The evening had been going excellently until one of the control room computers produced an unsettling “bloonk” noise, prompting the telescope operator — the only other person with me on the mountain — to freeze in her seat. When I asked what was up, she cautiously informed me that one of the mechanized supports holding up a mirror had just failed, but “it’s okay, I think the mirror is still on the telescope…”
“Yeah. If it wasn’t we would have heard a crash.”
Lab Girl meets Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,
The Last Stargazers follows astronomer Emily Levesque around the world as she celebrates the ragtag group of heroes behind the telescope.
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.
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If you’ve ever wondered what astronomers do–what they really do–and the human journey from the era of eyepieces to gigantic robotic cameras, The Last Stargazers puts you there with compelling honesty, following the scientists and students with hundred-ton telescopes as backdrop.
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.
Through captivating stories, Levesque gives us both a vivid and accessible inside look at the enigmatic mountain-top astronomers. A unique and engaging read.
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.
The perfect primer for a future astronomer or an amateur astronomy buff, it captures the highlights, lowlights, and day-to-day life of the professional stargazer.
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.
The awesome endeavours and intellectual adventures…of astronomers are gloriously portrayed from the mind of a wonderful practitioner, Emily Levesque. Her range of experiences and insights through the recent period of rapid developments and future planning in this progressive human effort gloriously reach out to everyone.
Emily Levesque depicts the adventurous life of professional hands-on astronomers…I have hugely enjoyed this book. It is engaging, humorous, full of quotes and stories of well-reputed colleagues