News

Special Presentation with Vatican Observatory Director at Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) just announced tickets are on sale for Director of the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno’s presentation of “Discarded Worlds, Astronomical Ideas that were Almost Correct” on Saturday, February 11 at 11 a.m.

Astronomy is more than just observing; it’s making sense of those observations. A good theorist needs to blend knowledge of what’s been observed with a good imagination, with no fear of being wrong. Many key astronomers of the past rose to the challenge, and they were “almost” correct, which is to say, they were wrong – sometimes hilariously, sometimes heartbreakingly so. What lessens can 21st century astronomers take from these discarded images of the universe? Visitors will learn this and more through this presentation.

Brother Guy Consolmagno’s presentation is part of the “Roger That” Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire where local astronaut Roger B. Chaffee, along with Gus Grisson and Edward White died. This event put on by the GRPM, Grand Valley State University, and Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association.

Space-Themed Family Activities

Additionally on Saturday, February 11, the Museum will offer hands-on programming

and activities for visitors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to learn more about space, space travel and Roger B. Chaffee. See real stellar and lunar material from NASA’s traveling education collection, including samples of the moon from Apollo astronauts, and various types of meteorite samples. Grand Valley State University Padnos College of Engineering will be interacting with visitors offering various hands-on STEM themed activities. Visitors can also see a planetarium show for a special discounted price of $2! 

As part of the Roger That! activities, students have entered design challenge projects exploring solutions for the future of space exploration. Projects will be on display at the GRPM with the announcement of the winner at 12:30 p.m.

To learn more about all that is happening during the Roger That! Event, please visit grpm.org and gvsu.edu/rogerthat/.

About Brother Guy Consolmagno

Brother Guy Consolmagno is a former Michigan resident, who graduated from Detroit Jesuit High School in 1974, is a popular speaker and astronomy writer who believes there is a place for both religion and science, and that they do not have to be competing ideologies. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1989.