Vatican City — Vatican Observatory fans and astronomy nerds will want to check out the observatory foundation's new podcast, website and online store for the usual "merch" of hoodies, ball caps, tote bags and phone cases but also bright posters of the Horsehead Nebula, the Milky Way and other starry scenes.
The podcasts are available on several platforms and they feature one of the pope's own Jesuit astronomers speaking with a notable figure in the world of space exploration or science.
For example, one episode features Jesuit Br. Guy Consolmagno — a planetary scientist, director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the foundation — speaking with U.S. astronaut Nicole Stott and her husband Christopher Stott of the International Institute of Space Commerce. They talk about moon tourism and what living on or in the moon would look like as well as a lot of personal anecdotes, including how their faith fits in with their love of science.
"The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest active astronomical observatories in the world with its roots going back to 1582 and the Gregorian reform of the calendar," according to its website.
The observatory conducts astronomical research and public outreach to promote a "scientific understanding of our universe," it said. The website dedicated to the observatory's scientific activities can be found here.
The Vatican Observatory works with the Vatican Observatory Foundation to educate and engage the public about astronomy and dialogue between faith and science.