The Gravity Research Foundation, the most important academic society for the progress of studies in General Relativity and Quantum Gravity awarded an Honorable Mention to Paolo Salucci and his former and present SISSA students Ekaterina Karukes and Christiane Frigerio Martins, for the paper "Rn Gravity is kicking and alive, the case of Orion and NGC 3198" submitted at the annual Essay contest of the Foundation. Among the selected papers receiving the mention, those of Joe Silk, Vahum Sanhi, Carlo Rovelli and Marco Bruni , previous Sissa student. In the paper, Orion, one of the smallest galaxies of the Universe and NGC 3198 the most studied spiral, were analyzed in the frame-work of Rn gravity. Rn gravity is a type of modified gravity theory which generalizes Einstein's General Relativity. The ambitious goal of this theory is to explain the accelerated expansion and structure formation of the Universe without adding unknown forms of dark energy or dark matter. Remarkably, it could also incorporate corrections arising from a quantum theory of gravity.
In the paper, analyzing the rotation curves of these galaxies, it is found that the above theory well reproduce all data, performing much better than the competing Lambda Cold Dark Matter theory, in which, instead, a Dark Particle is taken as the building material of galaxies. This unexpected success is a boost for Rn gravity and, by means of the framework of the Starobinsky Cosmic Inflation model, can shed light also to the issue of dark Energy.