This is a cool first!
If you didn’t know already, Google regularly changes the graphic on their main page to honor people or events. The new graphics are called “Google Doodles” (you can see an archive of all past Doodles here).
And today, Google honored a Catholic priest for the first time: Jesuit priest and scientist Fr. Georges Lemaître!
Here’s the Doodle:
Google has a page in their Doodle archives explaining why they chose to honor Fr. Georges Lemaître. Fr. Georges Lemaître became world famous in the early 20th century for being the first person to propose the Big Bang Theory.
As Google explains:
“Most people have heard of the Big Bang theory, but fewer recognize the name Georges Lemaître, the man who came up with the hypothesis that transformed our understanding of astrophysics. Born on this day in 1894, Lemaître was a Belgian Catholic priest who proposed that the universe began as a single primordial atom, which he referred to as the ‘Cosmic Egg.’
“Although his thesis was based on calculations derived from Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, Einstein initially dismissed Lemaître’s work, remarking, ‘Your calculations are correct, but your physics is atrocious.’ Two years later Einstein changed his mind.”
Google decided to honor him because today would be his 124th birthday.
Here’s a picture of Fr. Georges Lemaître with Albert Einstein:
Note: If you’re checking Google.com right now and not seeing Fr. Georges Lemaître, it’s because the doodles only show up in certain parts of the world depending on the topic, based on who Google things the Doodle is most relevant to. But anyone can see the Google Doodle archive page honoring Fr. Georges Lemaître.