Today, Google created an animated doodle to honour Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack. In 1995, Hack is credited with discovering asteroid 8558 Hack, which was named after her. Hack was a full professor of astronomy at the University of Trieste and was born on June 12, 1922. Hack’s main field of expertise concerned the observation and interpretation of the spectroscopic characteristics of stars.

From 1964 to 1987, she was the first Italian woman to be in charge of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory. Hack’s scientific interests and research spanned a wide range of topics. Her main area of expertise was spectroscopic characteristics of stars, which she observed and interpreted. Her study of the chemical composition of stars, and of their surface temperature and gravity.

She worked on the UV data from the Copernicus satellite in the 1970s with the goal of studying the energetic phenomena that occur in the external part of the stellar atmosphere and cause mass losses that must be accounted for in theoretical stellar evolution models. Her first research article based on data from Copernicus was published in Nature in 1974.

Today’s Google Doodle shows Hack looking into her telescope while sitting on a chair. The asteroid 8558 Hack can be seen rotating in the animated doodle. Hack is credited to have discovered asteroid 8558 Hack in 1995 which was named in her honour.

doodle by google for margherita hack

Awards Achieved By Margherita Hack “The Lady Of Stars”

Besides science, she was also actively involved in education, outreach and politics. Hack’s geniusness has been acknowledged across the world. In 1995, asteroid 8558 Hack which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, was named in her honour. 

In 1994, she was awarded the Targa Giuseppe Piazzi for her scientific research. She was honoured with the Cortina Ulisse Prize for scientific dissemination in 1995. On her 90th birthday, the Italian government honoured Hack with its highest award – the title of Dama di Gran Croce.

She died on June 29, 2013, at the age of 91.

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