I spotted a cool article at CNS about four Italian sisters who helped to map a half million stars for the Vatican’s part in a vast mapping project.
Mapping with the stars: Nuns instrumental in Vatican celestial survey
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Of the many momentous or menial tasks women religious perform, one of the better-kept secrets has been the role of four Sisters of the Holy Child Mary who were part of a global effort to make a complete map and catalog of the starry skies.
Up until recently, the women were no more than nameless nuns whose image has long been preserved in a black and white photograph that showed them wearing impeccably ironed habits and leaning over special microscopes and a ledger.
But now their identities have been pulled out of obscurity by Jesuit Father Sabino Maffeo, assistant to the director of the Vatican Observatory. He stumbled onto their names as he was going through the observatory archives, “putting papers in order,” he told Catholic News Service April 26.
Sisters Emilia Ponzoni, Regina Colombo, Concetta Finardi and Luigia Panceri, all born in the late 1800s and from the northern Lombardy region near Milan, helped map and catalog nearly half a million stars for the Vatican’s part in an international survey of the night sky.
Top astronomers from around the world met in Paris in 1887 and again in 1889 to coordinate the creation of a photographic “Celestial Map” (“Carte du Ciel”) and an “astrographic” catalog pinpointing the stars’ positions.
Italian astronomer and meteorologist, Barnabite Father Francesco Denza, easily convinced Pope Leo XIII to let the Holy See take part in the initiative, which assigned participating observatories a specific slice of the sky to photograph, map and catalog.
Read the rest there.
Frankly, many women religious would do better to do things like this than the antics they are up to these days.