Across the Universe: Maybe
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  This column first ran in The Tablet in April 2013 The Kepler Space Telescope, monitoring a hundred thousand stars to catch the faint flickers of light that might indicate the shadows of planets, announced [April 2013] the discovery of a star that may have two super-Earths orbiting within its “Goldilocks zone.” That’s the distance from the star where liquid water should be stable. The idea of a system with two planets that could harbor life brings up all sorts of exciting science-fictional possibilities. Well, maybe. We don’t know for sure yet that either planet really is Earth-like; they could be small gas balls. We don’t know yet if either planet has an atmosphere, much less the sorts of chemicals we associate with life. And after all, our own solar system has two bodies within its Goldilocks zone – Earth and its Moon – but only one has life. For that matter, Mars is close enough to that stable zone … Continue reading

Meet your bloggers on YouTube!
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  Did you know that the Vatican Observatory Foundation has its own YouTube channel? A number of the films there feature bloggers like Brenda Frye and Father Jim… and we’ve just posted three new videos there! Here’s Brenda talking about Dark Energy and Dark Matter, which we posted about a year ago:   Here’s three new short films: Fr. Jim on Fr. Georges Lemaître, St. Bonaventure, and Fr. Stanley Jaki:     … Continue reading

Speculations: Does Matter Itself Have a “Life Cycle?”
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It is an honor to be the newest contributor to “The Catholic Astronomer.” As a non-scientist, hobby astronomer, Catholic Priest, I have been asked to provide you, the reader, with reflective questions to spark discussion. My interpretation of this request: dream a little and have fun! In that spirit, I invite all of you to respond to and critique the reflections I post. Do not be afraid to be critical or refine my comments. I see myself as both contributor and student on this page, sitting at the feet of each one of you to learn as I openly share my thoughts on faith and science (particularly astronomy). Therefore, do not treat my posts as stand alone articles, but thoughts that are intentionally incomplete, in need of your voice to flesh out the full idea (especially if they are in error). In that spirit, lets get started! … Continue reading