Science Journalist in the Sky

Fabio Pagan, holding holding a Martian meteorite, collected in 1999 in the Sahara desert, over 2 billion years old (C) Fabio Pagan
Up in the sky, there is an asteroid named 7055 Fabiopagan – newly named after the Italian science journalist Fabio Pagan. Fabio is member of the board of UGIS, the older of the two Italian science journalists’ association, and he is the UGIS delegate to EUSJA.

Just a week before Christmas 2016 Fabio received the message from the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union that an asteroid named 7055 Fabiopagan has been named after him: Minor Planet Center) and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Asteroid 7055 Fabiopagan is 7 kilometres large, has been discovered in 1989 from the Palomar Observatory and can be spotted between 266 and 437 million kilometres from the sun, in the “Main Belt” between Mars and Jupiter. This means that at least for the next few million years it will not be a danger for our Earth.

Fabio is the 12th Italian science journalist/communicator who received this honour – four of them are members of UGIS members. Besides himself these are Giovanni Caprara, Piero Angela and Piero Bianucci.

The assignment is an acknowledgment to Fabio’s 50 years of career in the field. He wrote and reported about topics such as space travel, astrobiology and physics (among others) for Trieste’s “Il Piccolo” daily and other newspapers and science magazines. He still works as a radio presenter and science contributor on RAI, Italy’s public national broadcaster. Moreover, he has been also press officer at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and co-founder, deputy director and teacher of the Master in Science Communication at SISSA, the first and most important school of science journalism in Italy – both these prestigious institutions are based in Trieste.