18. sept. 2015
2012: An interview with Jesuit Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, a research astronomer at the Vatican Observatory. Brother Consolmagno speaks on the relationship between science and faith.
18. sept. 2015: Pope names U.S. Jesuit planetary scientist to head Vatican Observatory
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis named U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno to be the new director of the Vatican Observatory.
He replaces Argentine Jesuit Father Jose Funes, 52, who has been on the staff of the observatory since 2000 and had been its director since 2006. The Vatican made the announcement Sept. 18.
Brother Consolmagno is a planetary scientist who has studied meteorites and asteroids as an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since 1993.
He had been serving as president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, coordinator of public relations and curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest in the world.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brother Consolmagno was a post-doctorate lecturer at Harvard College Observatory and at M.I.T. before serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya where he taught physics and astronomy. He entered the Jesuit order in 1989 when he was in his late 30s.
His research focuses on meteorites, asteroids and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.
He was honored for his work by the International Astronomical Union in 2000 with the naming of an asteroid after him, the “4597 Consolmagno,” a small, 12-mile-wide rock orbiting near the sun.
Author of numerous books on science and faith, he received the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal in 2014 for his ability to communicate accurately and clearly the discoveries of planetary science to the general public.
The same day the Vatican announced Brother Consolmagno’s appointment, Pope Francis met with the observatory staff and guests taking part in a special symposium sponsored by the papal astronomers.