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December 28, 2008  Guest David Levy
The Christmas Star

David H. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history.  He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes.  With Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California he 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, Arizona but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.

Levy is the author or editor of 35 books and other products.  He won an Emmy in 1998 as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary, "Three Minutes to Impact."   As the Science Editor for Parade Magazine, he is able to reach more than 80 million readers, almost a quarter of the population of the United States. A contributing editor for Sky and Telescope Magazine, he writes its monthly "Star Trails" column, and his "Nightfall" feature appears in each issue of the Canadian Magazine Skynews.

David Levy has given more than 1000 lectures and major interviews, and has appeared on many television programs, such as the Today show (4 times), Good Morning America (twice), the National Geographic special  Asteroids: Deadly Impact, and ABC's World News Tonight, where he and the Shoemakers were named Persons of the Week for July 22, 1994. Also, Levy has done nationally broadcast testimonials for PBS (1995-present), and for the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon (1998-1999). He and his wife Wendee (pictured above) host a weekly radio show available worldwide at In 2004 he was the Senator John Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Arizona State University. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, and asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor.

Levy is President of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, an organization intended to inspire new generations to develop an inquiring interest in the sciences, or in other words, to reach for the stars.

Levy resides in Vail, Arizona, with his wife, Wendee.  After teaching Physical Education in the Las Cruces school district for 26 years, in 1996 Wendee became the manager of Jarnac Observatory, and was promoted to Director in 2004.  Wendee is an integral part of our Jarnac Comet Survey, helping to organize the program and scan the images. As Secretary-Treasurer of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, Wendee plays a vital role in its activities.


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