News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

TED Radio Hour

Emily Levesque: How Have Telescopes Transformed Our Understanding Of The Universe?


dennis wise, Dennis Wise / University of Washington

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Through The Looking Glass

Astronomers once gazed at the night sky and charted the stars using their naked eyes. Astrophysicist Emily Levesque describes how generations of telescopes have unlocked the wonders of the universe.

About Emily Levesque

Emily Levesque is an astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at the University of Washington, where she leads a research project on dying stars.

Previously, in 2014, Levesque led a research group that discovered a new type of star known as a Thorne-Zytkow object. She is the author of the popular science book The Last Stargazers, as well as two textbooks on the physics of stars. Levesque is the recipient of the 2020 Newton Lacy Pierce prize and the 2014 Annie Jump Cannon award from the American Astronomical Society. She's also a 2019 Cottrell Scholar and a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics.

From 2010 to 2015, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii and her B.S. in Physics from MIT.

Support comes from

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.