Ian O’Riley ’24
Unlike most science classes at Brophy, the astronomy class, taught by Fr. Juan Pablo Marrufo Del Toro, is a semester-long class where students observe the stars monthly and have common trips to Manresa, where they can sleep and play games with their best friends before returning to Brophy the day after.
This class is only a single semester, and it meets during sixth period. “It’s for anyone who enjoys looking at the sky or learning about the possibilities beyond our world,” said Fr. Del Toro. The astronomy class can be taken for an elective science credit, and it is for anyone who wants to learn about things they cannot see with just their eyes.
Fr. Del Toro said that the class takes trips up to Manresa on one Friday every month, where students can visit the Lowell Observatory and admire the Andromeda Galaxy or the Orion Nebula among many other celestial objects.
“It’s an amazing experience. It’s just not the same as seeing it on the screen,” said Fr. Del Toro.
It’s a unique class with experiences that other classes at Brophy just can’t offer. Some other classes, such as Government for sophomores or AP Seminar: Environmental Studies, which is for freshmen, offer trips, but no other class can offer the experience that astronomy does. Regardless of your class year, this class is available for anyone who wants to take it.
Fr. Del Toro said, “The class actually processes brand new data from space telescopes. In my first class, we found two new planets from the raw data.”
This class gives students the opportunity to find new planets. Fr. Del Toro mentioned that when they process data, students have the ability to find planets that space scientists haven’t found yet. There is raw unprocessed data that the class can access to find new planets.
Fr. Del Toro is leaving next year for Australia, but the class will still be around. It will have a new teacher, but the spirit of the class will remain the same.The Astronomy Class is open for anyone who wants to experience the world above them.