Dr. Emily Levesque is an astronomer, professor, and author whose research is focused on understanding how the most massive stars in the universe evolve and die. In 2014 she led a research group in discovering a completely new type of star known as a Thorne-Zytkow object, a luminous star supported by a dead stellar core that had been predicted by stellar theory nearly forty years earlier but never observed. She has observed for upwards of 50 nights on many of the planet's largest telescopes and flown over the Antarctic stratosphere in an experimental aircraft for her research.
In 2014 Emily was awarded the Annie Jump Cannon Prize by the American Astronomical Society. In 2019 she was granted the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage by the Trinity College University Philosophical Society. She is also a 2015 Scialog Fellow, a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics, a 2018 Kavli Fellow, and was chosen as one of twenty-four Cottrell Scholars nation-wide in 2019. She received her bachelors degree in physics from MIT and her PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington.
Emily's upcoming popular science book, "The Last Stargazers", introduces readers to how modern observatories are run, shares some of the many incredible stories behind what it’s like to work at a telescope, and reveals the transformative developments in astronomy's immediate future. Her book will be published by Sourcebooks in August of 2020.
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]