Italian Astrophysicist Margherita Hack About, Works and Awards

“The lady of the Stars” and credited to have found asteroid 8558 Hack in 1995, Margherita Hack was born on June 12, 1922, in Florence in through Caselli, near Campo di Marte to Roberto and Maria Luisa Poggesi. Hack has been full professor of astronomy at the University of Trieste from 1964 to 1992. She was also the first Italian woman to administrate the Trieste Astronomical Observatory from 1964 to 1987. Hack had worked at several American and European observatories and was also a member of working groups of European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Hack had several first papers published in international Journals and books on astronomy.
Margherita Hack - NewsTrends

About Margherita Hack

Her paternal grandfather was Swiss-German, his dad had a diploma in accounting and had Built up, as a self-taught, a good scientific culture, too by studying the texts of this French astronomer Camille Flammarion. When Margherita was born, her father had a project in an Electricity generation company for Tuscany; her mother, born in 1887, had a master’s degree and also a degree in Fine Arts and until her arrival she had taught, but worked as a clerk. To that the telegraph.

Between 1926 and 1927, the family needed to move from via Caselli into the more modest via Leonardo Ximenes, additionally because of the dismissal of their father, which occurred for a suspected Tuberculosis, but more likely originated from socialist ideas. Ever since that time Roberto no more had a permanent job and Maria Teresa, putting her skills to good use, started making copies and miniatures at the Uffizi museum, subsequently selling them to tourists.

Margherita learned to read from himself and, from October 1928, she was admitted to the second grade of this San Gaggio elementary school. In 1929 the parents began to take an interest in theosophy: the father was to get a particular period secretary of the German Theosophical Society, under the presidency of the countess Luisa Gamberini-Cavallini, a majestic Roman matron, as Margherita clarified her. The sole sway that theosophy had on her was a vegetarian since she did not share other orders of the philosophy with her parents.
Margherita Hack - NewsTrends
Hack’s scientific interests and research activity covered a wide selection of topics. Her main field of experience concerned the observation and interpretation of the spectroscopic features of stars. Her research in this field involved the study of the chemical composition of celebrities, as well as their surface gravity and temperature. In his youth, Hack successfully practiced basketball and athletics. She was winner of long and high jump in university championships (below the fascist regime they were known as Littoriali ). Remembering her adolescence she explained”We were nationalists, we moved to Rallies we played sports, we had a great deal of fun”. I had been a herculean before 1938, until the day that they entered force the governmental legislation”. February 19, 1944, albeit at first reluctant awarded his atheism, Married using a spiritual ceremony, in the church of San Leonardo in Arcetri, the scholar Aldo De Rosa, his companion until the end of his times.

She died at the age of 91 on 29 June 2013, at 4:30 in the morning, at the Cattinara hospital in Trieste, in which she’d been hospitalized for a week for heart problems; for approximately two years he had had troubles of a respiratory and motor character.

She maintained the seat of complete professor of astronomy at the University of Trieste in 1964 to 1 November 1992, the season in which she was placed”out of office” due to seniority. She had been the first Italian woman to steer the Trieste Astronomical Observatory in 1964 to 1987, Bringing it to global fame.

Member among their most prestigious physical and astronomical societies, Hack has been also Director of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Trieste in 1985 to 1991 and also from 1994 to 1997 . She was a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (national Manhood in the course of mathematical and natural sciences that are physical; next category: Astronomy, geodesy, geophysics and applications; part A: Astronomy and applications).

She has worked with a number of American and European observatories and continues to be for a long time a member of the working groups of ESA and NASA. In Italy, having an intense work of marketing he obtained which the Italian astronomical community expand its action in the usage of satellites reaching a level of international renown.

He’s published numerous original functions in international journals and many popular Along with university-level publications. Margherita Hack in 1978 established the bimonthly magazine L’Astronomia whose first problem dates back to November 1979 subsequently, together with Corrado Lamberti, he directed the scientific and astronomical culture magazine Le Stelle. In 1994 he obtained the Giuseppe Piazzi Plaque for scientific study. In 1995 he obtained That the Cortina Ulisse International Prize for scientific dissemination.


