Across the Universe: Three Lunatic Answers

Sacred Space Astronomy | 7/18/2019 | Br. Guy Consolmagno
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This column first ran in The Tablet in July 2009. We first ran it here in 2016.

As everyone has been told, countless times this month, July 20 – the 21st, in Rome – marks the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon. Here are a few lunar topics probably not covered by most folks remembering that event...

Photo - Pope - Paul - VI - Apollo

I saw a photo of Pope Paul VI looking at the Apollo 11 Moon landing through a telescope. Why didn’t he watch it on TV like everyone else? For the Moon landings, world leaders were invited to address the astronauts on a world-wide television link-up, and the Pope read his greetings (in front of a TV) from the Vatican Observatory dome in Castel Gandolfo (in the gardens near the Pope's summer palace). In fact, the system of geosynchronous satellites to send TV pictures live around the world was still pretty new; those of us of a certain age can remember the Beatles introducing All You Need is Love on one of the first Europe/North America TV link-ups, in 1967.

Afterwards, the Pope looked at the Moon through the small finder scope attached to that telescope; that’s the picture all the papers ran. The big telescope itself was actually a camera designed to photograph the sky, with no eyepiece to look through. The Pope’s view of the Moon through the finder scope was delightful, no doubt, but there was no way that even the biggest telescope on Earth could have seen the astronauts themselves. Interestingly, NASA has an orbiter around the Moon now that has imaged the Apollo sites; the landers are still there!

Religion - Moon - Discussions - God - Imminence

Is there religion on the Moon? Theological discussions of God’s imminence and transcendence aside, the Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin did bring with him the communion species from...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Sacred Space Astronomy
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