International body honours ‘Big Bang’ priest

International body honours ‘Big Bang’ priest Fr George Lemaître

The membership of the International Astronomical Union has voted to recommend that the name of a Belgian Catholic priest be added to the astronomical law explaining the expansion of the universe, or ‘Big Bang’.

Using an electronic voting system, the IAU passed a resolution to recommend renaming the ‘Hubble law’ as the Hubble-Lemaître Law. The law had been named after American astronomer Edwin Hubble, although Fr George Lemaître, a Belgian astronomer and priest, in 1927 first discovered the expanding universe – which also suggests a ‘Big Bang’.