Fr. George Coyne Memories

Fr. Coyne was named director of the Vatican Observatory at the age of 45 — notably he was one of the few appointments made during the brief papacy of John Paul I — after the unexpected death of his predecessor. He served until he was 73, the longest term of any Observatory director.

During his tenure as Observatory director, Fr Coyne oversaw the modernization of the Observatory’s role in the world of science. He essentially re-founded the Specola Vaticana.

With the passing of George Coyne, an era at the Specola Vaticana has come to a close. He was a remarkable astronomer, a remarkable director, a remarkable Jesuit, a remarkable man.

Fr. Coyne Memorial on the Vatican Observatory Foundation website:

Video created by Br. Guy Consolmagno using Apple Photos app.

The Vatican Observatory Foundation (VOF) is the fundraising arm of the Vatican Observatory.

The Vatican Observatory Foundation website:

The Sacred Space Astronomy/Catholic Astronomer Blog:

The Faith and Science Archive:

To donate please visit:

The VOF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in 1986 in the state of Arizona to support the scientific and educational endeavors of the Vatican Observatory, including the maintenance and modernization of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT). While funding for Vatican Observatory salaries and administrative expenses comes directly from the Holy See, funding for the telescope and educational initiatives is derived solely from the generous support of the benefactors of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Follow us on