National Catholic Reporter

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Meet the pope’s astronomer, who says he’d baptize an alien if given the chance


With Christmas just around the corner, Br. Guy Consolmagno gets a lot of questions this time of year about the star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to Jesus in the manger.

Consolmagno is an astronomer -- a planetary scientist for the Vatican observatory, in fact -- who specializes in asteroids and meteorites, the very sort that may well have been the famous “star” described in the Gospel of Matthew.

Preview: Fellowship bolsters senior's aspiration to bring science to Spanish-language TV


When Ana Aceves was 12 years old, she sat on her parents' front porch in Merced, Calif., looked up into the night sky and had an "out-of-body experience." She saw herself on her porch, then her city, state, planet and finally the stars.

It was then she knew exactly what she wanted to do, says the now 23-year-old senior at the University of California, Berkeley. "I ran into the house and told my mom I wanted to be an astrologer," she explained with a loud chuckle.

"I think you mean an astronomer," her mother corrected.



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November 20-December 3, 2015


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