Dante Minniti

Professor of Astrophysics, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile
ORCID 0000-0002-7064-099X

Dante Minniti is Full Professor and Director of the Institute of Astrophysics at Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile.

He did the undergraduate studies in Astronomy at the Universidad de Córdoba (Argentina), and obtained his PhD in 1993 at the University of Arizona (USA) and on 1998, another PhD at the Universidad de Córdoba (Argentina). He was Postdoctoral Fellow of the European Southern Observatory (Germany) in 1993-1996, and a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellow (USA) and of the SuperMACHO Team since 2001, and leader of the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) Science Team since 2006. At the IAU Commission 3 “The Local Universe” he is Past President from 2018 to 2021. Dante is Editor for Astronomy & Astrophysics since 2019.

He has obtained several international research grants from NASA (USA), ALFA (European Union), CONICYT (Chile), CONICET (Argentina), CNRS (France), ICTP (Italy), etc. He was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship Prize in 2005 in recognition for his work on stellar populations, and the Scopus Prize in Physics and Astronomy in 2008.
That year he was also appointed Adjunct Scholar for the Vatican Observatory, and Director of Research and Doctorate at the Universidad Católica (2008-2011), and in 2012 he was appointed Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina.
He is also referee for the leading journals in Astronomy, and for national and international funding agencies, and has been member of various scientific committees, like the ESO Scientific and Technology Committee and the ESO Observing Proposals Committee, and the Gemini International Telescope Allocation Committee. He also supervised 15 Postdocs, 8 PhD students, 11 MSc students, and 22 Undergraduate students.

His broad research interests are: EXTRASOLAR PLANETS, ASTROBIOLOGY, GLOBULAR CLUSTERS, STELLAR POPULATIONS, STELLAR EVOLUTION, GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENSING, GALAXY FORMATION, and GALACTIC STRUCTURE. He has authored 550 refereed publications, accumulated more than 26.000 citations in the literature to date, yielding Hirsch_index = 84 (source: The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System).

He is also author of the recent books “Mundos Lejanos”, “Vistas de la Galaxia”, and “Nuevos Mundos”. He is presently the principal investigator of the VVVX ESO Public Survey, and actively teaching, supervising students and postdocs, and engaged in public Astronomy outreach.

Dante is former President of the International Astronomical Union “Commission H1 The Local Universe” and has been an active member of several IAU commissions since 2003.

Professor Minniti is Associate Editor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, a leading international Journal publishing papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics (theoretical, observational, and instrumental).

He is author of 550 refereed publications, that accumulate more than 26.000 citations in the literature to date, yielding Hirsch_index = 84 (source: ADS). He is now leading the ESO Public Survey “VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV)” and it’s extension the VVVX, and actively teaching, supervising students and postdocs, and giving public Astronomy talks.
In 2012 professor Minniti was made Member of the National Science Academy of Argentina.
Medal from the National Science Academy




  1. D. Minniti, P. W. Lucas, J. P. Emerson, et al., 2010, “VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV): The public ESO near-IR variability survey of the Milky Way”, New Astronomy, 15,433
  2. Saito, R. K.; Hempel, M.; Minniti, D.; Lucas, P. W.; Rejkuba, M.; Toledo, I.; Gonzalez, O. A.; Alonso-García, J.; Irwin, M.; J. Gonzalez-Solares, E.; Hodgkin, S. T.; Lewis, J. R.; Cross, N.; Ivanov, V. D.; Kerins, E.; Emerson, J. P.; Soto, M.; et. al; “VVV DR1: The first data release of the Milky Way bulge and southern plane from the near-infrared ESO public survey VISTA variables in the Vía Láctea”; 2012, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 537, A107
  3. Dékány, I.;Minniti, D.; Catelan, M.; Zoccali, M.; Saito, R. K.; Hempel, M.; Gonzalez, O. A.; “VVV Survey Near-infrared Photometry of Known Bulge RR Lyrae Stars: The Distance to the Galactic Center and Absence of a Barred Distribution of the Metal-poor Population”, 2013, Astronomy & Astrophysics,776, 2, L19G. Pietrzyński; I. Thompson; W. Gieren; D. Graczyk; G. Bono; A. Udalski; I. Soszyński; D. Minniti; B. Pilecki, “The dynamical mass of a classical Cepheid variable star in an eclipsing binary system”, 2010, Nature, 468, 542
  4. D. Minniti; et al., “Discovery of VVV CL001. A Low-Mass Globular Cluster Next to UKS1 in the Direction of the Galactic Bulge”, 2010, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 527, 81
  5. D. Minniti, P. W. Lucas, J. P. Emerson, et al., 2010, “VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV): The public ESO near-IR variability survey of the Milky Way”, New Astronomy, 15,433
  6. D. Minniti 2007 (book author), “Mundos lejanos: sistemas planetarios y vida en el Universo”, Ediciones B (Santiago, Chile), catalog ISBN 978-956-304-039-5
  7. D. Minniti, J. M. Fernandez, R. Diaz, A. Udalski, G. Pietrzynski, W. Gieren, P. Rojo, M. T. Ruiz, & M. Zoccali, “Millimagnitude Photometry for Transiting Extrasolar Planetary Candidates III: Accurate Radius and Period for OGLE-TR-111-b”, 2006, The Astrophysical Journal, 660, 858
  8. K. Sahu, R. Gilliland, S. Casertano, H. Bond, E. Smith, D. Minniti, M. Zoccali, M. Livio, N. Panagia, J. Valenti, T. Brown, R. Rich, N. Piskunov, S. Luvow, & W. Clarkson, “Extrasolar Transiting Planetary Candidates in the Galactic Bulge”, 2006, Nature, 443, 534
  9. A. Rest, N. B. Suntzeff, K. Olsen, J. L. Prieto, R. C. Smith, D. L. Welch, A. Becker, M. Bergmann, A. Clocchiatti, K. Cook, A. Garg, M. Huber, G. Miknaitis, D. Minniti, S. Nikolaev, C. Stubbs, “Echoes from Ancient Supernovae in the Large Magellanic Cloud”, 2005, Nature, 438, 1132
  10. D. Minniti, M. Rejkuba, J. G. Funes, & R. C. Kennicutt, “The Most Exciting Massive Binary Cluster in NGC~5128: Clues to the Formation of Globular Clusters”, 2004, The Astrophysical Journal, 612, 215
  11. D. Minniti , J. Borissova, M. Rejkuba, D. Alves, K. H. Cook & K. C. Freeman, “Kinematic Evidence for an Old Stellar Halo in the Large Magellanic Cloud”, 2003, Science, 301, 1508
  12. C. Alcock, R.A. Allsman, T.S. Axelrod, A. Becker, D.P. Bennett, K.H. Cook, K.C. Freeman, M. Geha, K. Griest, G. Kovacs, M.J. Lehner, S.L. Marshall, D. Minniti, B.A. Peterson, M.R. Pratt, P.J. Quinn, A.W. Rodgers, C.W. Stubbs, W. Sutherland, & D.L. Welch, “First Direct Detection of a Microlens in the Milky Way”, 2002,Nature, 414, 617
  13. D. Minniti, “Field Stars and Clusters of the Galactic Bulge: Implications for Galaxy Formation”, 1996, The Astrophysical Journal, 459, 175
  14. D. Minniti, “Metal Rich Globular Clusters with R<3 kpc: Disk or Bulge Clusters?”, 1995, The Astronomical Journal, 109, 1663
  15. D. Minniti, E. Olszewski, & M. Rieke, “The Bulge of M33”, 1993,The Astrophysical Journal, 410, L79
  16. D. Minniti, S.D.M. White, E. Olszewski, & J. Hill, “Rotation of the Galactic Bulge”, 1992, The Astrophysical Journal, 393, L47

List of all publications at The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System

Supervised more than 60 young scientists (17 Postdocs, 14 PhD students, 11 MSc students, and 23 Undergraduate students)

