Lucianne Walkowicz, PhD

Lucianne Walkowicz, PhD

Lucianne Walkowicz is an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She studies stellar magnetic activity and how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life. Walkowicz holds a B.S. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Washington. She was the Kepler Fellow at UC Berkeley, and the Henry Norris Russell Fellow at Princeton University, before joining the Astronomy Department at Adler Planetarium in 2014. She is a 2013 TED Senior Fellow, a 2011 National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, and has been internationally recognized for her advocacy for conservation of dark night skies.

Currently, Dr. Walkowicz 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. She appeared in Werner Herzog's 2016 documentary Lo and Behold.

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