Friday, April 14, 2006

Vatican Lecture at Milwaukee Public Museum

Why Does the Pope Have an Astronomer?
A brief history of the Vatican Observatory

April 25, 2006, 7 p.m. Milwaukee Public Museum

The roots of the Vatican Observatory go back to the Gregorian Reform of the Calendar in 1582, and it has been part of an extensive history of Church support for astronomy (Galileo to the contrary!) Its modern mission for the last hundred years is to show there is no inherent conflict between science and religion by simply being people supported by the Church whose sole mission is to "do good science". We'll look into the history of this activity, including a summary of what's being done at the Vatican Observatory today.

Brother Guy Consolmagno received degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. He took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991 and serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection. Today, he divides his time between Tucson, Arizona, where he observes asteroids and Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope on Mt. Graham, and Castel Gandolfo, Italy, home of the Vatican meteorites.

Cost: Free for Museum members & students with ID, $5 for general public.
Reservations required, so please call Reservations on (414) 278 2728 to make your booking.

Click here for more information

Brother Guy Consolmagno is also the author of Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope - and How to Find Them.


Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Two links of interest related to this post:
(1) A nice
with lots of pictures with Brother Guy Consolmagno on the Astrobio Magazine Website.
(2) The article on Catholic Word News what the Vatican astronomer said recently about about the Intelligent Design Theory.

Dr. Thursday said...

As it is Holy Saturday, I do not care to post a lengthy discussion of Galileo today - but I will do so as time and work may permit.

However I would like to give some dates, in case someone is confused about the history...

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 and died in 1642. Pope Gregory XIII founded the Vatican Observatory in 1579, and on the basis of its work, carried out the Calendar reform in 1582, droppping ten days to bring the seasons back into line with the calendar. Memory aid - St. Teresa of Avila died on October 4 1582 and her feast is the NEXT DAY, October 15.

Oddly enough this whole change was done because of Easter - did you know? (More on this another time.)