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Margherita Hack (Firenze, 12 giugno 1922 - Trieste, 29 giugno 2013)


Margherita Hack was born in Florence in 1922. After having obtained her degree in Physics, she taught astronomy from 1948 to 1951. In 1964 she became a professor of astronomy at the University of Trieste and the director of the astronomical observatory. She is the author of numerous scientific texts, also in the English language, and she still writes for scientific journals specialized in astrophysics. In 1980, she received the Lincei Academy Award and in 1987 the Culture Award given by the Italian Premiership. She is a member of the International Astronomers' Union.
Margherita Hack is internationally known for her research work, especially regarding stellar spectroscopy and radioastronomy. Her doctorate thesis was prepared at the Arcetri Astrophysics Observatory. She began her journey into the world of research through a scholarship at the Istitut d'Astrophisique of Paris, then passing through Utrecht, Berkeley and Princeton, at the Institute for Advanced Study. Towards the middle of the 1950s, she returned to Italy and worked at the Merate Observatory, alternating her presence between Italy and abroad in the principle international Observatories. In 1964, she was awarded a chair of astronomy at the University of Trieste and became director of the Astronomical Observatory. Professor Hack was the first woman director of an Italian observatory. She reorganized and extended the Observatory in Trieste and in a short time brought it to being one of the most important Observatories on the National territory.
During the many years of her scientific activities, Professor Hack has been involved in various fields of astrophysics, in particular in the study of the structure and developmental stages of stars demonstrating particular characteristics. She also promoted research by satellite in Italy by organizing seminars and schools regarding the subject.
Margherita Hack has written more than 15 books, some strictly scientific and some that popularized astronomy and astrophysics. She has also written over 200 scientific articles and founded and currently directs the monthly magazine "Astronomia".

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