Br. Guy’s Diary: January 9, 2015

My plan is to post regular updates, about once a week I hope, on my current work and the doings at the Vatican Observatory. This might give the members of our Sacred Space an idea of what our day to day life is like. Let me know if you enjoy these entries!
This week: revising Vesta (again), talking lots of stuff, and a return for Brother Tom.

Science: The Vesta paper was revised, sent to my co-authors, revised by them, fixed by me, sent back to them... and there is one more set of fixes to make. But I fully intend to submit it to the journal tomorrow morning. Really.

Meanwhile, Rich has spent this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, where he gave a paper. I picked him up at the airport this afternoon; with him is a colleague from Lithuania. They'll be heading up to the VATT (our telescope) tomorrow.

Talks: Along with sending some more material for the Galileo talks I mentioned last time, I have also made some progress on the Life in the Universe introduction that I'll be giving the end of this month. Part of that preparation included an interview with Tom Beal, the science reporter for our local newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star... answering his questions made me think more about what I wanted to say.

Monday afternoon I did an hourlong interview for a Catholic-themed book-themed podcast, A Good Story is Hard to Find. I had a blast! It should be put online by the end of the month.

Over a period of 24 hours, mid Wednesday to mid Thursday, I received three invitations to give talks in the coming year. I'll actually be able to do two of them. Watch this space.

The Boskone people have run past me a preliminary schedule of my events for that science fiction convention in Boston next month. I'll post my schedule once it is final.

And Thursday evening, I attended a book club as the guest of a long-time friend here in the Tucson area. The amusing part was where the club meets... at the home of one of the participants, which happens to be directly across the alleyway behind our Jesuit residence in Tucson!

Community: Brother Tom is back from his stay in the hospital, where he had been since just before Christmas. He's moving slowly, but in very good spirits. We had a couple of other visitors this week, from the Jesuit Refugee Service; they are planning a fundraiser here at our house next week.

Br. Guy Consolmagno

About Br. Guy Consolmagno

Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is Director of the the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he earned undergraduate and masters' degrees from MIT, and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona; he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989.

At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies, observing Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope in Arizona, and applying his measure of meteorite physical properties to understanding asteroid origins and structure. Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of a number of popular books including Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis), and most recently Would You Baptize an Extraterrestial? (with Father Paul Mueller, SJ). He also has hosted science programs for BBC Radio 4, been interviewed in numerous documentary films, appeared on The Colbert Report, and for more than ten years he has written a monthly science column for the British Catholic magazine, The Tablet.

Dr. Consolmagno's work has taken him to every continent on Earth; for example, in 1996 he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with a NASA team on the blue ice regions of East Antarctica. He has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (of which he was chair in 2006-2007); and IAU Commission 16 (Planets and Satellites). In 2000, the small bodies nomenclature committee of the IAU named an asteroid, 4597 Consolmagno, in recognition of his work. In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

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