Who We Are

The GAL Hassin Event

The GAL Hassin event is organized once a year with Astrophysics and Scientific Communication as protagonists and involves the general public with several activities including a Course in Astrophysics, conferences, lectures, round tables, interviews, entertainment and the GAL Hassin Prize Ceremony.

The GAL Hassin Prize

It is an embroidery on net of gold thread, of exquisite artistic workmanship, produced in Isnello by an expert embroiderer (in Isnello the embroidery on filet net has always been an art craft) and the motif represents a vortex, a spiral galaxy.

The GAL Hassin Prize was born in 2009, a prize plaque awarded to women and men of science who have excelled in the field of research or outreach of astronomical sciences. It is an embroidery on on net of gold thread, of exquisite artistic workmanship, produced in Isnello by an expert embroiderer (in Isnello the embroidery on filet net has always been an art craft) and the motif represents a vortex, a spiral galaxy.

The Winners



Luca Parmitano

Pilot and astronaut

To Luca Parmitano, who explores the future by overcoming challenges and barriers without ever sparing himself. An enthusiastic pioneer who engages and excites the new generations; the first Italian to perform a space walk, he has distinguished himself for his courage as a pilot and as an astronaut; a protagonist of the adventure of space exploration, to extend human presence beyond the boundaries of the Earth, he tells us that our planet, seen from above, has no boundaries, and that it is a fragile treasure to be protected.


Marcello Fulchignoni

Professor Emeritus at Université Denis Diderot Paris 7

For founding and directing the Planetology Group at the Space Astrophysics Laboratory of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), a group that played a fundamental role in advancing studies of the Solar System in Italy.


Antonio Presti

Artist, entrepreneur and patron of the arts

To Antonio Presti, who has dedicated his life and strength to the triumph of Beauty in all its artistic and cultural forms. With his splendid works, he has brought culture and education in their highest, noblest form, involving thousands of children, students, families, associations, and artists from all over the world to transform places, territories, and consciousnesses through education to Beauty and Civilization. To Antonio, who knows how to speak to the heart by revealing the invisible.


Sebastiano Misuraca

A sensitive and philanthropic man, for having realized in Mussomeli a liberal and generous action in favor of Beauty, education to beauty and hope for a better future: an emblematic action for Culture and Common Good.


Giuseppina Micela

Director of Astronomical Observatory of Palermo from 2011 to 2018

For her important and prestigious role in the national and international astrophysical research aimed at the understanding of stellar and planetary systems; for her skill, her engagement and her passion in pursuing the dream of GAL Hassin: the promotion of scientific culture.


Michel Mayor

Director of the Geneva Observatory (1998 to 2004) and Professor Emeritus of the University of Geneva, Nobel Prize in Physics 2019

To Michel Mayor: with his discovery of the first exoplanet he opened a new line of research that has revolutionized our way of seeing planet Earth and the Solar System, with extraordinary scientific implications and and anthropological consequences.


Maura Tombelli

Director, Montelupo Fiorentino Astronomical Observatory

Enthusiastic “asteroid hunter” and President of “Gruppo Astrofili Montelupo”. During her career she has discovered 198 asteroids, to become both the leading discoverer in Italy and number one in the whole world among non-professional female astronomers.


Paolo Nespoli

ESA Astronaut European Space Agency

Great communicator during his permanence aboard the International Space Station. In his connections with the Earth he established a dialogue, especially with the younger generation, fascinated and excited by him about Space and space exploration.


Piero Bianucci

Writer and science journalist

For his original contributions to the communication of astronomy. He is an important reference for generations of young people in scientific communication by fascinating and making simple complex concepts.


Roberto Battiston

President, Italian Space Agency (ASI) from 2014 to 2018

For the results achieved in the field of fundamental physics and astroparticles.


Nicolò D’Amico

President, National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) from 2015 to 2020

For the results reached in the field of radio astronomy and, in particular, in the study of pulsars.


Giovanni Battista Valsecchi

INAF – IAPS- Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology Roma

For the important contribution given to the study of the dynamics of minor bodies of the Solar System and to the evaluation of the risk of impact of cosmic bodies with the Earth.


Andrea Milani

Department of Mathematics University of Pisa

For the important contribution given to the study of the dynamics of minor bodies of the Solar System and to the evaluation of the risk of impact of cosmic bodies with the Earth.


George Fitzgerald Smoot

University of California, Berkeley Nobel Prize in Physics 2006

For his fundamental contribution to the discovery of the anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation through the COBE satellite. This discovery has strengthened the theory of the Big Bang.


Paolo Spanò

Officina Stellare

He is one of the leading Italian experts in astronomical instrumentation. He has been involved in the design and manufacturing of focal plane instruments for some of the largest existing telescopes in the world. Born in the Madonie area, he has given his active and precious contribution to some of the most delicate preliminary phases of the Madonie Astronomical Park.


Giovanni Fabrizio Bignami

President of ASI-Italian Space Agency from 2007 to 2008 President of INAF- National Institute for Astrophysics from 2011 to 2015

He is one of the leading scientists in the field of high energy astrophysics. He took part in the most important space missions in this field of astronomy. He held several prestigious positions, including Director of the Centre d’Etude Spatial des Rayonnements of CNRS – University of Toulouse and President of ASI-Italian Space Agency. He is currently President of COSPAR and INAF-Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. After having known the reality of Isnello, he is an enthusiastic supporter of setting up the Madonie Astronomical Park.


Romano Serra

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna

Astrophysicist and researcher of great intuition and tenacity. He has been one of the founders and promoters of the Museum of Heaven and Earth in San Giovanni in Persiceto, a lively and very active center of communication in Astronomy and Natural Sciences where, thanks to his contribution and his perseverance, the richest collection of meteorite samples in Italy is located.


Walter Ferreri

INAF–Astrophysical Observatory of Torino

He was the founder and scientific director of Orione, the first widespread Italian astronomical magazine. Expert of telescopes and astronomical photography, with his activity and his books he has been the reference point for generations of amateur astronomers.


Corrado Lamberti

Astrophysicist and scientific communicator

He was a founder and director of the astronomical magazines “L’Astronomia” and “Le Stelle”. He is one of the most appreciated communicator in Astronomy and Physics on the national scene.


Roberto Ragazzoni

Director of INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Padova

For original and innovative contributions made to astronomical instrument designs, which have allowed the largest telescopes currently in existence to significantly improve their performance.


Margherita Hack

INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Trieste

For her scientific and outreach activity and for her social and political engagement.


Marcello Coradini

European Space Agency (ESA)

For the results achieved in his long scientific and managerial career and for the enthusiasm and engagement shown in supporting the accomplishment of the Madonie Astronomical Park.


Mario Di Martino

INAF – Astrophysical Observatory of Torino

To the scientist for whom predicting and averting life-destroying asteroid impacts on Earth has become a mission.