Chris Impey

Chris Impey

Distinguished Professor of Astronomy
Astronomer at the Steward Observatory
Portrait of Chris Impey


StellarScape Premiere
Sunday, March 13, 2p.m.

StellarScape Q&A with Producers
Sunday, March 13, 3p.m.

Surround Stage

Sunday, 3p.m., Q&A with StellarScape Producers Kay He, Chris Impey and Win Burleson

Go behind the scenes with the producers of an extraordinary new collaboration, StellarScape – an immersive multimedia story of a massive star, from its birth to its death, echoing the theme of darkness and light, just as we are stardust brought to life. StellarScape is an unprecedented combination of music, dance, and cinematography, blended with state-of-the-art data visualization and astrophysical simulation.

Exploring the Frontiers of Space in 3D VR

Experience the scope and scale of major telescopes and space missions. Explore some of the largest ground-based telescopes in the world, the Hubble and James Webb space-based telescope, and the OSIRIS-Rex asteroid sample mission. From a mountain side under a starry sky, all these instruments are gathered in one ‘virtual’ location, and if you look up, the asteroid Bennu feels like it’s directly in reach.

Black Hole Bites

Black holes take a bite out of space and time. Enjoy a series of bite-sized tours of their bizarre properties at your own pace in our digital oasis.

Black holes are endlessly fascinating. In the past few years, we’ve seen the first image of a black hole, one six billion times the mass of the Sun, and gravity waves have been detected from pairs of merging black holes, their space-time ripples reaching us after traveling for a billion years. Black holes range from a few times the mass of the Sun to behemoths a billion times more massive. Join Professor Chris Impey for a set of short tours of the jaw-dropping properties of these enigmatic objects. The bite sized lectures will cover “Bending Space and Time,” “Black Holes from Stellar Corpses,” “Black Holes as Gravity Engines,” “Black Holes and Space-Time Ripples,” and “Death by Black Hole.” The presenter’s most recent book is “Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes.”


Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona. He has 210 refereed publications on observational cosmology, galaxies, and quasars, and his research has been supported by $20 million in NASA and NSF grants. He has won eleven teaching awards and has taught three online classes with over 350,000 enrolled and 5 million minutes of video lectures watched. Chris Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society, and he has won its career Education Prize. He’s also been NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Carnegie Council’s Arizona Professor of the Year, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He has written 80 popular articles on cosmology, astrobiology and education, two textbooks, a novel called Shadow World, and nine popular science books: The Living Cosmos, How It Ends, Talking About Life, How It Began, Dreams of Other Worlds, Humble Before the Void, Beyond: The Future of Space Travel, Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes, and an upcoming book on exoplanets, Worlds Without End.