Raffaella Margutti

Raffaella Margutti-BW


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


  • Northwestern University
Department of Physics and Astronomy/CIERA


  • United States


PhD (Physics and Astronomy), University of Milano-Bicocca
Laurea Magistrale (Astrophysics), University of Milano-Bicocca
Laurea (Physics), University of Milano-Bicocca


Rafaella Margutti uses observations from spacecraft, optical telescopes, and radio antennae to study the most violent stellar explosions and stellar collisions found in nature. 

Targets of her research include: catastrophic collisions among black holes and neutron stars, which are now detectable sources of gravitational waves; Stellar disruptions that happen when a star approaches the supermassive black hole of its own galaxy; and the most luminous stellar explosions, which are how black holes and neutron stars are formed. 

By observing these violent phenomena in real time across the electromagnetic spectrum, Margutti sheds new light on the processes that lead to neutron stars and black holes and on the processes that enrich our universe with heavy chemical elements.


Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics, 2019

Scialog Fellow and Award, 2015 

James Arthur Prize Research Fellowship, New York University, 2015

Relevant Publications

Margutti, R. et al. “An embedded X-ray source shines through the aspherical AT2018cow: revealing the inner workings of the most luminous fast-evolving optical transients”, 2019, ApJ, 872, 18. 

Margutti, R. et al.“The Binary Neutron Star event LIGO/VIRGO GW170817 a hundred and sixty days after merger: synchrotron emission across the electromagnetic spectrum”, 2018, ApJL, 856, 18. 1. 

Margutti, R. et al. “The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. V. Rising X-Ray Emission from an Off-axis Jet”, 2017, ApJL, 848, 20. 

Margutti, R. et al. “Ejection of the massive Hydrogen-rich envelope timed with the collapse of the stripped SN2014C”, 2017, ApJ, 835, 140.  Paper featured on AAS Nova Highlights.

Margutti, R. et al., “A panchromatic view of the restless SN2009ip reveals the explosive ejection of a massive star envelope”, 2014, ApJ, 780, 21.