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The Vatican Observatory Podcast

Science Podcasts

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Man on a Mission (or two)

2/9/2024
Br. Guy Consolmagno chats with Br. Bob Macke about being a team member of two asteroid missions: the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and the Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids. Hosts: Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bob Trembley: Factotum for the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Guest: Br. Bob Macke, SJ: Curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Macke Makerspace: https://www.youtube.com/@MackeMakerSpace GaliLEGO Stop-Motion video: [Link] Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio Finale music: Cinematic Documentary by Lexin_Music

Duration:00:30:23

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From Humble Beginnings

10/19/2023
Br. Guy Consolmagno chats with Charles F. Bolden Jr. during the 30th anniversary celebration of 'first light' into the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope. Hosts: Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bob Trembley: Factotum for the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Guest: Charles F. Bolden Jr.: Marine Corps Major General (retired), space shuttle astronaut and former NASA Administrator, Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio Finale music: Cinematic Documentary by Lexin_Music

Duration:00:39:49

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My Time at the Vatican Observatory Summer School

7/10/2023
Matthew Pinson SJ is a young Jesuit scientist from Australia. He was one of the students at the 2023 Vatican Observatory Summer School held in Rome during June. Hear what it was like to be a student at the school, and how Matthew’s journey took him from a farm in Australia to a doctorate at MIT, then the Jesuits, and finally to the Vatican! Hosts: Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bob Trembley: Factotum for the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Guests: Matthew Pinson SJ Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio Finale music: Cinematic Documentary by Lexin_Music

Duration:00:39:24

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Roundtable with Vatican Observatory Staff

5/19/2023
This podcast was taken from the Full Moon Meetup on Friday, January 6, 2023. To begin the year, we had a roundtable discussion with several members of the Vatican Observatory staff. We covered everything from Befana, the Italian Epiphany witch, to the 30th anniversary of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), and the year ahead. Hosts: Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bob Trembley: Factotum for the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Guests: Fr. Paul Gabor: Vice Director of the Vatican Observatory and Vice Director for the Vatican Observatory Research Group (Tucson) Dr. Larry Lebofsky: Senior Education and Communication Specialist - Planetary Science Institute (retired); Asteroid hunter. Chris Kennedy: Executive Director of Development for the Vatican Observatory Foundation Katie Steinke: Development Committee Chair for the Vatican Observatory Foundation Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio

Duration:00:37:26

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Sketcher of the Skies

1/2/2023
What spurs an artist to start sketching celestial objects as they look in her small telescope? What thrills her the most? Is it seeing the fine details of nebulae through large telescopes? Sketching the Moon's slowly changing terminator and Sun's prominences? Working with children - helping them understand the night sky, and awakening their curiosity in science? Deirdre Kelleghan is an astronomical artist, living in western Ireland, under incredibly dark skies. With an eye to the telescope, she sketches the beauty of the cosmos, and through her outreach, she teaches others how to do the same. Deirdre is a former President of the Irish Astronomical Society, and is the current Outreach / Vice Chair of the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies; she has been interviewed on TV, radio and podcasts about her outreach activities. She is also a Sacred Space Astronomy author, and frequently posts her artwork on the Vatican Observatory website. Guests: - Deirdre Kelleghan: Astronomer, astronomical artist, educator and Sacred Space Astronomy author. - Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ: Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Deirdre 's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@skysketcher1 Deirdre's website: http://www.deirdrekelleghan.net/ Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio

Duration:00:40:04

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From Voyager to Webb: Heidi Hammel and the Ice Giants

10/25/2022
So, how many people do you know who have had a children’s book written about them? Dr. Heidi Hammel gained international fame in 1994 by leading the Hubble Space Telescope Team that imaged Jupiter during the impacts of Comet Shoemaker Levy 9, but in fact her main research has focused on the “ice giant” planets, Uranus and Neptune. Her ground-based telescope observations were crucial to interpreting the Voyager spacecraft flyby images, and she now helps direct planetary observations with the Webb Space Telescope. Guests: Dr. Heidi Hammel - Vice President for Science for the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. - Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ - Director of Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/ Intro music: Irreducible by ComaStudio

Duration:00:47:38

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Deep Roots

10/5/2022
Have you ever met one of those people who just seems to know everyone? Our guest, Katie Steinke is one of those people. Katie and her family have been involved with Specola astronomers for decades, and from those deep roots grew the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope. Hear Katie's story... Guests: Katie Steinke - former development director of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bob Trembley - podcast host and internet factotum for the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Duration:00:37:34

