Known as "The Pope's Astronomer," Consolmagno was appointed by Pope Francis as Director of the Vatican Observatory in September 2015. He will visit Christchurch as part of his nationwide tour with the Catholic Enquiry Centre.

Brother Guy is a leading scientist both inside and outside the Catholic Church. Consolmagno obtained his S.B. (1974) and S.M. (1975) degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD (1978) at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, all in planetary science.

After postdoctoral research and teaching at Harvard College Observatory and MIT, in 1983 he joined the US Peace Corps to serve in Kenya for two years, teaching astronomy and physics.

In 1989 he entered the Society of Jesus and took vows as a brother in 1991. On entry into the order, he was assigned as astronomer to the prestigious Vatican Space Observatory, where he also serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection, a position he has since held. During 1996, he took part in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites, ANSMET, where he discovered a number of meteorites on the ice fields of Antarctica.

Brother Guy is looking forward to visiting New Zealand, having an appreciation for our commitment to Astronomy, our position as the gateway to Antarctica and for the scenery of Lord of the Rings.