The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. It has its headquarters at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, outside Rome. Its dependent research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group, is hosted by Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.
The Vatican Observatory Research Group operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT). This is located at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona.
What you find in this website will help you discover the reason for the existence of the Vatican Observatory, its history, and its many activities. It will also invite you to participate, through the Vatican Observatory Foundation, in our work for science and for the Catholic Church.
We wish you a pleasant browsing experience, and we encourage you to contact us over any questions that this visit to our website provokes in you. We also welcome your suggestions on how to improve our website.
Comet ISON: A Visitor from Afar by Brother Robert J. Macke SJ
Sometimes, the most intriguing phenomena in astronomy are those things that we cannot see. One such example is the Oort cloud, a region of small, icy objects surrounding the solar system somewhere between 2000 and 50,000 times farther away from that Sun than is the Earth. These are objects that probably formed much closer to the Sun in the early history of the solar system and were ejected far out by gravitational interactions with Jupiter or other large planets. They are too small and too faint for us to observe with even the best telescopes. Nevertheless, we have good reason to believe that they are there.
To the edge of the universe: the Vatican Observatory welcomes Pope Francis
The Vatican Observatory welcomes Pope Francis
During his visit to the Papal Palace of Castelgandolfo, Pope Francis also visited the Vatican's astronomical observatory, know as 'The Specola'.
A conversation with Fr Funes on his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican Observatory
The Vatican Observatory is committed to scientific astronomical research, education, and the promotion of scientific enterprise by being one of the founding members of the International Network of Catholic Astronomy Institutions (INCAI) which organizes the workshop “Exploring the Nature of the Evolving Universe III” to be held at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago from the 19 to the 24 of August, 2013.