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From Sparkling Water to Dark Matter

8/24/2022
The most famous product of San Pellegrino, Italy, is its sparkling water. But from this same village in the north of Italy has come a PhD scientist working on detecting the most elusive ingredients of the universe… and hoping for a chance to fly, herself, in space. Hear Dr. Maria Elena Monzani’s story... Guests: - Dr. Maria Elena Monzani, a Lead Scientist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and an adjunct scholar for the Vatican Observatory. - Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of Vatican Observatory Vatican Observatory website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/

Duration:00:38:42

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The Stuff of Stars

7/1/2022
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. Guests: - 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

Duration:00:32:54

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Ambassador to the Universe

4/20/2022
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. Guests: 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: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/series/from-the-cabinet-of-physics/ Sacred Space Astronomy Posts on the Vatican Observatory Website: https://www.vaticanobservatory.org/category/sacred-space-astronomy/

Duration:00:36:22

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On a Spiral Path to the Milky Way

3/8/2022
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!) Guests: Dr. Gabriela Navarro Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of Vatican Observatory, President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Duration:00:31:36

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The Chaotic Path of a Climate Modeler

1/22/2022
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. Guests:

Duration:00:27:08

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A Taste for Heavy Water

12/7/2021
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. Guests:

Duration:00:32:45

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How to Make an Impact: From Crater Science to Public Outreach

7/30/2021
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. Guests:

Duration:00:32:57

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Space and the Middle-Schooler

7/28/2021
What do kids today think about astronomy and space travel? And how do they think differently about these topics compared to kids 40 years ago? In this episode of the Vatican Observatory podcast, longtime middle school astronomy teacher Constance Martin-Trembley joins Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, and host Bob Trembley to discuss the changing landscape of astronomy youth education. Guests:

Duration:00:31:20

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Black Holes

7/15/2021
On this episode of the Vatican Observatory Podcast, a pioneer in black hole imaging, Prof. Dr. Heino Falcke joins Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, and host Bob Trembley for a conversation to discuss his new book Light in the Darkness: Black Holes, the Universe, and Us, his trailblazing work on black hole imaging, and the intersection of faith and science. Dr. Falcke is a professor of radio astronomy and astroparticle physics at the Radboud University Nijmegen, as well as the winner of the 2011 Spinoza Prize. Famously, he is known as the originator of the concept of the 'black hole shadow'. Guests: Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opfb0ieCcSs

Duration:00:30:57

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On the Fly - How to drive a spacecraft

7/5/2021
How does a spacecraft get designed and built? How do you maneuver a spacecraft to make sure it gets where it’s going? What’s it mean to work on “Mars time”? In this episode, Steve Collins, Senior Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), joins Bob Trembley and Br. Guy Consolmagno to answer these questions and more about what it takes to create a spacecraft that can go where humans can’t. Guests:

Duration:00:28:02

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Galileo: The Real Story (Part 2)

6/7/2021
Galileo was not only a great scientist, but a great philosopher of science. And yet, he was a man who sometimes contradicted his own philosophy. In this episode, Br. Guy and Chris Graney continue their discussion of the real story of Galileo and how science and history textbooks alike often get it wrong. Guests:

Duration:00:20:42

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Galileo: The Real Story

6/3/2021
Galileo's championing of Copernican heliocentrism led to two encounters with the Church: an informal meeting with Cardinal Bellarmine in 1616 and a formal trial in 1633. It’s a muddled piece of history which has caused many people to falsely stake the claim that the Church is an enemy of science. In this episode, Br. Guy and Chris Graney discuss the real story of Galileo’s relationship with the Church. Guests: - Chris Graney, historian of 17th century science and Public Relations Officer of Vatican Observatory Foundation - Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of Vatican Observatory

Duration:00:24:02

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The Vatican’s Interest in Space Exploration?

2/4/2021
Why is the Vatican interested in space and how is it actively contributing to space exploration? In this podcast, Br. Guy explains some of the biggest moments in the Observatory’s history in space and talks about the space missions where the VO is making a contribution. He is joined by Dr. Daniel Britt, the Pegasus Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at University of Central Florida, and Br. Bob Macke, curator of the Vatican Observatory’s meteorite collection. Guests: - Br. Guy Consolmagno - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Consolmagno - Daniel Britt - https://sciences.ucf.edu/physics/person/daniel-britt/ - Br Bob Macke

Duration:00:24:33