Massimo Capaccioli - Biography#

Massimo Capaccioli is an observational optical astronomer. He has been full professor of astronomy at the University of Padova till 1993, and then of Naples. Now he is emeritus since 2015. He has served as director of the Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory, president of the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIt), general president of the National Society of sciences, humanities and art in Naples, and member of the Council of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics.

His scientific interests span from the dynamics and evolution of the stellar systems to observational cosmology. He is the co-author of over 520 scientific papers and of some books and lecture notes.
The main scientific results regard the nature and the properties of galaxies, the cosmic abundance of the Dark Matter, and the cosmic distance scale.

He has conceived and built, in synergy with the European Southern Observatory, the wide-field imaging telescope named VST, among the largest of its class in the world, which is operative at Cerro Paranal, Chile, since the fall of 2011.

Journalist and publicist, he is interested in the history and dissemination of science and in epistemology. While president of the SAIt he has founded a quarterly journal of astronomy in Arab language, distributed freely in the Mediterranean area.

Commander of the Italian Republic for his scientific achievements, in 2010 he has received the title of honorary professor from the Moscow State University Lomonosov and in 2015 by the University of Dubna, Russian Federation. In 2017 he has received the title of honorary doctor by the Karazin University of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

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