And the stars are watching…


And the stars are watching…

“Stars, I have seen them fall,

But when they drop and die

No star is lost at all

From all the star-sown sky.

The toil of all that be

Helps not the primal fault;

It rains into the sea,

And still the sea is salt”

                                              By A.E. Housman

The starry sky is an immense open book in which our ancestors found the most useful knowledge for survival, learning to orient themselves, to build clocks and calendars, to take advantage of seasonal cycles. Enchanted by the movements of the stars and planets, frightened by inexplicable phenomena such as eclipses or comets, they populated the firmament of gods and heroes who explained the mystery. In an exciting path that touches astronomy and archaeology, science and myth, Margherita Hack and Viviano Domenici teach us to “read” the sky in this magnificent book (‘Notte di Stelle’- in English ‘Starry Night’). Margherita Hack (Florence, 1922 – Trieste, 2013) was astrophysicist, writer and intellectual of worldwide fame, member of the most renowned physical and astronomical societies of the globe. Since 2002 she has been honorary president of the «Union of atheists and agnostics rationalists». She published research, university texts and popular books that have made her very popular both among the scientific community and among conventional literary criticism. She was also the first woman to direct an astronomical observatory in Italy, while also carrying out the important dissemination activity and contributing to the research and spectral classification of many categories of stars.

It  is the right book for all those who like to spend time in the hot summer nights (but also in other seasons) with the nose up to observe the show that is repeated for millennia, wondering maybe what is thinking at the same time or in a past time someone with their head turned upwards like us at that moment, looking at that myriad of bright dots full of stories. To this question the authors try to answer, despite the short space available, making a selection of the most famous constellations and narrating both scientific details but also myths and legends of which they take their name by reviving “monsters and princesses” you are now a little lost from our memory.

Our readers, enchanted by the stories, have done a lot of research, understanding that the stars are still the protagonists of the life of each of us, not only in literature but also in comics and songs!



Mercedes Corbelli



Related Articles