Bill Keel

Bill Keel is a University of Alabama astronomer, with research interests encompassing the sweep of cosmic evolution. The move of astronomy to increased reliance on spaceborne facilities has come to mingle these research goals with particular concern for spacecraft and the development of space technology. Keel has appeared at nine Dragon Cons, on topics ranging from the first appearance of stars in the infant Universe to comparison of robotic versus astronaut options for servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. He has been fortunate enough to obtain data using many space-based as well as ground-based instruments. He has been called on to participate in the NASA proposal reviews for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, as well as mission concepts and extensions for astrophysics satellites. Keel's book The Sky at Einstein's Feet celebrated the penetrating role that the insights of relativity have played in the last century of astronomical discovery. His latest research coup has involved the GalaxyZoo public-participation sky survey. Since 2007 he has run Live Astronomy overnight sessions at Dragon Con, using remotely operated telescopes in Arizona and Chile; one of these was described by a blogger in attendance as run by "the science teacher you always wished you had". He was a writer on 2010 and 2012 NASA-funded print and webcomics, each premiered at Dragon Con, and has gone as far afield as Cuba to promote public understanding of the Universe.