June 24, 2023 ALP Astronomy Experts Speaker Series featuring Br. Robert Macke , S.J.

A talk on falling stars, ” Meteorites in the Vatican”

Please join us this June 24, 2023 (Saturday) at 8:30 pm Philippine Standard Time (8:30 am EDT, 12:30 UTC) for an online talk on meteorites by Br. Robert Macke, S.J. , Curator of the Vatican Meteorite Collection.


Brother Robert Macke S.J. is a research scientist and curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory. He received a bachelor of physics from MIT in 1996, then studied at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to receive a Master of Arts in physics in 1999. He taught astronomy for two years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio before entering the Jesuit order in 2001. As a Jesuit brother, he received a Master of Arts in philosophy from St. Louis University in 2006, and after a year teaching astronomy at Rockhurst University began work toward a Ph.D. in physics (planetary science specialty) at the University of Central Florida, which he completed in 2010. From 2011-2013, he studied for a Master of Theological Studies at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and then joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory in 2013. He became the curator of the Vatican Meteorite Collection in 2013. To date, he has been involved in numerous research collaborations, including membership in the science teams of the Lucy and the OSIRIS-REx space probes, and has applied his research techniques to a large number of moon rocks from the Apollo missions. Outside of research, he makes YouTube videos both for the Vatican Observatory and for his own channel, “Macke MakerSpace.”


The Vatican Observatory is a research institution with a long and proud tradition in the astronomical sciences. The work of the observatory, done by Jesuit scientists, serves as a sign to the world of the compatibility of faith and science as well as the Catholic Church’s support of science. In addition to traditional astronomy, the Jesuits of the observatory also study theoretical physics, planetary science, and laboratory work with meteorites. The Vatican collection of over 1,200 meteorite specimens is housed at the Vatican Observatory. Research with the meteorites focuses primarily on physical properties: density, porosity, magnetic susceptibility, and thermal properties. These measurements are not limited to the Vatican collection; through international collaborations, we also study other collections. I will also speak a little bit about the application of my work to the OSIRIS-REx space mission and the specimens from the asteroid Bennu that it is delivering to the Earth.

Register now for this free Zoom online talk using this link –


or by scanning the QR code below  using your cellphone camera.

After registration, check your registered e-mail for the Zoom meeting link. See you!