Feeds

Science and religion collide for galactic conference

Vatican turns eyes to heavens

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Vatican is hosting its second astronomy conference in seven years, as the Roman Catholic church strives to avoid being seen as anti-science. Delegates are expected from 26 countries, including Britain, the US, Italy, Germany, and Russia, the BBC reports.

Father Jose Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory, said the conference would focus on disc galaxies, cold dark matter, and black holes. "Disc galaxies are a hot topic," he told the BBC.

Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, will be the first subject for discussion. The delegates will go on to discuss the latest theories and ideas in galaxy, star, and planet formation.

The Vatican's history of involvement in astronomical research has its roots in the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Then Pope Gregory XIII set up a task force to consider the full scientific implications of the 1582 switch in timelines. But it wasn't until 1789, almost two centuries after Galileo's "heretical" proposal that the Earth orbited the Sun, that the church set up its own observatory.

Since then, the tradition of scientific exploration has been maintained, and the Vatican now runs an observatory - the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope with its 1.8 metre mirror - out in Tucson, Arizona.

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a member of Father Funes's 13-strong team, explains that the Church has maintained its interest because science holds no fears for the faithful.

He told the BBC: "This is our way of seeing how God created the universe and they want to make as strong a statement as possible that truth doesn't contradict truth; that if you have faith, then you're never going to be afraid of what science is going to come up with." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.