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. Dr. Levesque, who interviewed over 100 astronomers for her well-reviewed popular book, The Last Stargazers, takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of life as a professional astronomer. We learn about some of the most powerful telescopes in the world and their cutting-edge discoveries, meet the people behind the science, and explore the crucial role of human curiosity and innovation in the past, present, and future of scientific discovery. (Recorded on Oct. 20, 2021)
Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. 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.