Welcome to my personal website. I am a computer programmer from Naples (Italy), currently working in Espoo (Finland) as a Linux Software Engineer at Intel. I have worked at Nokia in the past, and focused on the Maemo platform since early 2007. I have been part of the development of the Nokia N900 mobile computer, and, later, the N9 phone, which ran an operating system considered a hybrid between Maemo and MeeGo.
Currently, I’m working on the Tizen platform.
On the side, I’m the founder of AstroBin, a popular image hosting platform for astrophotographers.
This website includes snippets from my personal thoughts, life, ideologies and hobbies.
The opinions expressed here are solely my own, and not necessarily the ones of my employer.
As you have undoubtedly noted, this website sports a fair amount of my astrophotography. I’ve been involved with astronomy since before my teens. I think I was eleven or twelve when I stumbled upon Stephen Hawking’s “A brief history of time.” Little did I know, but that was like tripping right at the top of a hill, and then starting to uncontrollably roll down.
I recall reading lots of books on the subject, and subscribing to magazines. When I was about fourteen I was given my first telescope: a 114mm Newtonian telescope on a German equatorial mount. A pretty shaky one at it, but it did for several years.
I’ve always lived in moderately to heavily light polluted areas, but somehow those 114 millimeters have served me well, on and off for the good part of the following fifteen years. I have lugged the whole setup up three flights of stairs, many times, in order to observe the few planets and Messier object my site allowed, over and over again.
In 2005, I moved from Italy to Finland and I left the telescope behind. I didn’t forget astronomy though, as I continued to read the occasional book, and get the news in my RSS reader. Still, the whole thing went under the radar for a bit, then one night, while in France at the end of my honeymoon, I went out at night. I was walking with my new wife right in front of the hotel where we were staying that night. It had been a long day as we cycled for over 80 kilometers (yeah, that’s the kind of honeymoon I had!)
The hotel was sort of in the middle of nowhere, away from sources of light pollution, and the view of the sky was pretty amazing. The Milky Way was faint and, well, milky; but the sky was pierced by countless pinpoints of light, shining from far, far above.
I rushed back to the room, took my DSLR from the backpack, and placed it on a makeshift platform made of books, on the window shelf. I took a thirty-second exposure of a random patch of sky.
To my delight, the M31 galaxy (aka the Andromeda Galaxy) was clearly visible in the shot!
That was the beginning of a journey that was long overdue. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before, but astrophotography was the natural evolution for my interest in astronomy. It’s the perfect polygamous marriage between the three major things that enthrall me: astronomy, engineering and creative art.