Book of the Month April 2023

The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers

by Emily Levesque

Review by https://thelaststargazers.com/

The story of the people who see beyond the stars

 

Humans from the earliest civilizations were spellbound by the night sky-craning their necks each night, they used the stars to orient themselves in the large, strange world around them. Stargazing is a pursuit that continues to fascinate us: from Copernicus to Carl Sagan, astronomers throughout history have spent their lives trying to answer the biggest questions in the universe. Now, award-winning astronomer Emily Levesque shares the stories of modern-day stargazers, the people willing to adventure across high mountaintops and to some of the most remote corners of the planet, all in the name of science.

In The Last Stargazers, Levesque takes readers inside the most powerful telescopes in the world and introduces them to the people who run them. She also explores the future of one of the most ancient and inspiring scientific disciplines as we gain the ability to see farther beyond our planet than ever before while relying increasingly on code and computers to study the stars.

From the lonely quiet of midnight stargazing to tall tales of wild bears loose in the observatory, The Last Stargazers is a love letter to astronomy and an affirmation of the crucial role that humans can and must play in the future of scientific discovery.

Dr. Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. Her research is focused on understanding how the most massive stars in the universe evolve and die. She has observed for upward 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. 

This book will be available at the conclusion of the April 17th RASC meeting.  The Lamplighter Library is just off the main entrance to the Zeidler Dome and is open before and after our meetings.

Librarian