Massimo Marengo

Massimo Marengo

  • Professor
  • Astronomy
I am a stellar astrophysicist: stars are the beacons that guide my scientific endeavors into the vast expanse of the cosmos. I use stars to map the geometry of the universe, and to shed light on the processes shaping other planetary systems like our own.

My research focus has three main directions: the determination of precise distances in the local and far universe using variable stars; the study of stellar populations and stellar properties; and the analysis of extrasolar planetary systems and their asteroid belts. As an observational astronomer, my work is based on data I collect from large space and ground telescopes, including facilities managed by NASA, NOAO, NRAO and ESO, and supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.


  • Ph.D., Astrophysics, SISSA/ISAS Trieste, Italy, 2000
  • M. Sc., Physics, University of Torino, Italy, 1993

More Information


    • Astro 346: Introduction to Astrophysics
    • Astro 342: Introduction to the Solar System

    Education and Academic History

    • 2018 - present: Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State
    • 2013 - 2018: Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy, Iowa State
    • 2009 - 2013: Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy, Iowa State
    • 2003 - 2009: Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
    • 2000 - 2003: Postdoc. Research Associate, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
    • 1997 - 2000: Smithsonian Predoc. Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
    • 2000: Ph. D. in Astrophysics, SISSA/ISAS, Trieste, Italy
    • 1993: Laurea cum Laude (M. Sc.) in Physics, University of Torino, Italy