Our team

Simone Wright


Simone is an Internationally collected, award winning artist who has been creating dramatically beautiful and original works for the worlds most sophisticated and discriminating clientele for over 25 years. Her innovative approach to creating artwork that captures the imagination and defines luxury has made her a globally respected and highly sought after contributor to private, personal and corporate collections.

Simone's artwork has been featured in prestigious magazines such as The Robb Report and been presented in galleries in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon, Florida, New York and Canada.

Simone is also an internationally respected authority on Intuition and Creativity. She has authored 3 books, is a regular writing contributor to The Huffington Post, Mother Magazine, and others and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show. 

She makes her home in Los Angeles with her dog Lily.

Her personal mottos: "We become what fascinates us." and "Go Big, or Go Home."

Dr. Antonella Nota


ESA (European Space Agency)

Dr. Antonella Nota, is the Deputy Head of the Science Division of the ESA was born and raised in Venice, Italy. She was one of the first women to join the AAVSO in Europe, and monitored variable stars for years from the Lido in Venice. She completed her university studies at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Padua, home of Galileo. 

She joined STScI in 1986, as a FOC/IDT member and became a member of the ESA staff in 1990. She spent ten years supporting HST instrument science operations taking on increasingly challenging management positions starting as Lead of the Faint Object Camera Group, then Lead of the Observatory Support Group and finally the Lead of the NICMOS Group. 

Antonella is also the co-curator of 'Our Place in Space' Art + Science exhibit in Venice, Italy. She loves art, music and extreme sports,  She is married to Mark Clampin, an astronomer colleague whom she met at STScI, and has a  daughter, Simona. 

Dr. Hussein Jirdeh



Dr. Hussein Jirdeh is the Head of Communications and Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He leads a team that informs and inspires the public about the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope and the promise of the James Webb Space Telescope. 

He is responsible for developing and overseeing communication strategies, formal and informal education activities, community outreach programs, news releases, media planning and interaction, as well as product and service development and implementation.   

Dr. Jirdeh holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.  From 1988 to 1997, he was on the faculty at Vanderbilt University.   

Zolt Levay




Zolt is Principal Science Visuals Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He produces images and visuals from data provided by the Hubble Telescope to publicize science results from Hubble and other observatories. He is continuing this effort with the James Webb Telescope. 

Zolt became interested in astronomy and photography at an early age and earned a BS in astrophysics at Indiana University and MS in astronomy at Case Western Reserve University. He worked with several space science missions at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center before joining STScI in 1983.

Combining science and art, Zolt has produced some of the most remarkable, widely distributed Hubble images. He is also an accomplished photographer and has shown at galleries around the US. Current personal projects include seeking out dark, clear skies to explore and photograph the relationship between landscapes, the night sky, and the cosmos.

His Mottos:  "Expect the unexpected.” and "There are no answers, only interesting questions." (Jay Maisel, photographer)

Dr. Gioia Rau



Dr. Gioia Rau is a postdoc at Goddard Space Flight Center  in Greenbelt, Maryland. She received her PhD from the University of Vienna and spent three months at ESO/Garching in a visiting position to work on interferometric data obtained with the newest VLTI/GRAVITY infrared interferometer. 

Outside scientific research, one of Gioia's greatest passion is outreach. She has been working at the Planetarium of Rome and has been involved with several astronomical expositions, events, and conferences, both in Rome and Vienna.

Gioia received 2 prestigious awards ("Abschlussstipendium, Universität Wien" and "Tesi all'estero, Università La Sapienza"), and has been awarded 9 competitive external travel grants. She is passionate about philosophy, art, nature, photography, volleyball and skiing. 

Her mottos:  "A head full of stars, a heart full of passion, a soul full of dreams" and
"Be the energy you want to attract"