83:Emily Levesque: Will Today’s Astronomers Be The Last Stargazers?


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When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer BY WALT WHITMAN

When I heard the learn’d astronomer, When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me, When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Watch Emily's TEDx https://youtu.be/DGfBzkCay5M

To be an astronomer is to journey to some of the most inaccessible parts of the globe, braving mountain passes, sub-zero temperatures, and hostile flora and fauna. Not to mention the stress of handling equipment worth millions. It is a life of unique delights and absurdities … and one that may be drawing to a close. Since Galileo first pointed his telescope at the heavens, astronomy has stood as a fount of human creativity and discovery, but soon it will be the robots gazing at the sky while we are left to sift through the data. In The Last Stargazers, Emily Levesque reveals the hidden world of the professional astronomer. She celebrates an era of ingenuity and curiosity, and asks us to think twice before we cast aside our sense of wonder at the universe.

Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. She has won the American Astronomical Society's Annie Jump Cannon Prize and been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. She is the author of two academic works on astrophysics and has written for Physics Today. She lives in Seattle.

Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/emsque

REVIEWS of the Last Stargazers

'The Last Stargazers is perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what it's like to actually be an astronomer, or who has dreamt of staring up at the stars. Amidst the stories of mishaps and mistakes is a surprisingly romantic view of the glory of exploration, taken one dark night at a time.' - Dr Chris Lintott, BBC Sky At Night

'Through captivating stories, Levesque gives us both a vivid and accessible inside look at the enigmatic mountain-top astronomers. A unique and engaging read.' - Dr. Sara Seager, professor of astronomy at MIT

'Emily's book is a compulsive read. It demonstrates what being an observational astronomer is really like—the highs, the lows, and the unscheduled things that can happen at telescopes around the world! Give this book to every young person (especially the girls!) that you know who likes math and science.' - Jocelyn Bell Burnell, astrophysicist at Oxford University

'Astronomy is dangerous. Wild (sometimes venomous) animals, thin air, heavy equipment, hazardous chemicals . . . Dr. Levesque captures all this with amusement and personal experience, making this a delightful read for everyone.' - Phil Plait, astronomer and author of Bad Astronomy

'This will particularly appeal to young women interested in science, but any stargazer would enjoy this joyous adventure through modern astronomy.' - Publishers Weekly

'It's like catching a glimpse of the magic behind the curtain galaxies away, and leaves you hanging on every spectacular word. A must read for anyone who has looked up at the sky and felt a sense of wonder, as well as those considering the world of astrophysics and astronomy.' - Tamara Robertson, host of Mythbusters: The Search, STEM speaker

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