Vatican Observatory Director: history of the Universe

2012-02-03 Vatican Radio

“Stories from another world” is the title of a major exhibition opening this spring in the Italian city of Pisa that was jointly organised by Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Physics Department of Pisa University and the Vatican Observatory. The exhibition seeks to show how mankind has gradually learnt over the ages to explore and learn more about the Universe that surrounds us, a Universe that is infinitely larger than was once thought.

Father Jose Funes is an astronomer and Director of the Vatican Observatory and he told Susy Hodges, that this exhibition (which will display to the public documentation, studies and research carried out over centuries) is “a wonderful opportunity” especially for young people . But given that at present we only know what 4 percent of the Universe is made up of, in terms of matter and energy, when are we likely to learn more about the remaining 96 percent? Father Funes says these are “open questions” and “who knows when we will know the answers.” What we do know, he continued, is that “the Universe is expanding and also that this expansion is accelerating.”

Listen to the full interview by Susy Hodges with Father Jose Funes: