- Jun 17, 2021
Even though there are more than 30 craters on the moon named after Jesuit scientists, to this day there are some who don’t know the Vatican has its own observatory, led of course, by a Jesuit.
As Perseverance, the latest probe on Mars, gears up to send to Earth high-definition images, video and audio of its surroundings, one papal astronomer said he hoped the fresh new discoveries will inspire future explorers.
A once-every-two-decade conjunction involving the solar system’s two gas giants will give earthbound observers a look at a so-called “Christmas Star” on the winter solstice.
The Vatican’s top man on all things outer space has cautioned against getting too speculative about recent findings from a group of astronomers suggesting there could be life on Venus, but said that if anything living does exist on the planet, it doesn’t change the calculus in terms of God’s relationship with humanity.
Father Chris Corbally, a stellar astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, has had his name attached to a rocky body in the asteroid belt that orbits the sun in slightly less than four years.
Jesuit Father George V. Coyne, who led the Vatican Observatory as its director for 28 years, got his start in the field of astronomy as a young student in formation for the priesthood by secretly studying under his blanket, flashlight in hand.
The NASA astronauts didn’t know it, but WHAS radio technician Larry Baysinger and his journalist friend Glenn Rutherford had tapped the frequency of the 12-watt radios — walkie talkie-type communicators — used by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon’s surface.
For Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon is a reminder of how much can be accomplished when humanity pools its creativity and determination toward a common cause.