Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Riccardo Giovanelli

Professor of Astronomy
Riccardo Giovanelli

Specialty Areas


Extragalactic Astronomy


Research Projects


Disk Scaling Relations and Their Applications as Distance Indicators, HI in the Local Universe, Megamasers and Galaxy Evolution., Atacama Project (CCAT), Observational Cosmology, ALFALFA




Riccardo Giovanelli's research interests are in the areas of observational cosmology and the structure, evolution, and environments of galaxies. He spent much of the 1980s studying the properties of galaxies in clusters and the large-scale structure of the universe by means of redshift surveys of galaxies. In the 1990's he applied redshift-independent methods to the measurement of galaxy distances, cosmic parameters and large-scale flows produced by perturbations in the cosmic mass density field . More recently, he can be found harvesting the goods of the ALFALFA legacy survey of extragalactic HI in the local Universe - a seven year observational effort to map the distribution of atomic Hydrogen at z=0 over 7,000 square degrees of sky, with the Arecibo 305m radio telescope - and searching for the faintest, star-forming dwarf galaxies in the Universe. He is initiator and current director of the project to build a large submillimeter telescope in the high Atacama Desert (CCAT), ranked as the highest priority among mid-scale, ground-based observational projects, by the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Review of the US National Research Council. In

1989 he received the Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences for his work in Cosmological Physics and in 1997 he was honored with the title of Knight of the Republic by the President of Italy.


Selected Publications


  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "Extinction in Sc Galaxies." Astron. J. 107, 2036 (1994)
  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "The Tully-Fisher Relation and the Hubble Constant."Astrophys. J.   477, L1 (1997)
  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "The Tully-Fisher Relation for Cluster Galaxies." Astron. J. 113, 22 and 53 (1997)
  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "Peculiar Velocity Dipoles of Field Galaxies." Astrophys. J. 505, L91 (1998)
  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey. I. Science Goals, Survey Design, and Strategy." Astron. J. 130, 2598 (2005)
  • Haynes, M.P., Giovanelli, R. and Kent, B.R. "NGC 4254: An Act of Harassment Uncovered by ALFALFA." Astrophys. J. 665, L19 (2007)
  • Giovanelli, R., et al. "Are Newly Discovered HI High-Velocity Clouds Minihalos in the Local Group?" Astrophys. J. 708, 22 (2010)