The Vatican Observatory, the pope’s astronomical and educational research center, just launched a new website. The new site will work to raise awareness of Catholic contributions to science, while making their findings more available.
Established by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, with roots reaching back to 1582, the Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest active observatories in the world. The new site states that its mission is “to advance the scientific understanding of our universe.” They have long wanted to engage the public in a dialogue on faith and science. Now, the new website is expected to be the platform they’ve been waiting for.
As an entity run by Jesuits, the Vatican Observatory is dedicated to education. The new site concerns itself with astronomy, the technology that supports the field, physics, and planetary sciences. They also delve into the history of Catholic astronomy, as well as the effects their findings have had on culture and society.
The team of religious academics, led by Jesuit Br. Guy Consolmagno, keeps readers up to date with the most recent studies. As an extension of their coverage of modern studies, they have begun a podcast. This is a relatively new feature in which the Jesuits feature discussions with scientific authorities on astronomy. Their episodes explore hypothetical scenarios, such as the chances of the Earth being struck by a meteorite, or ways to live on the moon. In their discussion on the latter topic, they were joined by retired astronaut Nicole Stott.
In an interview with Crux, Br. Consolmagno said of his work:
“My faith tells me that God created the universe … a universe that is logical, beautiful, and good. My science consists of trying to figure out how He did it! In particular, I study meteorites — rocks from outer space — that date back to the origin of the solar system and give us clues as to what was going on in this neighborhood, some 4.6 billion years ago.”
Br. Consolmagno went on to note that the new website was in development for over a year. Through it, they hope to raise awareness of their mission, as well as funds. The Vatican Observatory supported by donations and revenues from its digital shop, which offers all sorts of astronomy-themed swag.
Visit the Vatican Observatory’s new website today to learn more about their religious scientific mission.
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