The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 6, 2013

Vatican astronomer to discuss ‘Star Wars’ at UC event

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— A star of the University of Charleston’s speaker series, Vatican astronomer Father Christopher Corbally will speak to students and members of the community about connections between space and religion at an event titled “Star Wars: When Astronomy & Religion Meet.”

Corbally, president of the National Committee for Astronomy, Vatican City State, will speak at University of Charleston’s Beckley and Charleston campuses March 26.

The event is free and open to the public. All are invited to hear his discussion at Carter Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

There is limited seating for the event, so interested parties are asked to call 304-929-1478 to RSVP.

Corbally 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.

Born near London, Corbally entered the Society of Jesus in 1963, and holds degrees in philosophy, physics, astronomy and theology. After ordination, he obtained a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Toronto (Canada) in 1983.

Since then, 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.

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. In the past, the UC has hosted such notable individuals as Jack Hanna, Erin Brockovich and Sally Ride.

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