I just thought that with such an amazing chance to have gotten to meet Brother Guy, I ought to share a few more interesting tidbits that I learned from him. This time, not quite as in depth, but moreover on the nature of what he does.
Brother Guy has lived in Italy and worked for the Vatican for 20 years. Recently, his job changed slightly so that now he's travelling more around the United States, but doing astronomy nonetheless.
Why does the pope need an astronomer? Honestly, I had no idea. I just thought it was swag. Turns out, it's an issue of the church proving that they do support science and are not against it. In studying the stars and planets, gathering this infomration is a way for the church to show their support of science, but also claim to have EVIDENCE of their religion and God. In using their scientific discoveries, the church can explain them as yes, incredible, but also reliant on a creator. Which is a clever tactic.
One of the weirdest things Brother Guy told us was that before he really did much fzx or astronomy...he did geology. Geology, turns out, is the absolute CORE (pun intended) of planetary science.
As probably one of the only people I know that LOVED Earth Science, this was fantastic news! This ROCKS! (pun intended again! #onaroll!). It definitely sparked my interest further in astronomy.
Brother Guy started at Boston College and then transferred to MIT where he sort of...blindly signed up for Studies In Planetary Science. Little did he know: he had just joined the GEOLOGY department! I just found this extremely interesting because the second I think of space, I think of the Twilight Zone and darkness and theoretical fzx and black holes; but that is certainly not the case.
It's funny, but it all made me think. Rocks are the realest thing we have as humans to explain the universe. They are easy; they are simple; they are finite. And they are 100% directly related to the studies of something so expansive, so complicated and so completely unknown.