Montana State University

World-famous sky watcher to speak April 20 at MSU

April 9, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture by a world-famous sky watcher who has discovered 22 comets will be given at 4 p.m. Friday, April 20, in SUB Ballroom A of Montana State University's Strand Union Building.

David Levy of the Jarnac Observatory, Inc. will present "A Nightwatchman's Journey: My Adventures as a Comet Discoverer and Sky Watcher."

Levy, who is also the president of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. Along with Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker, Levy discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That episode produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Ariz., but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.

In addition to his lecture, Levy will be the featured speaker at the Museum of the Rockies' Astronomy Day. He will present "Poetry of the Night: Finding a Relationship Between Literature and the Night Sky" at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in the Hager Auditorium.

Levy's lecture is sponsored by the MSU Department of Physics and the Montana Space Grant Consortium, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students in order to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to enhance the research connections.

For more information about this and other L and S Distinguished Speakers Series lectures, visit or call (406) 994-4288.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or