Stellar Society Lecture - part of the NC Science Festival

Each year, typically in April, GTCC's student astronomy club, the Stellar Society, teams up with Cline Observatory and the GTCC Foundation to present the Stellar Society Lecture, featuring an astronomer from a regional institution to give a free public lecture on a Friday night before our regular public viewing. This event is usually held in conjunction with the North Carolina Science Festival.  A complete GTCC NSCF Calendar is listed below.

The 2015 Stellar Society Lecture was held Friday, 17 April 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Auditorium, Koury Hospitality Careers Center, GTCC, Jamestown
Next year's lecture will be held at a date to be determined in April 2016. (Details posted later.)

Killer Death Rocks from Outer Space!
Dr. Michael Solontoi, Lynchburg College

The 2015 Stellar Society Lecture was held on Friday, 17 April, at 7:30 p.m., in the Auditorium of the Koury Hospitality Careers Center on the Jamestown campus of GTCC.  The Stellar Society Lecture is made possible by the GTCC Foundation, GTCC's student astronomy club, the Stellar Society, and with special support this year from the NC Science Festival.

About the Talk

The Earth lives in a busy part of the Solar System. A host of small rocky and icy bodies orbit near, and sometimes impact our planet.  How did these relics of early times in the Solar System come to interact with us, and how are we surveying them for their scientific (and our survival!) merits?
The presentation will cover planetary impacts, asteroids and comets, how they come to orbit near us, and how we observe and study them, including current Near-Earth Object studies and the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

Cline Observatory will be open after the talk for telescopic viewing, weather permitting.

About the Speaker

Michael Solontoi is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Lynchburg College, and the Director of the Belk Astronomical Observatory.  His research interests lie in understanding the properties, evolution, and origins of the relic populations of the Solar System, asteroids and comets, through observations, dynamical simulations, and particularly the application of large scale survey data to the study of these objects. He has worked on comets and asteroids with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and is a member of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's Solar System Science Collaboration.

Visit Dr. Solontoi's page at Lynchburg College.


Below: Complete Calendar of NC Science Festival events held at GTCC in April 2015 - next year's NCSF schedule will be announced in early 2016 (All events are FREE and open to anyone with an interest in science):

  • There will be an evening of science and meteorite demonstrations in Science Hall on the GTCC Jamestown campus on Friday, 10 April, featuring presentations and demonstrations by NC Meteorite hunter John Sinclair and members of GTCC's Chemistry, Geology, and Physics Programs.  Sessions will run from 6:00-8:30 p.m.  Cline Observatory will be open forviewing after the event (weather permitting).
  • Dr. Solontoi's Stellar Society Lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Koury Auditorium on 17 April (with observing afterward, weather permitting).
  • Our Public Viewing Session on Friday, 24 April is part of the Statewide Star Party (weather permitting)
  • Visit the NC Science Festival website or follow @ncscifest on Twitter to find out more about this multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology in NC.



Past Stellar Society Lectures

17 April 2015
Killer Death Rocks from Outer Space!
Michael Solontoi, Lynchburg College

28 March 2014
Transits of Venus:  Science and History
Jay Pasachoff, Williams College

12 April 2013
The Life & Death of Stars
Stacy Palen, Weber State University

13 April 2012
What is it about 2012?  How We Misunderstand Ancient Maya Astronomy.
Enrique Gomez, Western Carolina University

8 April 2011
Searching for Planets Using Pulsating Stars
Brad Newton Barlow, UNC-Chapel Hill

7 May 2010
Cassini's Exploration of Enceladus, Saturn's Active Icy Moon
Anne Verbiscer, University of Virginia


Last update 05/18/2015