Fr. Rigge, Astronomy, and the Black Hole

This week, NASA released the first photograph of a black hole in history. To celebrate this historic event, we wanted to share a piece of our collections as they pertain to astronomy.

Fr. William F. Rigge (1857-1927) was one of the first Jesuit scholastics at Creighton when the college first opened its doors in 1878. His older brother, Joseph F. Rigge, S.J. was responsible for the construction of the Creighton observatory – a structure that still sits on Creighton’s campus today in the Jesuit gardens, overlooking 24th Street. When Fr. Rigge returned to Creighton in 1896 after attending Georgetown University for his Ph.D., he would become well-known for his many publications on subjects like astronomy and mathematics. One of his favorite subjects to study and write about was eclipses. We can only wonder what his thoughts would have been on the NASA photo.


This is a photograph of Fr. Rigge we found recently from a collection of scrapbooks where he compiled articles written by or about him and his work. It comes from a newspaper clipping featuring well-known residents of Omaha at the time. If you want to learn more about Fr. Rigge and his many publications, click here for his page on our website.




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