Created by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, the Vatican Observatory is more than stating: "Hey, we're really sorry about that Galileo guy...". The observatory actually gathers valuable research on observations of galaxy structure and stellar evolution through its team of Jesuit astronomers, even possessing one of the worlds best meteorite collections which also contains bits of Mars. Since 1993 it has been located on Mount Graham, 75 miles east of Tuscon, Arizona.

In the 1700s, the first three observatories were built in and around Rome. In the 1930s, because of light pollution, the observatory within the Vatican City was forced to relocate to the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills, 15 miles southeast of the capital. Ironically, this was the villa of Pope Urban VIII, during whose papacy Galileo was tried as a heretic. The growing population and further growing pollution finally forced the relocation of the observatory to Arizona. These days, the 12 scientists attached to it either work there or in Castel Gandolfo, processing data from the telescope or researching the meteorites.