Alex Filippenko

Renowned UC Berkeley astronomy researcher and professor Alex Filippenko will return to SVAF in 2024 to discuss new findings from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, including the exciting recent discovery that a huge planet 120 light years from Earth may be covered in water.

Filippenko will also again host the festival’s popular Stargazing on the Lawn event on Saturday night. Using his most powerful portable telescope, he will project images from space onto a screen while acting as our tour guide through deep space.

Anyone who has ever heard one of Filippenko’s funny and fast-paced talks will not be surprised to learn that he has won the most prestigious teaching awards at UC Berkeley and been voted the “Best Professor” on campus a record nine times. He was one of the festival’s most popular past speakers and he’s joining us in Sonoma again in 2024 to take us on a breathtaking grand tour of the universe.

Filippenko is the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the universe, a discovery that was honored with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to the teams’ leaders, as well as the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to all team members.

One of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, Filippenko is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as an elected American Astronomical Society Fellow. His scientific accomplishments, documented in more than 1100 research papers, have been recognized with numerous prizes.  In addition to writing and teaching a 96-half hour lecture series on DVD called Understanding the Universe, Filippenko’s other video courses include Black Holes Explained and Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders. He also co-authored the award-winning introductory textbook The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium.

Buy Alex Filippenko’s book

Other 2024 Authors & Speakers