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The Last Stargazers : The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers
by Emily Levesque




Overview -

The story of the people who see beyond the stars--an astronomy book for adults still spellbound by the night sky.

Humans from the earliest civilizations through today have craned their necks each night, using 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 in this new nonfiction release, 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.

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.

In this sweeping work of narrative science, Levesque shows how astronomers in this scrappy and evolving field are going beyond the machines to infuse creativity and passion into the stars and space and inspires us all to peer skyward in pursuit of the universe's secrets.

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More About The Last Stargazers by Emily Levesque

 
 
 

Overview

The story of the people who see beyond the stars--an astronomy book for adults still spellbound by the night sky.

Humans from the earliest civilizations through today have craned their necks each night, using 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 in this new nonfiction release, 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.

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.

In this sweeping work of narrative science, Levesque shows how astronomers in this scrappy and evolving field are going beyond the machines to infuse creativity and passion into the stars and space and inspires us all to peer skyward in pursuit of the universe's secrets.


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781492681076
  • ISBN-10: 1492681075
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publish Date: August 2020
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Last Stargazers

Emily Levesque, an astronomy professor at the University of Washington, trains her gaze on humans’ fascination with the stars in this engaging look at the field of astronomy and its practitioners who strive to enrich our understanding of the universe. Like many astronomers, Levesque traces her determination to study space to early childhood, when as a toddler in 1986 she caught a glimpse of Halley’s comet through the family’s backyard telescope. From that moment on, Levesque was hooked, even though she had little notion of precisely what professional astronomers do—or the obstacles she might encounter as a young female researcher in a male-dominated field. 

In her first book for a general audience, Levesque sets out to illuminate her chosen field, often using humorous or dramatic personal anecdotes to explicate the research process, the history of astronomy and how telescopes actually work. This is no dry technical narrative. Levesque knows how to tell a story, and her conversational style and clear, easygoing prose bring readers into the action, whether it’s her own first experience of a total eclipse or another astronomer’s discovery of a supernova with the naked eye. Readers will learn what it takes to be granted access to a single night of observation at one of the world’s premier telescopes or to ride along in NASA’s flying SOFIA telescope—and what happens when things go wrong. This is also an introduction to the community of astronomers working today, many of whom Levesque interviewed for her book and whose stories help make her narrative shine. She even devotes a section to how technology may change the field for future astronomers. 

While astronomy is an incredibly precise and technical field, the professional astronomers Levesque interviewed could almost always link their desire to explore the universe to a vivid moment of awe and wonder. Something, Levesque concludes, “drives us to reach outward and upward into the vast cosmos before us simply because we must.” Immensely informative and inspiring, The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers is the perfect complement to a summer night under the stars.

 

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