My name is Yvette Cendes, and I am a Hungarian-American astronomer and world traveler.  So far my research and adventures on the road have taken me to almost 50 countries on six continents.  When not gallivanting around the planet, I am currently an Astronomy PhD student at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands where I work with LOFAR looking for transient signals and do freelance writing that has appeared in places like Astronomy magazine, Sky & Telescope, and Astrobites.

My most notable travel adventures were my six months living in New Zealand (blog here), a round the world trip during the first half of 2009 which took in Asia, Europe, and southern Africa, and about four months in 2011 where I primarily focused on East Africa and going all the way from Hong Kong to Kathmandu overland.  Along the way I have ridden an ostrich, climbed to Everest Base Camp, gotten punched by a mountain gorilla, invited to a wedding in Laos off the street… you get the idea.  I love to explore our planet and all that it has to offer.

I love to explore our universe as well, and my scientific research adventures so far have taken me to the SETI Institute in California (where I did not find aliens, else this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve heard of it) and to the Pierre Auger Observatory in remote Argentina to look for mysterious ultra-high-energy cosmic rays from deep space.  Although I was born and grew up in the United States and got my Physics B.S. and M.S. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, I decided to move abroad for my PhD and now live the expat life in Amsterdam.

As a final note, I love to write both about science and travel.  I do various freelance pieces as time allows, and add to the list below as they come out-


I am a regular contributor to the Astrobites website, a site where recent astronomical journal papers are summarized at an undergraduate level.  Beyond that, here are my latest magazine publications:

The Weirdest Star in the Universe,” Astronomy, September 2015

Anomaly From Above,” Discover, June 2015

The Telescope at the End of the World,” Astronomy, February 2015

Secret Lives of Supermassive Stars,” Astronomy, May 2014

A South Pole Eye on the Sky,” CWRU Art/Sci Magazine, spring/summer 2014

Tuning in to Radio Jupiters,” Sky & Telescope, January 2014

Spacecraft: Where Are They Now?Astronomy, December 2013

A new eye on the violent universe,” Astronomy, March 2013 cover article

Tales from the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory,” Sky & Telescope, January 2013 issue, p. 70.

Visit Southern California’s Top Astronomy Sites,” Astronomy, December 2011 issue, p. 64.

Visit Northern California’s Top Astronomy Sites,” Astronomy, July 2011 issue, p. 50.

The Sound of Ideas, 90.3 WCPN- guest on the hour-long show to talk about cosmic rays on April 12, 2010.  It was a great warm-up for the Science Cafe Cleveland my adviser and I hosted that night!

“Searching for Missing Mass“- An article on dark matter for the Journal of Young Investigators.  I wrote quite a few articles for them, the full archive of which are here.


“Seven Solo Female Travel Myths Debunked“- an article for the Boots’n All network, August 20, 2010

“Four Reasons to Travel with an E-Reader”– another Boots’n All article from December 1, 2010.


If you’re interested in following my adventures, you can sign up to follow me on Facebook or Twitter.  And if there’s something not here that you want to get in touch with me about, feel free to email me at yvette.cendes[at]gmail[dot]com or leave a response on this page.  Cheers!

15 responses to “About

  1. Sara Sturdevant

    Yvette…you are so dog-gone impressive. I wish the absolute best on your trip and await juicy tales of art in far off places.


  2. Freddy WILLEMS

    Yvette, wish I could do the same, I’ve seen most of Europe, lived in Belgium all my live and moved to Hawaii. stuck on this Island now.
    Wish I could travel again and see places like you do.
    When is you book coming out ?

  3. Sam, NV8L .Seeing your pic here gave me a needed smile. Don Weyel pointed out your website at the last CARC mtg.
    Good for you, with stars in your eyes and mind.
    Be well!

  4. Yvette,
    I want to do something similair as you are. I have been saving my money like crazy. But I am SO overwhelmed as to where to start in this adventure. Getting Visa’s… is that dificult? I’m not sure where to even begin. I must seem so amature, but this is a dream of mine and I need to do it. How did you start off? what where your steps? I’m doing this alone, I know it sounds crazy but… this is why I would like some advice.
    Please help.

    • Hey Sarah-

      Wow, this is something I could talk quite a lot about (and probably will if I get around to it) but my first bit of advice would be to get ahold of a book called First Time Around the World– it gives you ideas of how to plan such an adventure in one of those “you could spend months on the internet researching this, or you could just buy the book for all the info!” sort of way. Other than that, Lonely Planet and Boots’n All have great travel forums for Internet research, Wikitravel is another godsend to get information (you really don’t need to buy guidebooks these days, though checking a few out of the library can help)

      Hope that sets you in the right direction, and if you have specific questions let me know! Have a blast, half the fun is in the research. 🙂

      • Hi Yvette,
        Thanks for the reply, I have been using those websites and I think I’ve narrowed down to what I need to do. Thank you.
        Two question, is there a specific site you use for looking and booking hostels? There is so many.
        And I hope this isn’t too personal…. money… Did you save up a lump sum before you left?
        Hope to hear from you soon

  5. Hey, alot of your pics aren’t showing! I’m especially interested in Bosnia.


    • Hi Jason-

      Yeah, I confess I’m not entirely certain what’s with the pictures as it only started becoming a larger problem recently and I haven’t thoroughly examined it- it’s something to do with load times I think. In short if you refresh the page the images should show up, I’m sorry I can’t be more of a help just yet on that!


  6. Hey, I studied Physics! You mean talking about this is a bad strategy if I want to talk to people? Hm… I never thought about that point.

  7. wow! you’re awesome.. ‘am impressed.. wish I can have that opportunity too..

  8. Seems like you have a lot going on being a scientist and traveling and keeping up with the blog. You are doing an awesome job!

  9. fantastico viaje. enhorabuena

  10. lyonsroarforgod

    How wonderful that you can work and see the world at the same time! 🙂

  11. Gratulálok! Álom amit csinálsz! 🙂

  12. Wow! Just amazing. I am a student of theoretical physics, cosmology these days; and the one thing I love is visiting different places and understanding different cultures. Last summer, I was at CERN, and got to visit Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Zurich, Lausanne… ( and of course Geneva ). I might be starting out with a PhD at Uv. of Amsterdam this year, and I am totally looking forward to exploring parts like Croatia and pretty much everything, this time.
    I am from India. I see that you haven’t been here. If you ever get a chance, you should come here; it’s a different world in itself. Maybe, you can drop a line, and I can share what I know about this place from having lived here for 20 years.
    I thinks it’s really amazing what you have been doing. Really inspires me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s