The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest and most accomplished observatories in the world… which surprises people who have limited understanding of Church and science. In this podcast, you’ll hear from Vatican astronomers and their accomplished special guests as they explore the wonder of God’s surprising universe.
The Stuff of Stars
Brother Bob Macke SJ is the curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory, and during his research measuring meteorite physical properties he has probably handled as many rocks from outer space as anyone alive today. Other astronomers may claim to study stars and planets, but mostly all they touch are photons; Bob has handled actual stuff from space, from stellar dust at Washington University in St. Louis to moon rocks at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
- Br. Bob Macke SJ, curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory
- Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of Vatican Observatory
Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/
Macke Makerspace: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bQglO9a23_blS0yiVMqDA
Ambassador to the Universe
Meet Bill Higgins. By day, he's one of the scientists who keeps the Fermilab National Accelerator running safe, as it pummels the smallest particles in the universe. But in his free time he’s a techie storyteller of big things and big ideas: a NASA Solar System Ambassador, a researcher of esoteric technology from rocket belts to Jacquard looms, and an explorer of how we tell the story of our scientific society.
Bill Higgins: Radiation Safety Physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory, President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.
Read Bill's "From the cabinet of physics" series on the Vatican Observatory website:
Sacred Space Astronomy Posts on the Vatican Observatory Website:
On a Spiral Path to the Milky Way
When she was a young girl growing up in southern Chile, Gabriela Navarro had many dreams… from being a volleyball player to being an astronaut.
In this podcast, we'll follow the spiral path of now-Doctor Navarro that has brought her to studying the structure and formation of the Milky Way and its galactic bulge with the James Webb Space Telescope in Rome… via the 2018 Vatican Observatory Summer School (VOSS), and the 2019 SuperVOSS (which she helped organize!)
Dr. Gabriela Navarro
Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of Vatican Observatory, President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.
The Chaotic Path of a Climate Modeler
How does a young Indonesian boy from a half Muslim, half Christian family wind up as a Jesuit scientist-priest in Arizona, modeling the tropical climates of northern Mexico and Saudi Arabia, while celebrating Mass for Native Americans… and keeping his fellow Jesuits well fed with his cooking skills? Meet Fr. Christoforus Bayu Risanto! Dr. Bayu defended his doctorate in meteorology at the University of Arizona last fall, where he's now continuing his research as a postdoctoral fellow.
Fr. Christoforus Bayu Risanto SJBr. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of Vatican Observatory, President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.
A Taste for Heavy Water
Dr. Michelle Francl puts her own twist on combinations that most people might think are impossible. In this podcast she tells Br Guy Consolmagno about how the Sisters of Loreto in the small town where she grew up encouraged a love of science fiction that eventually led to her to a PhD with Nobel Laureate F. Sherwood Roland; about heavy-duty computational quantum chemistry and the taste of heavy water; about her articles for Nature Chemistry and for the Liturgical Press.
Dr. Michelle Francl, professor of Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College and Adjunct Scholar of the Vatican ObservatoryBr. Guy Consolmagno, Director of Vatican Observatory
How to Make an Impact: From Crater Science to Public Outreach
Prof. Dr. Christian Koeberl has had a fascinating career in planetary sciences. An expert in how planetary impacts make craters, he served for ten years as the director of the Natural History Museum of Vienna, one of the most important natural history museums in Europe.
Today, Dr. Koeberl is the Chair in Impact Research and Planetary Geology at the University of Vienna.
In this episode of the Vatican Observatory podcast, Dr. Koeberl joins Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, and host Bob Trembley to discuss the wide dimensions of his work, from impact craters, to meteorite strikes, to the public understanding of natural history.
Christian Koeberl, former director of the Natural History Museum of Vienna.Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of Vatican Observatory
Wonderful insights shared by Brother Guy and guests.
Catholicism & Astronomy
I am happy to see the Vatican Observatory Foundation moving into the medium of podcasts to proclaim the good news of the compatibility of faith and science. It’s wonderful to hear a scientist’s faith intermingled with her/his joyful discussions on subjects of astronomy. It’s also very enlightening to discover the involvement of the Vatican Obseratory in astronomy. Episode 3 has been the best so far.