Tag Archives: moon

Stop mooning cuz there’s no Catholic joke. Here’s one for you:

August 10, 2011


Astronomers recently concluded that, if there ever was a church on the moon, it most likely closed because, while the silence was conducive to a reverent celebration of liturgy, the place just had no atmosphere.


We’ve stepped up the video presence on our website thanks to Catholic News Service.

Click on http://thecatholicspirit.com/videonews/ to get the latest news each day.

This page is the larger screen; a small screen is on the home page at http://www.TheCatholicSpirit. Good video piece in  “Survivor founds museum.” And for an interesting feature story, click on “Telling Time in Rome.” Bet you didn’t know all the cool stuff about Vatican City and St. Peter’s Square.

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Can you hear me now? Pope to make long distance call to space

May 19, 2011


International Space Station

On Saturday at 1:11 p.m. Rome time (6:11 a.m. Minnesota time), Pope Benedict XVI will speak live via satellite with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The event, meant to honor the last flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, will be streamed on the Internet at the Vatican Radio-CTV site, according to the Holy See Press Office.

There are 12 astronauts aboard the space station, including Col. Roberto Vittori, an Italian who is part of the Endeavour’s crew and who is carrying a silver medal from the pope, Vatican Radio said.

Endeavour, which launched May 16 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida,  is scheduled to return to earth June 1.

While Vatican Radio said the communication by Pope Benedict would mark the first time a pope converses with astronauts while they are in space, it is not the first time a pope has sent a message to astronauts.

Pope Paul VI sent a note to the Apollo 11 astronauts — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin — to celebrate the first moon landing in 1969.

“Honor, greetings and blessings to you, conquerors of the moon, pale lamp of our nights and our dreams,” Pope Paul told them, according to a Catholic News Service story from 2009 marking the event’s 40th anniversary.

The pope also met with the astronauts later that year at the Vatican.

“Man has a natural urge to explore the unknown, to know the unknown; yet man has also a fear of the unknown,” he told them. “Your bravery has transcended this fear and through your intrepid adventure man has taken another step toward knowing more of the universe.”

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‘Supermoon’ will rise tonight, but don’t get too excited

March 19, 2011


CNS photo / Andy Clark, Reuters

News has been circulating around the Internet in the last several days that tonight’s full moon — March 19 — will make a very close approach to earth and appear bigger and brighter than it has in 18 years. Some are dubbing it the “supermoon.”

Is it true? Or it is another false claim like last summer’s eye-roller that Mars was moving in its orbit close enough to earth to appear as big as the full moon?

This time, rest assured, the news is true. But don’t expect to see anything worth dragging your family and friends outside to see.

Tonight’s moon is at perigee — the point in its orbit when it’s closest to earth. It will be about 31,000 miles closer than when it’s at the farthest point in its elliptical orbit, called apogee. It’s a fairly rare event for the full moon to coincide with perigee.

But it really won’t look much different in the sky. Compared to last month’s full moon, it will appear just 2 percent bigger in diameter, according to Sky & Telescope magazine. Compared to a full moon at apogee, it will appear about 14 percent bigger — somewhat noticeable, but still not eye-poppingly different.

And, one rumor regarding the ‘supermoon,’ is not true: Geologists say concerns that tidal forces tonight will lead to major earthquakes and other natural disasters are unfounded.

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