‘lucifer’ telescope built next to vatican’s arizona observatory

'lucifer' telescope built next to vatican's arizona observatoryfrom popsci: A new instrument with an evil-sounding name is helping scientists see how stars are born. Lucifer, which stands for (deep breath) "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research," is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star." But it wasn't meant to evoke him, according to a spokesman for the University of Arizona, where it is housed.

The instrument is chilled to -213 Celsius, about -351 F, to allow for near-infrared observations. That wavelength is important for understanding star and planet formation, as well as observing very distant and very young galaxies. Lucifer has three interchangeable cameras for imaging and spectroscopy in different resolutions. It has a large field of view and high-res capabilities, which allow a wide range of observations.

Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope, which happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson. That's right, the Vatican has an observatory in Arizona, manned by Jesuit astronomers. Now its next-door neighbor is named for the Devil.


  1. Bad manners, bad neighbour, bad idea. Not cute, issues of "spiriuality" your neighbour takes very seriously. Less than civilized consideration is unworthy of the University of Arizonia.

  2. Give it up Gordon, the use of the acronym "lucifer" is very intelligently put together and appropriate since Lucifer means light bearer as in luminary,luminescent.
    I may disagree with Catholic dogma but KUDOS to the Catholics for being open minded as to the origin of life, the universe,very much unlike the closed mindedness of Fundamentalism.

  3. i am a catholic this shows that the church has secret Satanists in it. to name it Lucifer is wicked beyond belief how dare they name it after the enemy of god and of our souls. disgusting. much like most of the heretical things coming form the Vatican this last 30 years.

  4. Lucifer means Son of the Morning, Morning Star or Crescent Moon – Isaiah 14:12. Get it right or get out!

  5. The name they gave to this Telescope reflects where the Catholic church is headed. I don't care what it was "intended" or not "intended" to mean. Nameing ANYTHING "Lucifer" within the confines of the Catholic church is Blasphemy. What about the guy behind the curtain? "IGNORE HIM, MORTAL!" Don't fall for this BS!!!

  6. Look how many stupid people comment here, and did not even bother to read that it has nothing to do with the Catholic Churches Observatory.

  7. Well, anony of thursday May 30, when anti-Catholics are in their frenzies, they certainly don't want truth to get in the way of a good sweaty rant. For those of us who can (1) actually read and comprehend the written word, and (2) prefer to think before we speak / write , such commenters are merely the latest incarnation of Buffoons On Parade.

  8. have any of you idiots even read this post?? it proves people see what they want…the heading reads.. NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOURS TO VATICAN ARE CALLED LUCIFER… it doesnt say the vaticans telescope is called lucifer… fools read and then comment

  9. Matthew 5:43-44: So the ranters here want to say God hates one of His creations, or just that THEY do? Don't you think 'the most beautiful angel' might have found some forgiveness in the eyes of his Creator by now? The rancor spewed here shows who's image you're actually emulating. Critical thinking, folks. Use your head for something besides than a hat rack.

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