 4XMM-DR10 ✕ HyperLEDA, SDSS X-ray-selected galaxies (4XMM-DR10 ✕ HyperLEDA) ).

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