Dr. Alex Filippenko

Alex Filippenko, PhD, is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a leading authority on exploding stars, active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the Universe. Recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences and one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, he has won numerous awards for his research, and his team’s discovery of cosmic “antigravity” was named the “Top Science Breakthrough of 1998” by the editors of Science magazine. An extraordinary educator, Dr. Filippenko has won the highest teaching awards at UC Berkeley, where the student body has voted him the “Best Professor” in 6 of the past 14 years. In 2006, he was named the Carnegie/CASE National Professor of the Year among doctoral institutions. He has appeared in numerous TV documentaries, including The Universe series on the History Channel, has produced a series of astronomy courses for The Great Courses, and coauthored an award-winning textbook. He has seen 13 total solar eclipses, joining Wilderness Travel eclipse trips in Peru, Thailand, the Caribbean, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Polynesia (twice), Australia, and the Cape Verde Islands.

Upcoming Trips:

Total Solar Eclipse of 2016: From Bali to Borneo, March 1-15, 2016

Recent Photo Blog Posts

The Most Amazing Sight in the Universe?

Client Testimonials:


Personable, knowledgeable, willing to give lots of time, I can't rate him high enough! Jeanne S., Mill Valley, CA
Total Solar Eclipse of 2012
Entertaining, content-filled lectures! Marysue V., Columbia, MD
Total Solar Eclipse of 2012
Alex was great fun. His lectures on complex topics were understandable to those of who are not astrophysicists. He is a gifted teacher as well as an expert in his field. He prepped us 'eclipse virgins' very well for watching this amazing phenomenon. Noreen and Tod L., Santa Cruz, CA
Total Solar Eclipse of 2012
Alex's lectures were facinating. He can explain very complicated phenomenon so clearly! He's charming and very entertaining. EXCELLENT! Patrice H., Salt Lake City, UT
Total Solar Eclipse of 2012
Great teacher for those of all levels of interest, and a fun, personable person, with great enthusiasm for his subject. Kathi S., Portland, OR
Total Solar Eclipse of 2012