GTCC to Host Annual Astronomy Festival

Published on: February 27, 2018
Dr. Donovan Domingue to deliver pre-TriStar Shapley Public Lecture at GTCC on March 2.
  • Dr. Donovan Domingue to deliver pre-TriStar Shapley Public Lecture March 2
  • All events are free and open to anyone with an interest in astronomy

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Guilford Technical Community College will host its annual astronomy festival, TriStar, March 2–3 on GTCC’s Jamestown Campus. The event gathers astronomy enthusiasts, from novice to professional, for a full day of presentations, displays and observing. It is free and open to the public.

“The TriStar festival of astronomy brings together astronomy enthusiasts from across North Carolina and the surrounding states to share ideas, learn about a range of astronomical topics, get together with old friends and make new ones,” said Tom English, astronomy professor and director of the Cline Observatory at GTCC.

TriStar kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2 with the lecture, “Pre-Merger Galaxy Pairs as Star Formation Benchmarks in the Local Universe” by Dr. Donovan Domingue. Dr. Domingue’s lecture will focus on his research on merging galaxies and is sponsored by the Harlow Shapley Visiting Lecturer Program of the American Astronomical Society.

Dr. Domingue has been a team member of the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology and presently serves as a faculty member and the Endowed Science Education Chair at Georgia College, a liberal arts university in Milledgeville, Georgia. His research focuses on the evolution of galaxies as they interact with their neighbors and the environment.

The free lecture will be held at Percy H. Sears Applied Technologies Center auditorium on the Jamestown Campus, 601 E. Main St., Jamestown. After the lecture, the Cline Observatory will be open for observing, weather permitting.

TriStar continues 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, March 3 with a series of speakers, astronomy demonstrations and displays, prize drawings, “how-to” guidance for budding astronomers, an astroimaging contest, as well as daytime and nighttime observing sessions at the Cline Observatory. Presentations scheduled during TriStar will feature topics on infrared astronomy, Saturn’s rings, icy asteroids in the outer solar system, and astrophysical discoveries of the 19th century. A complete schedule of events for TriStar 2018 can be found here.

For more information on TriStar, please contact Tom English, professor of astronomy at GTCC and director of Cline Observatory, at or 336-334-4822, ext. 50023.

Event Details


GTCC and the Cline Observatory presents TriStar, an annual astronomy festival featuring presentations, displays and observing sessions.


7 p.m. Friday, March 2: “Pre-Merger Galaxy Pairs as Star Formation Benchmarks in the Local Universe,” presented by Dr. Donovan Domingue, visiting AAS Harlow Shapley Lecturer. The Cline Observatory will be open after the talk (weather permitting).

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, March 3: A wide range of lectures, demonstrations, displays and observing sessions (weather permitting)


All events will take place at the Percy H. Sears Applied Technologies Center, Jamestown Campus, 601 E. Main St., Jamestown, N.C.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public 

Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. GTCC serves more than 35,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at

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About the Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship:

Astronomer Harlow Shapley (1885-1972) served for more than 30 years as director of Harvard College Observatory. He is most notably remembered for his work in identifying the center of the Milky Way and determining our solar system’s location in the galactic outskirts. He strived to bring astronomy to the public through authoring several popular books and was a co-founder of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In his honor, the Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship was created at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship Endowment Fund. The AAS Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship Program provides two-day visits by professional astronomers who bring the excitement of modern astronomy and astrophysics to North American colleges of all types, especially those not offering an astronomical degree.

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