Astrofisica/Astrophysics, Astronomia/Astronomy, Osservatori Astronomici/Astronomical Observatories, Specola Vaticana/Vatican Observatory

Scientists, philanthropists and the Catholic Church promoting scientific research of the heavens through the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, and public engagement through presentations, social media, and educational outreach programs.

Why is there a Vatican Observatory? When did it start? What is the Vatican Observatory Foundation?

Vatican astronomers can help answer some basic human questions, like: Why are we here? Where did we come from? Are there others out there? Hear about the observatory, the telescope and our projects directly from those involved. Understand who we are, what we do and why we exist.

Annual Seminar in Tucson, Arizona

VATT @ XXV (1993-2018)
Astronomers of the Vatican Observatory Celebrate the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope: the Past and Future of an Evolving Instrument.

February 23, 2018
SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School, 1436 N. Campbell Avenue

Br. Guy introduces Fr. Paul Gabor, S.J.
 Br. Guy introduces the first speaker: Fr. Paul Gabor, S.J.
Fr. Paul Gabor lecturing
 Fr. Paul Gabor lecturing about the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope at the Seminar.
Fr. Richard Boyle, S. J.
 Fr. Richard Boyle, S. J., describes the international programs being accomplished with VATT.
Fr. Jean-Baptiste
 Fr. Jean-Baptiste continues to explain his studies of Near Earth Objects.
Fr. Jean-Baptiste, S.J.
 Fr. Jean-Baptiste, S.J., illustrates the complex tasks VATT can achieve.
Br. Guy and VOF Fathers
 Br. Guy ends the Seminar by asking each astronomer “Why?”.
The Vatican Observatory Foundation Board
 The Vatican Observatory Foundation Board and staff gathered in Tucson for the Seminar.

Educational Outreach

2018 Vatican Observatory Summer School in Astrophysics

The VOSS 2018 will train the next generation of researchers on the marvels of big data, time domain astrophysics, and variability surveys. We are building an exciting programme that links variable stars with photometric and spectroscopic surveys, and then gives an overview concerning the impact that stellar astrophysics has on current astrophysical and cosmological open problems.


  • Theory of stellar pulsation and evolution: pulsation and evolutionary properties of radial variables (RR Lyrae; classical, type II, anomalous Cepheids; SX Phoenicis).
  • Stellar kinematics: radial velocities and proper motions.
  • Variable star searches in large databases: Current statistics, sample biases, variability detection, period search techniques, variable star classification,
  • Variables as stellar population tracers: pulsating stars vs eclipsing binaries. Distance indicators (RR Lyse, Cepheids, Miras and LPVs), Rare variability: Microlensing and Transients.
  • Current and future large astronomical databases: 2MASS, Gaia, VVV, OGLE, Kepler, GLIMPSE, WISE, WFIRST, LSST, SDSS, TESS, PLATO, EUCLID, PS2.


2016 Vatican Observatory Summer School
Papal audienceTwenty-three students representing 19 countries and the faculty of the 2016 Vatican Observatory Summer School meet and greet Pope Francis while studying Water in the Universe.

© 2018 Vatican Observatory Foundation. The Vatican Observatory Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation
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