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Margherita Hack

Margherita Hack (born 12 June 1922) is an Italian astrophysicist and popular science writer. The asteroid 8558 Hack, discovered in 1995, was named in her honor.


Born in Florence, she received her laurea in Physics from the University of Florence, in 1945, with a thesis in Astrophysics on Cepheid variables, after studies made in the Arcetri Observatory. She was full Professor of Astronomy from 1964 to 1997 at the University of Trieste; she retired in 1998.

She administered the Trieste Astronomical Observatory from 1964 to 1987, making it become internationally well known.

She is a member of several Physics and Astronomy associations,[1] and was director of the Astronomy Department at the University of Trieste from 1985 to 1991 and from 1994 to 1997. She is a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei[2] and of the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

In Italy she is specially known for her rational atheistic views and her continual criticism of the Catholic Church and of its hierarchy and institutions.

She is a vegetarian and has written a book explaining this choice, entitled Perch Sono Vegetariana.


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