12 sights of Christmas: astronomy observing targets for the festive season
An article by Vatican Observatory director Br. Guy Consolmagno was featured on the BBC’s Sky at Nighton Nov. 22, 2019. In the article, Br. Guy reveals his top 12 targets to observe in the night sky this Christmas!
Why is there a Vatican Observatory? When did it start? What is the Vatican Observatory Foundation?
Vatican astronomers can help answer some basic human questions, like: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Are there others out there? Hear about the observatory, the telescope and our projects directly from those involved. Understand who we are, what we do and why we exist.
In this video, students from the 2018 Vatican Observatory Summer School discuss how excited they are to participate in the program. Br. Guy Consolmagno explains how the VOSS got started, and how wonderful it is to have so many exceptional students attend the summer school program.
The VOSS 2018 will train the next generation of researchers on the marvels of big data, time domain astrophysics, and variability surveys. We are building an exciting programme that links variable stars with photometric and spectroscopic surveys, and then gives an overview concerning the impact that stellar astrophysics has on current astrophysical and cosmological open problems.
Theory of stellar pulsation and evolution: pulsation and evolutionary properties of radial variables (RR Lyrae; classical, type II, anomalous Cepheids; SX Phoenicis).
Stellar kinematics: radial velocities and proper motions.
Variable star searches in large databases: Current statistics, sample biases, variability detection, period search techniques, variable star classification,
Variables as stellar population tracers: pulsating stars vs eclipsing binaries. Distance indicators (RR Lyse, Cepheids, Miras and LPVs), Rare variability: Microlensing and Transients.
Current and future large astronomical databases: 2MASS, Gaia, VVV, OGLE, Kepler, GLIMPSE, WISE, WFIRST, LSST, SDSS, TESS, PLATO, EUCLID, PS2.