Every year the Vatican Observatory Foundation sponsors a seminar on advances in astronomy, open to the general public. This year’s seminar will be held on Friday, February 21, 2:00 PM at St. Peter and Paul Parish, Gramer Hall, Tucson, Arizona.
We’ve got three exciting program events on tap:
Dr. Daniel Apai
The EDEN project and the VATT
Dr. Daniel Apai – Associate Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona
The EDEN Project and the VATT: Dr. Danial Apai of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory is heading up an exciting program to search for Earth-like planets: Exoearth Discover and Exploration Network. EDEN is a research project aiming to lead and support research to identify and characterize habitable planets within 50 lightyears. And the VATT will be central to its work.
Jesuits and Science
Round table with members of the Vatican Observatory Jesuit Community.
How is being a Jesuit scientist different from being just a scientist, or just a Jesuit? What are the challenges, joys, and surprises that come from this life? We’ll present a round table discussion with members of the Vatican Observatory Jesuit Community, led by observatory director Br Guy Consolmagno. Frs. Paul Gabor and Chris Corbally, astronomers working with the VATT and the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, will be joined by a young graduate student in atmospheric sciences and meteorology, Fr. Bayu Risanto SJ, from Indonesia.
Round Table Participants (from left to right): Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, Fr. Chris Corbally SJ, Fr. Paul Gabor SJ, Fr. Bayu Risanto SJ
Keynote: The Latest News from Asteroid Bennu
Dolores Hill – Research Specialist, Senior Cosmochemistry, Small Bodies, University of Arizona
Dolores Hill, a meteorite specialist at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab, is now also a public outreach specialist with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu operated by LPL. The goal of OSIRIS-REx is to collect a sample of Bennu in mid-2020, and return it to Earth in late 2023. Bennu turned out to be rockier than anticipated, but mission planners have now identified four sites on its surface that are smooth enough for OSIRIS-REx to collect a sample. Dolores will fill us in on the latest news about the sites chosen to be sampled, and what we’ve learned so far about this fascinating little neighbor of ours in space.
This image shows sample site Nightingale, OSIRIS-REx’s primary sample collection site on asteroid Bennu. The image is overlaid with a graphic of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to illustrate the scale of the site. Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona