The University of Torino and the Torino Astrophysical Observatory (INAF-OATo) participate in the international astrometric space mission Theia proposal study for the European Space Agency (ESA). Theia is poised to perform astrometric measurements to micro-arsecond level precision, exceeding by a factor of 20 to 50, depending on star brightness, the precision of Gaia, the ongoing international space astrometric mission launched in 2014. Theia is expected to compete for a launch slot by ESA after 2029. Two of the major scientific objectives of Theia are:
1. examine whether the dark matter in the inner part of faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies is cuspy or more homogeneously distributed;
2. determine the shape of the outer dark matter halo of the Milky Way.
Each post-doctoral position is intended for investigating one of those two topics.
The successful candidate for the first position is expected to perform numerical and/or analytical modelling of the kinematics of stars within the halos of cold, warm or self-interacting dark matter of the dwarf spheroidals that will be the target of Theia. Modelling of the star kinematics in modified theories of gravity (e.g., MOND or Refracted Gravity) can also be explored.
The successful candidate for the second position is expected to perform numerical and/or analytical modelling of the kinematics of hypervelocity stars in the Milky Way, both in standard and modified gravity theories, by assuming different triaxial shapes of the Galaxy halo and with initial conditions set by the presence of a single or a binary black hole in the Galactic Center.
Both successful candidates will strictly collaborate with the INAF-OATo to produce mock catalogues of stellar astrometric data to assess the Theia instrumental requirements.
Each position is for one year with a possible extension for a second year, based on performance. At the beginning of the appointment, a PhD in Physics or Astronomy or equivalent is required. Experience in gravitational dynamics and/or N-body simulations is highly desirable.
Salary will be 23,600 EUR/year gross. Research budget for travel and other expenses will be provided. No teaching or other duties are required for these positions. The standard benefits of the Italian contracts for post-doctoral fellowships will apply.
Applications should consist of a one-page statement of research interest, a curriculum vitae with a statement of experience relevant for these positions, an expression of preference for one of the two positions, and a list of publications. Applications should be sent by e-mail to Prof. Antonaldo Diaferio (email@example.com). In addition, candidates should arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to the same address. For further enquiries, please contact Prof. Antonaldo Diaferio (firstname.lastname@example.org). All correspondence should be sent by-email, with the subject line "Theia Post-docs".
Applications will receive full consideration until the positions are filled. In any case, the selection procedure will terminate by October 29, 2017. Each appointment should preferably start not later than January 2018.
© 2017 American Astronomical Society