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President of Vatican observatory to speak at Lyon

Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer and president of the Vatican Observatory, will present two lectures March 13 through March 14 on the Lyon College campus.

At 7:30 p.m. March 13, he will present “The Asteroid Vesta and the Chaotic Formation of the Planets” in room 16 of the Derby Center. At 7:30 p.m. March 14, he will present "Why Do We Do Science?” in Nucor Auditorium.

Nicknamed "the Pope’s astronomer,” Consolmagno earned both his bachelor's and master's in planetary science from M.I.T. and his doctorate from the University of Arizona before his 1991 assignment as astronomer in the Vatican Observatory.

Consolmagno’s research concerns the relationship between meteorites and asteroids and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In addition to more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of a number of popular books, including "Turn Left at Orion" with Dan Davis and "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" with Father Paul Mueller. He has also hosted science programs for BBC Radio 4, been interviewed in numerous documentary films and appeared on "The Colbert Report."

Revered for his work in astronomy, Consolmagno has received numerous accolades. In 2014, the American Astronomical Society Division awarded him the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science, and in 2000, the small bodies nomenclature committee of the International Astronomical Union named the asteroid 4597 Consolmagno in his honor.

Consolmagno’s first lecture will concern the formation and evolution of planets in a violent early solar system. His second lecture will answer questions on why we as individuals choose to spend our lives pursuing pure knowledge.

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Posted by Alexandra Patrono-Smith at 1:30 PM