Guy Consolmagno

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Guy J. Consolmagno
Br Guy in Lab.jpg
Consolmagno in his lab.
Born (1952-09-19) September 19, 1952 (age 62)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Fields Planetary science
Alma mater M.I.T. (B.A. 1974, M.A. 1975)
Arizona (Ph.D. 1978)

Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ (born September 19, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan), is an American research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory.


Consolmagno attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School before he obtained his B.A. (1974) and M.A. (1975) degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. (1978) at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, all in planetary science. After postdoctoral research and teaching at Harvard College Observatory and MIT, in 1983 he joined the US Peace Corps to serve in Kenya for two years, teaching astronomy and physics. After his return he took a position as Assistant Professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.[1]

In 1989 he entered the Society of Jesus, and took vows as a brother in 1991. On entry into the order, he was assigned as an astronomer to the Vatican Observatory, where he also serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection, positions he has held since then. In addition to his continuing professional work in planetary science, he has also studied philosophy and theology.

His research is centered on the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In addition to over 40 refereed scientific papers, he has co-authored several books on astronomy for the popular market, which have been translated into multiple languages. During 1996, he took part in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites, ANSMET, where he discovered a number of meteorites on the ice fields of Antarctica. An asteroid was named in his honor by the International Astronomical Union, IAU in 2000: 4597 Consolmagno, also known as "Little Guy".[2]

He believes in the need for science and religion to work alongside one another rather than as competing ideologies. In 2006, he said, "Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism – it's turning God into a nature god."[3] Consolmagno was recently the Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society,[4] serving from October 2006 to October 2007.

Consolmagno is a popular speaker as well as a writer of popular science. He has been a guest of honor at several science fiction conventions, including DucKon in 2000, ConFusion in his native state of Michigan in 2002, Boskone in 2007, and ConClave in 2009. He was an invited participant in Scifoo in 2008 as well. He taught at Fordham University in New York City for the fall term of 2008. Consolmagno gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Stellafane amateur telescope making convention on Aug 10. He appeared on The Colbert Report in December, 2009 to promote his book, The Heavens Proclaim.[5] In May 2014, Consolmagno received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University and spoke at the Georgetown College commencement ceremony.[6]

On July 2, 2014 he was awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public by the American Astronomical Society.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae (No longer Online) on homepage
  2. ^ The Forum: Brother Guy Consolmagno: God's Mechanics, audio recording, Grace Cathedral, March 2, 2008, 9:30 am PST
  3. ^ Scotsman article at
  4. ^ Current Division of Plantary Science Officers at
  5. ^ Gold, Frankincense and Mars, December 1, 2009. The Colbert Report
  6. ^ "Georgetown Announces Speakers for 2014 Commencement". Georgetown University. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "2014 AAS Prize Winners". Retrieved July 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]