Video transcript of meeting

The Last Stargazers – Dr. Emily M Levesque – intro by David Lee

A bird that mimicked a black hole. The astronomer that discovered microwave ovens. A telescope that got shot. The science of astronomy is filled with true stories (and tall tales) of the adventures and misadventures that accompany our exploration of the universe. Join Dr. Emily Levesque, author of the new popular science book The Last Stargazers, to take a behind-the-scenes tour of life as a professional astronomer. We’ll learn about some of the most powerful telescopes in the world, meet the people who run them, and explore the crucial role of human curiosity in the past, present, and future of scientific discovery.

Dr. Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. Her work explores how the most massive stars in the universe evolve and die. She has observed for upwards of fifty nights on many of the planet’s largest telescopes and flown over the Antarctic stratosphere in an experimental aircraft for her research. Her academic accolades include the 2014 Annie Jump Cannon Award, a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a 2019 Cottrell Scholar Award, and the 2020 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii.

  • The Last Stargazers – recently published popular book
    • Subaru Telescope fault – first story in the book
    • Role models for professional astronomers
    • Interviewed her fellow astronomers for their stories, including Dr. Elizabeth Griffin from the DAO
    • McDonald Observatory – 107 inch telescope mirror that was shot at
    • Parkes Observatory – Mysterious radio bursts – paper authored by Petroff et al. 2015
    • Green Bank Observatory – radio noise from squirrel trackers
    • Laser Interferometer Gravitation-Wave Observatory (LIGO) – gravitational wave detection and thirsty ravens
    • SOFIA airborne telescope
    • High altitude balloons and rockets
    • Solar Eclipse observation from Svalgaard, Norway
    • South Pole Telescope
    • George Carruthers – inventor of the IR camera taken to the Moon on Apollo 16 mission
    • Manastash RIdge Observatory – UW grad student Doug Geisler’s observing log for May 18, 1980
    • Change of technology for data capture from photographic plates to CCD digital cameras
    • Vera C. Rubin Observatory – time series survey observations
    • Q&A
  • Edmonton astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • LBN 438 Nebula in Lacerta – Abdur Anwar
    • Nova Cass – Abdur Anwar
    • IC 410 in Auriga – Tom Owen
  • Lauri Roche
  • Lunar Eclipse – Nov 18-19
  • Global Star Party – starting at 4:00PM Nov 16th – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman and Lauri Roche will appear at about 4:30PM, DAO virtual tour (more interactive link & see the chat feed)
  • Dr. Robert Thirsk – Dec 13th – live online Astro Cafe event, but no recording will be made or posted
Astronomy Cafe – Nov 15, 2021
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