  • Frederic Courbin (1999-2001) 
  • Jura Borissova (2002-2004)
  • Lorenzo Morelli (2005-2007)
  • Pawel Pietrukowicz (2007-2009)
  • Maren Hempel (2008-2020)
  • Roberto Saito (2009-2013)
  • Javier Alonso (2010-2015)
  • Istvan Dekany (2010-2016)
  • Kris Helminiak (2011-2013) 
  • Karla Peña (2013-2014)  
  • Millarca Valenzuela (2013-2014)  
  • Tali Palma (2014-2016) 
  • Carlos Contreras (2015-2016)  
  • Vittorio Braga (2016-2018) 
  • Bruno Dias (2016-2018) 
  • Maria Gabriela Navarro (2022)
  • PhD
  • Marina Rejkuba (PUC, with D. Silva, graduated June 2002)
  • Daniela Villegas (PUC, graduated October 2008)
  • José Miguel Fernández (PUC, with D. Latham, graduated July 2009)
  • Claudio Cáceres (PUC, with V. Ivanov, graduated in December 2011)
  • Pamela Arriagada (PUC, with P. Butler, graduated in July 2012)
  • Juan Carlos Beamín (PUC, with M. Zoccali, graduated in Oct. 2015)
  • Caddy Cortés (U. Concepción, with S. Villanova, graduated in March 2019)
  • Maria Gabriela Navarro (UNAB-Sapienza, with R. Capuzzo-Dolcetta, graduated Nov 2021)
  • Richa Kundu (U. Delhi, with Harinder P. Singh, graduated Jan 2022)
  • Alonso Luna (UNAB, with M. Rejkuba, since 2019, in progress)
  • Elisa Garro (UNAB, with J. Fernandez-Trincado, since 2019, in progress)
  • Andrea Mejías (UNAB, graduated August 2022)
  • Felipe Vivanco (UNAB, since 2021, in progress)
  • Ilaria Petralia (UNAB, since 2022, in progress)
  • Masters
  • José Alejandro García (graduated July 2002) 
  • Beatríz Sabogal (graduated July 2002) 
  • José Gallardo (graduated Aug 2003) 
  • Mario Soto (graduated Mar 2004) 
  • Marcelo Mora (graduated Mar 2004) 
  • Erika Labbé (graduated June 2007) 
  • Sebastián Ramírez (graduated Jan 2008) 
  • Alejandra Rojas (graduated Apr 2013) 
  • Felipe Gran (graduated Aug 2015) 
  • Katherina Montenegro (graduated Jan 2018) 
  • Matías Chijani (graduated Jul 2019)


He is author of the books “Nuevos Mundos” published in Argentina, 2014, “Vistas de la Galaxia”, 2012, and “Mundos Lejanos” 2010, published in Chile.
Nuevos Mundos
Nuevos Mundos Dante Minniti, Juan José Clariá

Editorial Comunicarte, Córdoba

©2014 – ISBN: 9789876022941

Vistas de la Galaxia
Vistas de la Galaxia Dante Minniti, Joyce Pullen, Ignacio Toledo ©2012 – ISBN: 9789563512571
Mundos Lejanos
Mundos Lejanos >Dante Minniti Ediciones B ©2010 – ISBN: 9789563040395


Profesor Minniti has a strong commitment to communicating astronomy to the public, giving several talks a year and collaborating with the press. Some examples are given here;

Profesor Dante Minniti expuso sobre “Colisiones Cósmicas” en el marco del Día del Asteroide, 30 Jun, 2015

Dante talk 752

The Hunt for Free Floating Planets in Our Galaxy

Expert Insights at PALE RED DOT
Entrevista CNN sobre Sonda Curiosity · 10 de agosto, 2012
II Congreso del Futuro, 18 de enero, 2013
III Congreso del Futuro 9 de enero, 2014
Lanzamiento videojuego Mastica Astros de Antonio Villamandos, 2016
Charla Cultura UNAB, Búsqueda de vida fuera del Sistema Solar
Entrevista CNN Chile por el descubrimiento del sistema planetario en Trappist-1, Enero 2019
Presentación del programa de Doctorado en Astrofísica UNAB · 24 de abril, 2019
Descubrimiento de una Ventana de Extinción en la Vía Láctea


Estrella 100 veces más grande que el Sol pierde su brillo por casi dos meses

TVN | Director del Instituto de Astrofísica UNAB comenta las imágenes del telescopio James Webb