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Vatican Observatory


The Vatican Observatory (Specola Vaticana) is a scientific research institute whose purpose is to demonstrate the active presence of the Holy See in the world of astronomical research, traditionally subject of interest within the Catholic Church. It is one of the oldest astronomical institutes in the world. The members also conduct interdisciplinary activities through lectures, essays and books on the relationship between science and religion. Since 1987, the Vatican Observatory has set up an interdisciplinary research group with the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (Berkeley), creating a cycle of periodic Conferences called Divine Action in the World, whose Proceedings are regularly published.

Board of Directors

Guy Consolomagno, S.J. (Director), Paul Gabor, S.J. (Vice Director of the Research Group), Paul Mueller, S.J. (Administrative Vice Director).

Staff: Richard P. Boyle, David A. Brown, Christopher J. Corbally, Richard A. D'Souza, Gabriele Gionti, Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya, Robert Macke, Alessandro Omizzolo, Sabino Maffeo, Thomas Williams.

Specola Vaticana
V-00120 Vatican City State - ITALY

Tel.:+39 06 69 88 5266

Services and Resources

The website presents the group's scientific activities.

The History section, describing the historical origins of the institution, shows the links between the Church and the astronomy developed during the modern era.

Specific sections show the tools (telescopes) provided by the Vatican Observatory. The websites offers a section called "Research" where it is possible to find a description of the principal research projects, information on "Galilean Studies" and a page dedicated to "Interdisciplinary Studies" (under construction).

A section is dedicated to the VOSS (Vatican Observatory Summer Schools) which take place in Castelgandolfo. Annual reports are available in the "Publications" section.

Religious Confession

The institution is promoted by the Holy See and entrusted to the Jesuits.

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