  •     Stellar physics course. Interpretation of stellar spectra , Florence, University Publishing, 1955.
  •     The nebulae and the universe-islands , with Giorgio Abetti , Turin, Scientific Ed. Einaudi, 1959; Turin, Boringhieri, 1968.
  •     Radio astronomy. Discovering a new aspect of the universe , Bari, Laterza, 1960.
  •     The universe. Planets, stars and galaxies , Milan, Feltrinelli, 1963; 1967.
  •     Radio astronomy explorations , Turin, Boringhieri, 1964.
  •     Astronomy course , Trieste, Astronomical Observatory, 1967.
  •     Astrophysics of today , Milan, The sciences, 1973.
  •     The sky around us , Novara, De Agostini Geographic Institute, 1977.
  •     Brief history and recent developments of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory , Trieste, Astronomical Observatory, 1983.
  •     The violent universe of radio astronomy , Milan, Mondadori scientific and technical editions, 1983.
  •     The universe: at the boundaries of space and time , with Francesco Bertola and Tullio Regge , Milan, Fabbri, 1983.
  •     Astronomy course , directed by and with Corrado Lamberti , 6 vols., Milan, Fabbri, 1984.
  •     Astronomy course. Elements of spherical astronomy, astronomical instruments, stellar physics: fundamental parameters, notes on stellar structure and evolution, the galaxy: dimensions, motions and physical structure, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, the sun and the solar system , Milan, Hoepli , 1984.
  •     Our galaxy , edited by, Milan, The Sciences, 1984.
  •     The book of astronomy , edited by, Milan, Fabbri, 1985; Milan, Bompiani, 1987.
  •     The galaxy and its populations. Encounters with the stars , Trieste, Editorial, 1989.
  •     The universe on the threshold of 2000 , Milan, Rizzoli, 1992.
  •     Discovering the solar system , with Alessandro Braccesi and Giovanni Caprara , Milan, A. Mondadori, 1993.
  •     Cataclysmic Variables and Related Objects , with Constanze la Dous , Paris-Washington DC, Center National de la Recherche Scientifique-National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1993.
  •     Contemporary cosmogonies. Current theories on the origin of the universe , Trieste, Editorial science, 1994.
  •     A life among the stars , Rome, Di Renzo, 1995.
  •     The friend of the stars. … Story of a life … , Milan, Rizzoli, 1998.
  •     Seven variations on the sky , Milan, Cortina, 1999.
  •     The Universe on the threshold of the third millennium , Milan, Rizzoli Universal Library, 2000.
  •     Origin and end of the universe with Pippo Battaglia and Walter Ferreri , Turin, Utet Libreria, 2002.
  •     History of astronomy from its origins to 2000 and beyond , Rome, Edizioni dell’Altana, 2002.
  •     Developed as a completion of Giacomo Leopardi’s History of Astronomy (1813) .
  •     I’ll tell you about astronomy , in collaboration with Loris Dilena and Aline Cendon , Rome-Bari, Laterza, 2002.
  •     Where the stars are born , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2004.
  •     Something unexpected. My affections, my values, my passions , in collaboration with Mauro Scanu , Rome-Bari, Laterza, 2004.
  •     The idea of ​​time , with Pippo Battaglia and Rosolino Buccheri , Turin, UTET Libreria, 2005.
  •     Ideas for becoming an astrophysicist. Observing the stars to explain the universe , Bologna, Zanichelli, 2005.
  •     Margherita’s universe. History and stories of Margherita Hack , with Simona Cerrato , Trieste, Editoriale Scienza, 2006.
  •     Thus speak the stars. [The cosmos explained to children] , with Eda Gjergo , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2007.
  •     My zoo under the stars , with Bianca Pauluzzi , Rome, Di Renzo, 2007.
  •     The universe in the third millennium , Milan, BUR, 2007.
  •     What is the universe? , with audio CD, Rome, Sossella, 2008.
  •     My fables. [From Pinocchio to Harry Potter (passing through Berlusconi)] , Rome, Edizioni dell’Altana, 2008.
  •     From the solar system to the borders of the Universe , Naples, Liguori, 2009.
  •     Free science in a free state , Milan, Rizzoli, 2010.
  •     When I understood why the saddles of the racing bike are so narrow , in My first bicycle , Portogruaro, Ediciclo, 2010.
  •     Night of stars , with Viviano Domenici , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2010.
  •     Why don’t the stars fall on our heads? And many other questions on astronomy , with Federico Taddia , Florence-Trieste, Editorial science, 2010.
  •     The soul of the earth seen from the stars , with Ginevra Di Marco , with DVD-Video, Rome-Reggio Emilia, Aliberti, 2011.
  •     Marco Alloni talks with Margherita Hack. The sun is not now , Reggio Emilia, Aliberti, 2011.
  •     My life on a bicycle , Portogruaro, Ediciclo, 2011.
  •     My infinity. God, life and the universe in the reflections of an atheist scientist , Milan, Dalai, 2011.
  •     Because I am a vegetarian , Rome, Edizioni dell’Altana, 2011.
  •     Everything starts with the stars. Journey at the speed of light between planets, stars and galaxies , with Gianluca Ranzini , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2011.
  •     The cats of my life , Trieste, Scienza Express, 2012.
  •     Hack! As I see the world , Siena, Barbera, 2012.
  •     The farthest star. Reflections on life, ethics and science , Massa, Transeuropa, 2012.
  •     I believe. Dialogue between an atheist and a priest with Pierluigi Di Piazza , Portogruaro, Nuovadimensione, 2012.
  •     The long story of the origin. The great myths and theories with which humanity explained the universe , with Walter Ferreri and Guido Cossard , Milan, Dalai, 2012.
  •     Margherita Hack tells about Ptolemy and Copernicus. From the stars the measure of man , Rome, L’Espresso Publishing Group, 2012.
  •     Nine lives like cats. My first ninety secular and rebellious years , with Federico Taddia , Milan, Rizzoli, 2012.
  •     Under a starry dome. Dialogue with Marco Santarelli on science and ethics , Turin, Einaudi, 2012.
  •     Scary stars , with Gianluca Ranzini , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2012.
  •     The sky around us. Journey from the earth to the edge of the unknown to understand our place in the universe , with Steno Ferluga , Milan, Dalai, 2012.
  •     I do not know why. Autobiography in words and images , with DVD, Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2013.
  •     Stars, planets and galaxies. Journey into the history of astronomy: from antiquity to today , with Massimo Ramella , Trieste, Editoriale Scienza, 2013.
  •     Preface to Gabriele Turola’s book Mysteries of art and magic. Painters, alchemists, mediums , Ferrara, Faust Edizioni, 2013.
  •     Is there anyone out there? , with Viviano Domenici , Milan, Sperling & Kupfer, 2013.
  •     ” In full freedom and awareness. To live and die as a layman. “, With Nicla Panciera, Baldini & Castoldi, 2013.


She was awarded the honorary citizenship of their municipalities of all Castelbellino, di Medicina and San Casciano in Val di Pesa. Back in 1994, Margherita Hack was given the Targa Giuseppe Piazzi for her scientific study. She obtained Cortina Ulisse International Prize for scientific dissemination 1995. She was conferred the name of “Dama di Gran Croce”, the Highest award given by the Italian government, at 90.


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