David Levy

(1948-) Possibly the RASC's most famous member and most active observer. Received the Chant Medal in 1980 and the Simon Newcomb Award in 2002.

DAVID LEVY (1948-) began studying Physics at McGill and Geology at Acadia before switching to English Literature in which field he got his M.A. degree from Queen's University in 1979. His love of Astronomy sprang from summer evenings at his grandfather's cottage on Jarnac Pond, deep in the Laurentians northwest of Montreal, and his observing skill was honed by membership in Montreal Centre's Observing Group. Starting in 1965, he was a keen but unsuccessful searcher of novas and comets, and a diligent observer of meteors, Messier objects and variable stars. By the time he received the Chant Medal in 1980, David Levy had become the most prolific observer in the AAVSO, with over 10,000 estimates made in one year.

Levy has always enthusiastically shared his love of the sky with others from children at camp to inmates in prisons. He edited Montreal's newsletter, Skyward, spoke at meetings of Halifax Centre while he was a member there, and designed and gave a 12-week course for the benefit of Kingston Centre. He has written regular columns for several magazines, including Sky and Telescope and the RASC National Newsletter and is the author of a number of books, The Joy of Gazing, The Universe for Children, The Sky:. A User's Guide, some topical observing guides and recent biographies of Clyde Tombaugh and Bart Bok.

In search of darker skies and a better climate, Levy moved to Arizona in 1980. He made his first visual comet discovery in 1984 after 19 years of fruitless searching. He now has seven comets to his credit and eleven more shared with the Shoemakers as an Observer for the Palomar Asteroid and Comet Survey. He has received awards from the Astronomical League, the Western Amateur Astronomers, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, the ASP and in 1988 the IAU named an asteroid in his honour.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading


Above: David Levy in Kingston during his 2013 speaking tour.
Levy, David