Famous astronomer Dr. Levy at SSP16 in Haifa


Although fascinated by astronomy from his childhood onwards in Canada, David Levy decided to study English literature in parallel with his astronomy activities.

The combination of both has made him obviously an excellent science writer, with not less than 34 books written, among which The Quest for Comets in 2006.

Another example of this unique combination was his Ph. D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his successful completion of his thesis "The Sky in Early Modern English Literature: A Study of Allusions to Celestial Events in Elizabethan and Jacobean Writing, 1572–1620."

Dr. Levy became internationally renowned for his co-discovery in 1993 of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with the planet Jupiter in 1994.  He described this, and other discoveries, in his presentation at SSP16 in Haifa with the title “A Nightwatchman’s Journey”.

Dr. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 21 comets, eight of them using his own backyard telescopes. His discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, with Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California, produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system.

Periodic comets that David Levy co-discovered include 118P/Shoemaker–Levy, 129P/Shoemaker–Levy, 135P/Shoemaker–Levy, 137P/Shoemaker–Levy, 138P/Shoemaker–Levy, 145P/Shoemaker–Levy, and 181P/Shoemaker–Levy. In addition, Levy is the sole discoverer of two periodic comets: 255P/Levy and P/1991 L3.

It goes without saying that the SSP16 participants were delighted to learn about the way these discoveries were made by the famous astronomer himself!