As I mentioned last week, I am in Tucson at FAW II, the Faith and Astronomy Workshop, sponsored by the Vatican Observatory Foundation. I thought it would be fun to provide some video clips of things we will be doing (if the weather cooperates) as part of FAW2016 so you can join us in spirit. Enjoy the videos below and may God bless your week and ours with clear skies!
Every night we will do some night sky observation. A central part of understanding the relationship between faith and astronomy is to develop a love and appreciation for the night sky. Therefore, here is a nice video from NASA that highlights what is worth observing in January.
If the weather cooperates, we will visit Kitt Peak. Unfortunately, it was scrubbed last year due to snow and ice (yes, snow and ice in Arizona – the observatory is high in the mountains). Please pray that the weather cooperates so we can visit this wonderful facility!
One of my favorite field trips from last year was to visit the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. Here is a video about the Vatican Observatory that features the Mirror Lab. The section on the Steward Observatory appears later in the video, but I would encourage all of you to watch the entire video to learn about the VOF!
Another field trip will bring us to the OSIRIS REx mission headquarters at the University of Arizona. OSIRIS REx is a space mission that will send a robotic spacecraft to take a sample of the surface of an asteroid and return it to Earth! Check out this short video for more details.
Last year, our “replacement” field trip that took the place of Kitt Peak was a fascinating tour of the HiRISE Mars Mission. My favorite part of this visit was to see realtime downloads of new images of the “Red Planet.” Below is a video that presents just a fraction of the many images this mission has produced!
And, of course, Br. Guy, astronomers from the Vatican Observatory, and friends of the Vatican Observatory Foundation (other contributors to The Catholic Astronomer who will be at FAW are Fr. Paul Gabor and Dr. Brenda Frye).
This is just a taste of the many, wonderful things we will be exploring in the week ahead. Check in with The Catholic Astronomer in the weeks to come to read some journal posts on my experience of FAW2016. I pray these videos give you a little taste of what we will experience this week so you can have your own “FAW experience.”