Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, studying starspots and "the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares."

Why you should listen

Lucianne Walkowicz studies the inscrutable faces of the stars for clues to the inner workings of their hearts. She got her taste for astronomy as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins, testing detectors for the Hubble Space Telescope’s new camera (installed in 2002). She also learned to love the dark stellar denizens of our galaxy, the red dwarfs, which became the topic of her PhD dissertation at University of Washington. Nowadays, she works on NASA’s Kepler mission, studying starspots and the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares to understand stellar magnetic fields. She is particularly interested in how the high energy radiation from stars influences the habitability of planets around alien suns. Lucianne is also a leader in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a new project that will scan the sky every night for 10 years to create a huge cosmic movie of our Universe.

What others say

“Walkowicz's project is also working to understand the nature of dark energy ("We're going to find things we don't understand") ...” — David Rowan, Wired UK

Lucianne Walkowicz’s TED talks

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Live from TED

On blazars, quantum computers, and looking for life on Mars: A recap of TEDFellows Session 1 at TED2015

March 17, 2015

TED Fellows and Senior Fellows have just opened TED2015 with a bang in the beautiful Kay Meek theatre in Vancouver. In the first session, discover: how bacteria can be programmed to detect and treat cancer, a yellow legal pad that smuggles transgressive data into the halls of power, what makes non-state armed groups tick, hyperactive supermassive black […]

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