Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health & Science

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

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.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

TED Radio Hour / NPR
/ TED Radio Hour / NPR
TED Radio Hour / NPR