Jo Cline Memorial Astronomy Lecture

The Cline Observatory Jo Cline Memorial Astronomy Day Lecture featuring a prominent researcher in astronomy, astrophysics, or planetary science. The lecture is held each fall in Koury Auditorium at GTCC's Jamestown Campus – it is free and open to the public.

VIEW THE PRESENTATION: Join the presentation in Microsoft Teams. A recording of the lecture will be available later.

Beyond Eta Earth: Exoplanets as a Window on the History and Habitability of Planetary Systems

Virtual Lecture, Friday, 23 September, 7:30 p.m., Dr. Rebekah Dawson (Penn State University)

Window opens to starsOver the past couple decades, thousands of extra-solar planets have been discovered orbiting other stars. The exoplanets discovered to date exhibit a wide variety of orbital and compositional properties; most are dramatically different from the planets in our own solar system. The search for a true earth twin continues, but the diverse sample of exoplanets discovered to date still have much to teach about the history and habitability of planetary systems. I will present what we've learned from observations and simulations about their formation and evolution and discuss how we can best study future individual potentially habitable planets in the context of their planetary systems.

See this profile of Dr. Dawson by Astrobites.

The Jo Cline Memorial Astronomy Day Lecture is made possible, in part, by an endowment established by Don Cline in September 2015 with an initial funding goal of $50,000. Interest from the endowment provides annual ongoing support of the Jo Cline Fall Astronomy Lecture Series. Cline will match, dollar for dollar, contributions made to this fund until our goal is reached. Please consider honoring Jo’s memory by contributing to the fund. For information about, and donations to, the Jo Cline Endowment, visit our Support the Observatory page.

North Carolina Astronomers’ Meeting (NCAM)

Cline Observatory also hosts the annual technical meeting of North Carolina astronomers in association with Fall Astronomy Day. This event is open to professional astronomers and their students, and is not an open public event. The 2022 edition of NCAM will be held virtually on Saturday, 24 September.

Past Lectures

2021

Sheperd S. Doeleman, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/EHT, "First Pictures of a Black Hole! Imaging a Black Hole with the Event Horizon Telescope"

2020

No Lecture held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic

2019

Cathy Olkin, SWRI, "Exploring the Outer Reaches of Our Solar System"

2018

Gabriela González, LSU/LIGO, “Einstein, Gravitational Waves, Black Holes, and Other Matters

2017

John Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, “The History of the Universe from the Beginning to the End: Where Did We Come From, Where Can We Go?”

2016

David Charbonneau, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “How to Find an Inhabited Exoplanet”

2015

Sean Solomon, Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Institute, and Principal Investigator for the Mercury MESSENGER Mission, “The MESSENGER Spacecraft Mission to Mercury: Surprises from the Innermost Planet”

2014

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, University of Oxford, “The Last and Next 100 Years in Astronomy“

2013

Don Winget, University of Texas at Austin, “Small Stars in a Large Context:  All Things White Dwarf”

2012

Bob Benjamin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, “A Visitor’s Guide to the Milky Way Galaxy

2011

Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin-Madison / IceCube, “Ice Fishing for Neutrinos

2010

Giovanni Fazio, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics / Spitzer, “Viewing the Universe with Infrared Eyes:  the Spitzer Space Telescope

2009

Hal Levison, Southwest Research Institute, “What Planets Are and How they Form

2008

Neil Gehrels, NASA Goddard / Swift Mission, “Black Holes:  From Einstein to Gamma Ray Bursts

2007

Michael Turner, University of Chicago, “The Dark Side of the Universe

2006

Scott Ransom, NRAO-Charlottesville, “The Stellar Undead

2005

Jeff Hester, Arizona State University, “From the Big Bang to Big Brains:  the Evolution of Structure in the Universe

2004

Paul Butler, Carnegie Institute, “Extrasolar Planets:  a First Reconnaissance

2003

Prasun Desai, NASA Langley, “Mars Exploration in the Coming Decade

2002

Steve Murray, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics / Chandra, “X-ray Astronomy Comes of Age:  the Chandra x-ray Observatory View of the Cosmos

2001

Jay Bergstralh, NASA Langley, “The Galilean Satellites of Jupiter

2000

Virginia Trimble, Univ. Cal-Irvine / Univ. Maryland, “Cosmology:  Man’s Place in the Universe

1999

Robert Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “The Universe:  Big, Old, and Accelerating

1998

John Wood, NASA Goddard, “Resolution:  Latest Results from the Hubble Space Telescope

1997

Bruce Carney, UNC-Chapel Hill, “How Old is Our Universe?