Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno will give a public talk about 'The Galileo Wars: 30 Years and Four Centuries' at UM-Dearborn on Oct. 12

October 2, 2009

DEARBORN / Oct. 2, 2009---Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, will give a public talk about "The Galileo Wars: 30 Years and Four Centuries" on Oct. 12 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn as part of the campus’s recognition of the International Year of Astronomy, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope in 1609.

Consolmagno’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12 in Room 1500 of the campus’s Social Sciences building.

The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world, headquartered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

Consolmagno, who was born in Detroit, is curator of the Vatican meteorite collection, one of the largest in the world.  His research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.  

In 1996, Consolmagno spent six weeks collecting meteorites with a National Science Foundation-sponsored team on the blue ice of Antarctica, and in 2000 he was honored by the International Astronomical Union for his contributions to the study of meteorites and asteroids with the naming of asteroid 4597 Consolmagno.

Consolmagno earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in earth and planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in planetary science at the University of Arizona.  Consolmagno, who entered the Jesuit order in 1989 and took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991, studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University, Chicago, and physics at the University of Chicago before his assignment to the Vatican Observatory in 1993.

For more information on Consolmagno’s talk, call Carrie Swift, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at UM-Dearborn, at 313-436-9116.


About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


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