Fr. George Coyne, who directed the Vatican Observatory for nearly 30 years and founded the Vatican Observatory Foundation, died on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., where he was being treated for bladder cancer. He was 87 years old.
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.
Visit the Fr. Coyne Memorial Fundraiser site: [LINK]
Read the tribute to Fr. Coyne in the Vatican Observatory site: [LINK]
Read Br. Guy’s post about Fr. Coyne on the Sacred Space Astronomy site: [LINK]