Astronomer Emily Levesque describes her adventures with the scrappy (and shrinking) crew of scientists working with stars and telescopes. She dissects both the romance and the real human curiosity that is so important to our exploration of space, showing how scientists are going beyond the machines to infuse important creativity and intimate passion into the stars.
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 ... the perfect complement to a summer night under the stars.
Levesque charts a course through the rapidly evolving field of astronomy. With humor and heart, she explains the basics of what astronomers do while relating dozens of entertaining anecdotes about her chosen field. She also makes a strong case for why humans should continue to study the skies ... Warm, engaging and packed with highly accessible science, The Last Stargazers is thoroughly entertaining and an impetus for readers to take up a little stargazing of their own.
... Levesque’s enthusiasm trumpets the industry of astronomy with profound salesmanship for a young scientist. Indeed her contagious excitement carries the reader through what might otherwise be a bombardment of facts about our universe that most of us are perfectly content not knowing ... She shares not only the triumphant gains, but also the embarrassments that come at the cutting edge of science ... Like most first-time authors, Levesque tries to cram too much into a book with too broad a focus. But her bubbling personality shines through the pages. Most assuredly, Levesque will write more books because she has a lot to say, and we still have a lot to learn.