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Vatican astronomer visits University of Charleston Beckley

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The University of Charleston Speaker Series will take attendees to the heavens, stars and the Vatican as President of the National Committee for Astronomy, Vatican City State, Father Christopher Corbally speaks today on both the UC-Charleston and UC-Beckley campuses.

The event, titled "Star Wars: When Astronomy & Religion Meet," will focus on the connections between space and religion.

Father Corbally will first visit UC-Beckley today, speaking at Carter Hall from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., with a short reception to follow. He will then visit UC-Charleston for a 90-minute presentation and discussion, moderated by UC President Ed Welch, at 6:30 p.m. in Riggleman Hall's Geary Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Born near London, Father Corbally entered the Society of Jesus in 1963, and holds degrees in philosophy, physics, astronomy and theology. After ordination, he obtained a PhD in astronomy at the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1983. Since then Fr. Corbally has been a research astronomer of the Vatican Observatory and was its Vice Director for the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson until 2012.

Father Corbally is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the President of the National Committee for Astronomy in the Vatican City State for the International Astronomical Union (IAU). He was the president of the IAU's Division IV (Stars), 2009-2012. He is a member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science for which he was president from 1999-2002.

The UC Speaker Series is in its 11th year and is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Foundation.


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