Asteroid under his belt - eminent Jesuit astronomer has galactic rock named after him

Fr Chris Corbally, 74, is a British Jesuit originally from London but has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1983. He has just had an asteroid named after him.

The asteroid, designated 119248 Corbally, measures approximately 1 mile across in size and was discovered in 2001 by Roy Tucker, a retired senior engineer who had worked closely with Vatican astronomers.

Fr Corbally has a wide range of research interests spanning decades. These include multiple star systems, stellar spectral classification, activity in solar-type stars, galactic structure and star formation regions and telescope technology. His current research focuses on the characteristics of human sentience in the context of evolution.

Naming an asteroid requires approval from a committee of the International Astronomical Union. Of this honour, Fr Corbally said: “I’m not a kind of asteroid guy. For me it came as a complete surprise. That’s why it’s kind of nice.”

To read about this story in more detail, click on The Dialog article here.

For a list of asteroids named for Jesuits click here

[Story credit: The Dialog]

[CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec]