No, the Vatican Observatory is not an educational institution.

The Vatican Observatory Research Group is affiliated with the University of Arizona, and our staff in Tucson have taught classes in the Department of Astronomy. We have also served on doctoral committees for graduate students. And on occasion, our astronomers may spend a sabbatical semester or year teaching at universities around the world.

In addition to our regular staff, the Vatican Observatory also supports a group of Adjunct Scholars, who teach at universities from Chile to Canada, and across Europe.

Every two years (odd-numbered years; the next will be 2023) the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo hosts a team of world-class researchers and twenty five students who engage in four weeks of intensive study about some timely aspect of astrophysics.

For more information, see Summer School

No. The summer schools are open to advanced students in astronomy or astrophysics, either finishing their undergraduate studies or beginning graduate work; there is no requirement other than demonstrated academic excellence and an expressed interest in pursuing a career in astronomy. Once a summer school topic is announced (i.e. in September of even-numbered years), interested students should see the Register section of Summer School.

While the Vatican Observatory does not presently have organized programs for younger students, our international staff members and other representatives of the Observatory regularly speak to high school classes (live or online) around the world.

Some high school classes have collaborated with our astronomers to choose a deep-sky object that we will image at the VATT and then provide the individual color-filter images back to the class, for them to process into a stunning astrophotograph.

In addition, we also participate with the Arrupe Virtual Learning Institute (AVLI) by teaching an on-line high school astronomy course for Catholic schools who participate in the AVLI.

Yes! Every two years (even-numbered years) we offer a week in January of intensive immersion in astronomy: the Astronomy for Catholic Ministries and Educators (ACME). Held at the Redemptorist Renewal Center north of Tucson, Arizona, the twenty five selected participants will engage in workshops and lectures in the morning, visit astronomical institutions in the afternoons, and spend the evenings exploring the dark Arizona skies. We discuss topics ranging from cutting-edge astronomy to the challenges, and techniques, of exploring faith and science issues in the context of Catholic schools and parishes. Applications open the September before the program date; check this web site in September 2023, for more information.

Official Calendar

2023 Vatican Observatory calendars now available for purchase in our e-store!