Over 400 Astronomers See Vatican Observatory

  • Article
  • 175 words
  • Level: all audiences

A brief report from 1952 on astronomers visiting the Vatican Observatory.


Over 400 Astronomers See Vatican Observatory

VATICAN OBSERVATORY, one of the best-equipped astronomical institutions in Europe, was recently visited by over 400 astronomers from all over the world. They were members of the International Astronomical Union meeting in Rome, and journeyed to the Pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, where the observatory is located. Of particular interest were the spectroscopic laboratories, with equipment of advanced and modern design.

New director of the observatory is Father Daniel J. O’Connell, who for many years has been director of Riverview Observatory in Sydney, Australia. Father O’Connell, whose astronomical education is international, spent a year once at Harvard College Observatory specializing in variable star research. Thus he was particularly glad to welcome Dr. Harlow Shapley, director of Harvard College Observatory, and others from Harvard to his new observatory.

Highly important atlases of the spectra of the chemical elements have been produced at the Vatican Observatory. With the addition of much valuable equipment within recent years, and a Schmidt telescope in the making, significant research will undoubtedly continue to come from the Vatican Observatory.

Science News Letter, September 20, 1952

Click here to access this article via JSTOR (available in many libraries).