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Mattia SirressiPhD student

About me

I am a PhD candidate in the Astronomy Department of Stockholm University.
I work as a researcher in the group that investigates how the galaxies in our Universe have formed and evolve during the cosmic time.

My supervisor is Angela Adamo, a world-renown researcher and professor who has access to observations of galaxies taken with state-of-the-art telescopes, both ground-based as well as in space. We analyse and interpret the data of galaxies and their structures to study star-formation and to understand how the young stars can regulate the evolution of their host galaxies.
I am also interested in supermassive black holes, in the centre of some galaxies, which can generate outflows and suppress star-formation.

I believe that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will play a larger and larger role in the future of Science and the Industry, due to the availability of large data sets. As part of my research I am building expertise in this new promising field, training algorithms to learn from big data.
A large part of my work with data consists in writing code using Python and its scientific and data-visualization libraries such as numpy and matplotlib. You can find some of my codes at my GitHub profile.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Molecular gas kinematics in the nuclear region of nearby Seyfert galaxies with ALMA

    2021. A. Bewketu Belete (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 654


    Context. The study of the distribution, morphology, and kinematics of cold molecular gas in the nuclear and circumnuclear regions of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) helps to characterise and hence to quantify the impact of the AGNs on the host galaxy over its lifetime.

    Aims. We present the analysis of the molecular gas in the nuclear regions of three Seyfert galaxies, NGC 4968, NGC 4845, and MCG-06-30-15, using Atacama Large sub-Millimetre Array (ALMA) observations of the CO(2−1) emission line. The aim is to determine the kinematics of the gas in the central (∼1 kpc) region and thereby to probe nuclear fueling and feedback of AGNs.

    Methods. We used two different softwares, namely the 3D-Based Analysis of Rotating Object via Line Observations and DiskFit, to model the kinematics of the gas in the molecular disc, and thereby to determine the gas rotation and any kinematical perturbations.

    Results. Circular motions dominate the kinematics of the molecular gas in the central discs, mainly in NGC 4845 and MCG-06-30-15; however there is clear evidence of non-circular motions in the central (∼1 kpc) region of NGC 4845 and NGC 4968. The strongest non-circular motion is detected in the inner disc of NGC 4968, mainly along the minor kinematic axis, with a velocity ∼115 km s−1. Of all DiskFit models, the bisymmetric model is found to give the best fit for NGC 4968 and NGC 4845, indicating that the observed non-circular motions in the inner disc of these galaxies could result from the nuclear barred structure, where the gas streams in elliptical orbits aligned along the bar. If the dynamics of NGC 4968 is modelled as a corotation pattern just outside of the bar, the bar pattern speed becomes Ωb = 52 km s−1 kpc−1; the corotation is set at 3.5 kpc; and the inner Lindblad resonance (ILR) ring is R = 300 pc, corresponding to the CO emission ring. In the NGC 4968 galaxy, the torques exerted on the gas by the bar are positive in the centre, within the gas nuclear ring, and negative outside. This shows that the gas is transiently trapped in the ILR. The comparison of the CO intensity maps with the map of the cold dust emission shows an absence of CO in the centre of NGC 4968; also the dust distribution and CO emission in and around the centre of NGC 4845 have similar extensions. The 1.2 mm ALMA continuum is peaked and compact in NGC 4968 and MCG-06-30-15, but their CO(2−1) emissions have extended distributions. Allowing the CO-to-H2 conversion factor αCO between 0.8 and 3.2, which is typical of nearby galaxies of the same type, the molecular mass M(H2) is estimated to be ∼3 − 12 × 107 M (NGC 4968), ∼9 − 36 × 107 M (NGC 4845), and ∼1 − 4 × 107 M (MCG-06-30-15).

    Conclusions. We conclude that the observed non-circular motions in the molecular disc of NGC 4968 and likely those seen in NGC 4845 are due to the presence of the bar in the nuclear region. We discuss the possibility that the observed pattern in the kinematics might be a consequence of the presence of AGNs, and this might be the case for NGC 4845. At the current spectral and spatial resolution and sensitivity, we cannot claim any strong evidence in these sources of the long sought feedback or feeding effect resulting from the presence of AGNs.

