Dr. Alex Filippenko, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkeley, is addicted to observing total solar eclipses, having experienced 18 of them — including one in March 2015, aboard an airplane high above the North Atlantic Ocean, as part of a Cal Discoveries Travel trip. He is well known for his ability to make complex ideas accessible and entertaining. Winner of the most prestigious teaching awards at UC Berkeley and voted the “Best Professor” on campus a record 9 times, he was named the National Professor of the Year in 2006. In 2022, the American Astronomical Society awarded him its Education Prize. He has produced 5 astronomy video series with The Great Courses, coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appears in more than 120 TV documentaries.
An elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Alex is one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers. His primary areas of research, in which he is a leading authority, are exploding stars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, active galaxies, and the expansion of the Universe. He is the recipient of numerous prizes for his scientific research, and was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the Universe, propelled by mysterious “dark energy.” This discovery was honored with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to the teams’ leaders and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to all team members. He was one of only two recipients of Caltech’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.
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Our Tour Lecturers
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