Stellar Society Lecture

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.

Friday, 28 March 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium, Koury Hospitality Careers Center, GTCC, Jamestown

Transits of Venus:Science and History
Professor Jay Pasachoff, Williams College

The 2013 Stellar Society Lecture will be presented on Friday, 28 March, at 7:00 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

Perhaps the rarest scheduled astronomical event comparable to human lifetimes is a transit of Venus. Not a person on Earth was alive when the previous transits occurred before the 2004-2012 pair.  Williams College Astronomer Jay Pasachoff will describe the interesting history of transits, from Jeremiah Horrocks's view of the first observed one in 1639 through Captain Cook's voyage to Tahiti for the transit of 1769 and through the current efforts. With support from the National Geographic Society, he extensively observed the 2004 transit from Greece and the 2012 transit from Haleakala, Hawaii. He also used the Hubble Space Telescope and the Cassini Mission at Saturn to observe transits seen on other solar-system bodies.

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

About the Speaker

Jay Pasachoff is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Eclipses.  He has received the Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society and, this year, the Janssen Prize of the Société Astronomique de France.

Visit Dr. Pasachoff's page at Williams College and his eclipse/transit research page.

Pasachoff's reaearch is supported by the National Geographic Society - read an interview with him at their site.


Complete Calendar of NC Science Festival events at GTCC:

  • Professor Pasachoff's Stellar Society Lecture at 7 p.m. on 28 March (with observing afterward, weather permitting)
  • Our Public Viewing Session on Friday, 4 April is part of the Statewide Star Party (weather permitting)

Information about Jay Pasachoff from National Geographic.


Past Stellar Society Lectures

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 03/18/2014