Italian astrophysicist Margherita Hack has died after being hospitalised for heart problems. The 91-year-old had wished to live for another thousand years to get to the bottom of the big bang and research dark matter.
Born in Florence she became one of the most important astrophysicists in Italy contributing to the spectral classification of many stars. “You have to be combative, not timid” she once said. As the first woman to run an Italian astronomical observatory she certainly lived by her word.
The 8558 Hack asteroid, discovered in 1995, was named in her honour.
She was known to speak her mind just as much on society matters. A committed atheist and vegetarian, she was also an active member of the Italian communist party.