Cline Observatory Fall Astronomy Day Lecture

Friday, 3 October 2014:  Jocelyn Bell Burnell

On Friday, 3 October 2014, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell will visit GTCC to give our annual Fall Astronomy Day Lecture.  More information about the lecture will be posted later. Cline Observatory will be open for viewing after the event, weather permitting.


Special Presentation & Observing:  Friday, 29 August

Cline Observatory Presents a Special Program to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the First Observation of the Spectrum of a Nebula

Friday, 29 August, 7:30 p.m., Auditorium, Sears Applied Technologies Center, GTCC, Jamestown

Dr. Barbara J. Becker, University of California at Irvine

"No such spectrum as I expected!":  William Huggins and the Riddle of the Nebulae

Cline Observatory will be open after the presentation, weather permitting.  Featured objects will include a list of objects observed by Huggins 150 years ago.


About the Talk

One hundred-fifty years ago, the quest to understand the nature and structure of nebulae had reached an impasse despite the increased light grasp and optical refinement possessed by telescopes of the day.

This presentation will discuss how all this changed on August 29, 1864, when English amateur astronomer and pioneer spectroscopist William Huggins (1824-1910) decided to subject the light of those luminous smudges to spectroscopic scrutiny.  It was a bold stroke that propelled him to a position of prestige and authority within the wider scientific community.  The results of his investigation captured his colleagues' imagination and heightened their awareness of the spectrosope's potential to generate new knowledge about old and familiar telescopic subjects.

William Huggins

About the Speaker

Barbara Becker received her PhD in history of science from The Johns Hopkins University.  Until her recent retirement, she taught history of science at the University of California, Irvine. 

Her research interests include the role of the amateur in the development of nineteenth century professional astronomy, the redefining of disciplinary boundaries in the face of new knowledge and new practice, and the role of controversy in shaping the substance and structure of scientific knowledge. 

She is the author of Unravelling Starlight:  William and Margaret Huggins and the Rise of the New Astronomy (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and editor of the recently completed Selected Correspondence of William Huggins, 2 vols (Pickering and Chatto, 2014).

Directions to Sears Auditorium for Dr. Becker's Talk.


Fall Astronomy Day Lecture Directions

Directions to the Koury Auditorium at GTCC's Jamestown Campus.

If you have any questions please contact Tom English - 336-334-4822336-334-4822 x50023

The Cline Observatory Astronomy Day Lecture is held each fall, featuring a prominent researcher in astronomy, astrophysics, or planetary science.  Follow this link to see a list of Past Lecturers.

North Carolina Astronomers' Meeting (NCAM)

Cline Observatory also hosts the annual technical meeting of NC astronomers in association with Fall Astronomy Day. This event is open to professional astronomers and their students.  The 2013 meeting was held on Saturday, 5 Oct.  The next edition of NCAM will be on Saturday, 4 October 2014.


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Last update 08/11/2014