2024 Mandel Lecture-- The Last Stargazers: True Stories and Adventures of Astronomy

The Mandel Lecture promotes public awareness and appreciation for astronomy. This year's public lecture will feature Emily Levesque as the speaker, whos research explains how the largest (and weirdest!) stars in the universe evolve and die.

Have you ever gazed at the night sky and pondered its mysteries? Have you wondered if the universe has an end, what's inside a black hole, or if aliens are peering back at us from a nearby planet?

Would you brave blizzards, gunfire, earthquakes, and explosions to find out?

Astronomers adventure across the world's highest mountains and to the literal ends of the Earth in the hopes of answering some of humanity's oldest questions: "Who are we?" "Where did we come from?" "Are we alone?" Along the way, they grapple with everything from erupting volcanoes to marauding squirrels, facing a rapidly-changing night sky and a technological renaissance that's changing the very nature of how we study the stars. From a breathtaking flight through the Antarctic stratosphere to tall tales of wild bears loose in the observatory, this evening of storytelling and science will take you on a sweeping behind-the-scenes tour of today's most exciting astronomical discoveries, introduce you to the people who make them, and explore the evolving world of professional stargazing.


BIO: Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on how the most massive stars in the universe evolve and die and how technology is changing the stories we tell about science and the cosmos. She is currently a 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow.

Levesque was awarded the American Astronomical Society's 2014 Annie Jump Cannon Award, the 2020 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize for outstanding achievement in astronomical research, and the 2023 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award. She is also a 2015 Scialog Fellow, a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics, a 2018 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, a 2019 Cottrell Scholar, a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar. Her critically-acclaimed popular science book, The Last Stargazers, shares the tales of life as a professional scientist and explores the crucial role of human curiosity in a rapidly-changing field.

She received her PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii and her bachelors degree in physics from MIT.


Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30pm to 8:45pm

Rio Theatre

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