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Director of Vatican Observatory Coming to Hopkinsville for Solar Eclipse

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Saints Peter & Paul Church invites you to hear from a special guest traveling over 5,000 miles to witness the Solar Eclipse from the Point of Greatest Eclipse.  Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ serves as the Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation and will be giving a presentation entitled “Faith & Science” on Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the new gymnasium of the Saints Peter & Paul Catholic School located at 902 E. 9th Street, Hopkinsville, KY 42240.

“We are honored to host Brother Guy and allow residents and visitors of Hopkinsville to hear from such a scholar of the church,” said Jim Creighton, Saints Peter & Paul Church member. “This astronomical event is a once in a lifetime happening for us all.”

This event will be free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis. Capacity of the gym is anticipated to be around 500, so guests are encouraged to arrive early to ensure they have a spot.

Consolmagno is a native of Detroit, Michigan, he earned undergraduate and masters' degrees from MIT, and a Ph. D.in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona; he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989. At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies, observing Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope in Arizona, and applying his measure of meteorite physical properties to understanding asteroid origins and structure. Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of a number of popular books including Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis), and most recently Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (with Father Paul Mueller, SJ). He also has hosted science programs for BBC Radio 4, been interviewed in numerous documentary films, appeared on The Colbert Report, and for more than ten years he has written a monthly science column for the British Catholic magazine, The Tablet.

Dr. Consolmagno's work has taken him to every continent on Earth; for example, in 1996 he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with a NASA team on the blue ice regions of East Antarctica. He has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (of which he was chair in 2006-2007); and IAU Commission 16 (Planets and Satellites). In 2000, the small bodies nomenclature committee of the IAU named an asteroid, 4597 Consolmagno, in recognition of his work. In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

For additional information, contact Jim Creighton, Saints Peter & Paul Church, knights.eclipse.2017@gmail.com or 270-305-1956.