Chris Lintott

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Christopher John Lintott
Chris Lintot SIUE.jpg
Born 1980 (age 33–34)
Torbay[citation needed]
Citizenship British
Institutions University of Oxford
University College London
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
University of Cambridge
Alma mater Magdalene College, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Ofer Lahav
Jonathan Rawlings[1]
Known for The Sky at Night
Galaxy Zoo

Christopher John Lintott (born 1980)[2] is an English astrophysicist and researcher in the Department of Physics in the University of Oxford. Lintott is involved in a number of popular science projects aimed at bringing astronomy to a wider audience. He is the primary presenter of the BBC series The Sky at Night, having previously been co-presenter with Patrick Moore until Moore's death in 2012. Lintott is also a co-author of the book Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe with Patrick Moore and Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May.[3][4]

Academic background[edit]

Lintott attended Torquay Boys' Grammar School in Devon. In 1999, while still at school, he won a $500 Earth and Space Sciences award and the Priscilla and Bart Bok Honorable Mention Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for an article on Dust Around Young stellar objects. This came from a six-week project at the University of Hertfordshire funded by a Nuffield bursary. Lintott read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge Magdalene College and received a PhD in astrophysics from University College London, his thesis being on the subject of star formation. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and was formerly a junior research fellow at Somerville College,[5] as the Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium,[6] and is Director, Programme on Computational Cosmology and Citizen Science Project Lead in the Department of Physics in the University of Oxford.[7] His research focuses on galaxy evolution and the application of astrochemical models of star formation to galaxies beyond the Milky Way; particularly the use of sulphur compounds as a signature of stars that are in the process of formation.

Popular science[edit]

The Sky at Night[edit]

Lintott first appeared on the BBC astronomy programme The Sky at Night, presented by Patrick Moore, as a guest in 2000. As Moore's mobility deteriorated, Lintott acquired an increasingly prominent role, often providing on-location reporting from events covered by the programme. In an interview in 2007, with Mark Lawson, Moore described him as "eminently suitable" as a presenter.[8] He jointly presented the programme with Moore until the latter's death in December 2012. Since the February 2013 episode, Chris Lintott has been a co-presenter with Lucie Green (until December 2013) and with Maggie Aderin-Pocock (since February 2014).

In July 2004, Moore suffered a near-fatal bout of food poisoning and Lintott stood in as the sole presenter of that month's episode.[9] It was the only episode which Moore did not present since the show was first broadcast on 24 April 1957 until his death[10]

Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe[edit]

Lintott is the author, along with Patrick Moore and Brian May, of Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe, which was produced by Canopus Books and published by Carlton Books on 23 October 2006, has been translated into 13 languages and has appeared in paperback. As suggested by the title, the illustrated book is a history of the Universe from the Big Bang to its eventual predicted end. It is aimed at a popular science audience and claims to make its subject matter easily comprehensible to readers without any knowledge of astronomy.[11]

Galaxy Zoo[edit]

Lintott after a lecture for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in April 2010

Lintott is the cofounder of Galaxy Zoo[12] an online crowdsourcing project where members of the public could volunteer their time to assist in classifying over a million galaxies.[12] The project, named Galaxy Zoo, is inspired by Stardust@home, where the public were asked by NASA to search images obtained from a mission to a comet for interstellar dust impacts. Describing the Galaxy Zoo project, Lintott commented that, "One advantage is that you get to see parts of space that have never been seen before. These images were taken by a robotic telescope and processed automatically, so the odds are that when you log on, that first galaxy you see will be one that no human has seen before."[12] Volunteers are asked to judge from the images whether the galaxies are elliptical or spiral and, if spiral, in which direction they are rotating. Lintott has published a wide variety of peer-reviewed scientific papers.[13][14][15][16][17][18]


  1. ^ "Chris Lintott". Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2012). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (6th ed.). Springer. p. 402. ISBN 9783642297182. 
  3. ^ Chris Lintott; May, Brian; Sir Patrick Moore (2009). Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe. Carlton Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84732-336-7. 
  4. ^ Brockes, Emma (19 October 2006). "Friend to the stars". London: Guardian Unlimited Arts. Retrieved 27 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "Dr Chris Lintott". Somerville College – University of Oxford. Retrieved 2 October 2007. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Chris Lintott Researcher and Citizen Science Project Lead", University of Oxford Department of Physics. Accessed 12 June 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "A Brief Interview With Sir Patrick Moore". Universe Today. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2007. 
  10. ^ "Sir Patrick hit by food poisoning". BBC News. 6 July 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2007. 
  11. ^ Kennedy, Maev (24 October 2006). "Guitarist joins astronomers to tell history of universe". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 7 January 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c Lintott, C. J.; Schawinski, K.; Slosar, A. E.; Land, K.; Bamford, S.; Thomas, D.; Raddick, M. J.; Nichol, R. C.; Szalay, A.; Andreescu, D.; Murray, P.; Vandenberg, J. (2008). "Galaxy Zoo: Morphologies derived from visual inspection of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 389 (3): 1179. arXiv:0804.4483. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.389.1179L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13689.x.  edit
  13. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  14. ^ Viti, S.; Lintott, C. J. (2008). "Molecular signature of star formation at high redshifts". Science with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. p. 327. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-6935-2_58. ISBN 978-1-4020-6934-5.  edit
  15. ^ Lintott, C. J.; Ferreras, I.; Lahav, O. (2006). "Massive Elliptical Galaxies: From Cores to Halos". The Astrophysical Journal 648 (2): 826. arXiv:astro-ph/0512175. Bibcode:2006ApJ...648..826L. doi:10.1086/505415.  edit
  16. ^ Lintott, C.; Viti, S. (2006). "Rapid Star Formation in the Presence of Active Galactic Nuclei". The Astrophysical Journal 646: L37. arXiv:astro-ph/0606157. Bibcode:2006ApJ...646L..37L. doi:10.1086/506524.  edit
  17. ^ Lintott, C. J.; Rawlings, J. M. C. (2006). "Determining the cosmic ray ionization rate in dynamically evolving clouds". Astronomy and Astrophysics 448 (2): 425. arXiv:astro-ph/0511064. Bibcode:2006A&A...448..425L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053837.  edit
  18. ^ Lintott, C. J.; Viti, S.; Williams, D. A.; Rawlings, J. M. C.; Ferreras, I. (2005). "Hot cores: Probes of high-redshift galaxies?". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 360 (4): 1527. arXiv:astro-ph/0504040. Bibcode:2005MNRAS.360.1527L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09151.x.  edit

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