Fall Astronomy Day Lecture


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

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. Don 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 click here 

2018 Jo Cline Memorial Astronomy Day Lecture
Einstein, Gravitational Waves, Black Holes, and Other Matters

Dr. Gabriela Gonzalez
A free public lecture by Dr. Gabriela González, LSU/LIGO will be open after the talk, weather permitting.
Friday, 21 September 2018, 7:30 p.m.
Koury Auditorium, GTCC, Jamestown Cline Observatory 

GTCC is excited to announce that the 2018 Jo Cline Memorial Lecture will be given by Gabriela González of Louisiana State University. Dr. González served as the public spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration during 2011-2017, including the announcements of LIGO’s first detections of gravitational wave events.

About the Talk:  More than a hundred years ago, Einstein predicted that there were ripples in the fabric of space-time traveling at the speed of light: gravitational waves. On September 14 2015, the LIGO detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana in the US registered for the first time ever a loud gravitational wave signal traveling through Earth, created more than a billion years ago by the merger of two black holes. Several other gravitational waves from black holes were detected, including one by LIGO and the Virgo detector in Europe produced by two neutron stars giving birth to a black hole, generating also electromagnetic waves (light!) detected by many telescopes, and he;ping us understand the origin of gold. We will describe the history and details of the observations, and the gravity-bright future of the field.

About the Speaker:  Gabriela González is a physicist working on the discovery of gravitational waves with the LIGO team. She was born in Córdoba, Argentina, studied physics at the University of Córdoba, and pursued her Ph.D. in Syracuse University, obtained in 1995. She worked as a staff scientist in the LIGO group at MIT until 1997, when she joined the faculty at Penn State. In 2001 she joined the faculty at Louisiana State University, where she is a professor of physics and astronomy. She has received awards from the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since it was funded in 1997, served as the elected LSC spokesperson in 2011-2017, and is known for participating in the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves in 2016. Her work has focused on LIGO instrument development (especially reducing noise sources and tuning alignment systems) and LIGO data calibration and diagnostics, critical to increasing the astrophysical reach of data analysis methods.

Fall Astronomy Day Lecture Directions

Directions to the Koury Auditorium at GTCC’s Jamestown Campus

Koury is building 19 on the Jamestown 
campus map. Park in Lot F.

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

The Cline Observatory Astronomy Day Lecture is held each fall, featuring a prominent researcher in astronomy, astrophysics, or planetary science. 

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.  This year’s edition of NCAM will be held on Saturday, 22 September 2018. 



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?”


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


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”


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Scott Ransom, NRAO-Charlottesville, “The Stellar Undead


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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