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Jul 17, 2024

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Director of Vatican Observatory To Speak At Copernicus Jubilee

ORCHARD LAKE, Michigan (3-4-24) – The Polish Institute of Culture & Research (PICR) and the Orchard Lake Schools community are thrilled to welcome Brother Guy Consolmagno to campus on Monday, March 18, 2023, to deliver a talk about the work of Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) and that of the Vatican Observatory. He will speak to St. Mary’s Prep students during the school day, and to the public at 6:30 PM in the recently updated Galeria along the Trzcinski Quad.

Known as “The Pope’s Astronomer,” Br. Guy was named by Pope Francis to be the Director of the Vatican Observatory in September 2015. He is also an American research astronomer, physicist, religious brother, and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Consolmagno is a native of metro Detroit who attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He then studied planetary science and obtained his S.B. (1974) and S.M. (1975) degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his Ph.D. (1978) from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Br. Guy’s research focuses on the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In addition to over 40 refereed scientific papers, he has co-authored several books on astronomy for the popular market, which have been translated into multiple languages. During 1996, he took part in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites, ANSMET, where he discovered several meteorites on the ice fields of Antarctica. An asteroid was named in his honor, IAU in 2000 – 4597 Consolmagno — by the International Astronomical Union.

On July 2, 2014, he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the public by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.

“As the Associate Director for Polonia Affairs at the Polish Institute of Culture & Research at Orchard Lake, it is my honor to share our organization’s collaboration that bridges the astronomical legacy of our cherished Nicholas Copernicus with the distinguished research of Brother Guy Consolmagno and the Vatican Observatory. This collaboration not only celebrates the monumental 550th Jubilee of Copernicus but also highlights the enduring quest for knowledge that transcends time and unites cultures. We are deeply honored to host such an event that resonates with the rich tapestry of our Polish heritage and the global scientific community.”


The evening event is free and open to the public. The program starts at 6:30 PM in the Galeria across from the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II. Don’t miss this historic visit and presentation!