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Vatican’s robotic future is promising
Right now, in April 2024, the Vatican’s flagship telescope is being transformed into a fully automated, robotic telescope.

Last year, the Vatican Observatory celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), located on Mt. Graham in Arizona (USA). The VATT’s name comes from its radical design, now found in the world’s largest telescopes (actually, the VATT’s full, proper name is the Alice P. Lennon Telescope, housed in the Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility). Now the Observatory is transforming the VATT for the future.

When looking to the future in science, it would be ideal to be able to decide what we want to explore, and then obtain the right equipment for that. That’s “purpose-driven” science. But the reality is often that we have existing equipment, and we have to decide what we can explore with what we have. That could be called “equipment-driven” science. The robotization of the VATT bridges these two. We are transforming our existing observatory, which already boasts excellent telescope optics and a location with outstanding atmospheric quality for astronomical research, so that in the future we can do the research that we want to do, and attract collaborators interested in joining us.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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