The astronomers of the Vatican Observatory enter into the awesome study of the universe through solid, scientific methods. These astronomers stand at the forefront of studies covering a broad range of topics, from an examination of the tiniest specs of interplanetary dust to the origins and structure of the universe.
The Vatican Observatory is an official department of the Holy See. Together with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, it is positioned as the point of dialogue between the Church and the world of science.
Entrusted to the Society of Jesus, the mission of the Vatican Observatory is carried out by a Jesuit staff with advanced degrees and in collaboration with colleagues at astronomical institutions around the world. Research by Vatican Observatory scientists is literally pushing the boundaries of what we know and how we know it.
The role of the Jesuit astronomers as leaders in the scientific field of astronomy and as people of faith helps unite two fields that have sometimes been perceived as adversaries.
To ensure the important work of the Vatican Observatory continues into the future, the Vatican Observatory Foundation (VOF) has been established as a tax-exempt, charitable organization in the United States. Begun in 1987, the VOF's first priority was funding construction of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT).
The Foundation today remains committed to the VATT as its first priority, seeking philanthropic support for its ongoing maintenance and modernization. In addition, the Foundation carries out educational programs that promote, disseminate and encourage the scientific research of the Vatican Observatory.