    Read more about Molecular gas kinematics in the nuclear region of nearby Seyfert galaxies with ALMA
  • StarcNet

    2021. Gustavo Pérez (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 907 (2)


    We present a machine learning (ML) pipeline to identify star clusters in the multicolor images of nearby galaxies, from observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Treasury Project LEGUS (Legacy ExtraGalactic Ultraviolet Survey). StarcNet (STAR Cluster classification NETwork) is a multiscale convolutional neural network (CNN) that achieves an accuracy of 68.6% (four classes)/86.0% (two classes: cluster/noncluster) for star cluster classification in the images of the LEGUS galaxies, nearly matching human expert performance. We test the performance of StarcNet by applying a pre-trained CNN model to galaxies not included in the training set, finding accuracies similar to the reference one. We test the effect of StarcNet predictions on the inferred cluster properties by comparing multicolor luminosity functions and mass-age plots from catalogs produced by StarcNet and by human labeling; distributions in luminosity, color, and physical characteristics of star clusters are similar for the human and ML classified samples. There are two advantages to the ML approach: (1) reproducibility of the classifications: the ML algorithm's biases are fixed and can be measured for subsequent analysis; and (2) speed of classification: the algorithm requires minutes for tasks that humans require weeks to months to perform. By achieving comparable accuracy to human classifiers, StarcNet will enable extending classifications to a larger number of candidate samples than currently available, thus increasing significantly the statistics for cluster studies.

    Read more about StarcNet
  • The Source of Leaking Ionizing Photons from Haro11

    2021. Göran Östlin (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 912 (2)


    Understanding the escape of ionizing (Lyman continuum) photons from galaxies is vital for determining how galaxies contributed to reionization in the early universe. While directly detecting the Lyman continuum from high-redshift galaxies is impossible due to the intergalactic medium, low-redshift galaxies in principle offer this possibility but require observations from space. The first local galaxy for which Lyman continuum escape was found is Haro 11, a luminous blue compact galaxy at z = 0.02, where observations with the FUSE satellite revealed an escape fraction of 3.3%. However, the FUSE aperture covers the entire galaxy, and it is not clear from where the Lyman continuum is leaking out. Here we utilize Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph spectroscopy in the wavelength range 1100-1700 angstrom of the three knots (A, B, and C) of Haro 11 to study the presence of Ly alpha emission and the properties of intervening gas. We find that all knots have bright Ly alpha emission. UV absorption lines, originating in the neutral interstellar medium, as well as lines probing the ionized medium, are seen extending to blueshifted velocities of 500 km s(-1) in all three knots, demonstrating the presence of an outflowing multiphase medium. We find that knots A and B have large covering fractions of neutral gas, making LyC escape along these sightlines improbable, while knot C has a much lower covering fraction (less than or similar to 50%). Knot C also has the the highest Ly alpha escape fraction, and we conclude that it is the most likely source of the escaping Lyman continuum detected in Haro 11.

    Read more about The Source of Leaking Ionizing Photons from Haro11
  • The stratified disc wind of MCG-03-58-007

    2021. V. Braito (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 500 (1), 291-300


    Past Suzaku, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR observations of the nearby (z = 0.03233) bright Seyfert 2 galaxy MCG-03-58-007 revealed the presence of two deep and blue-shifted iron K-shell absorption line profiles. These could be explained with the presence of two phases of a highly ionized, high column density accretion disc wind outflowing with v(out1) similar to-0.1c and v(out2) similar to -0.2c. Here we present two new observations of MCG-03-58-007: one was carried out in 2016 with Chandra and one in 2018 with Swift. Both caught MCG-03-58-007 in a brighter state (F2-10 (keV) similar to 4 x 10(-12) erg cm(-2) s(-1)) confirming the presence of the fast disc wind. The multi-epoch observations of MCG-03-58-007 covering the period from 2010 to 2018 were then analysed. These data show that the lower velocity component outflowing with v(out1) similar to -0.072 +/- 0.002c is persistent and detected in all the observations, although it is variable in column density in the range N-H similar to 3-8 x 102(3) cm(-2). In the 2016 Swift observation we detected again the second faster component outflowing with v(out2) similar to-0.2c, with a column density (N-H = 7.0(-4.1)(+5.6) x 10(23) cm(-2)), similar to that seen during the Suzaku observation. However during the Chandra observation 2 yr earlier, this zone was not present (N-H < 1.5 x 10(23) cm(-2)), suggesting that this faster zone is intermittent. Overall the multi-epochs observations show that the disc wind in MCG-03-58-007 is not only powerful, but also extremely variable, hence placing MCG-03-58-007 among unique disc winds such as the one seen in the famous QSO PDS456. One of the main results of this investigation is the consideration that these winds could be extremely variable, sometime appearing and sometime disappearing; thus to reach solid and firm conclusions about their energetics multiple observations are mandatory.

    Read more about The stratified disc wind of MCG-03-58-007

Show all publications by Mattia Sirressi at Stockholm University