North Carolina Astronomers' Meeting (NCAM)

NCAM 2018

Meeting Registration

There is no registration fee for the NCA meeting. We will have a sign-in table in the Koury Building on GTCC’s Jamestown campus.

We would like to get a reasonably accurate head count for the meeting, so that we can let the site committee know how much food/drink to order for break refreshments. Please let us know beforehand by registering through the Online Registration Form if you are planning on coming. Registrations for presentations should be completed by Wednesday, 19 September (extended). If you plan to come but NOT to present, we would still like for you to register beforehand – you can do this up until Thursday, 20 September.

Directions and Maps To The Meeting

The meeting is held in the Koury Hospitality Careers Building on the Jamestown campus of GTCC.
Koury is building 19 on the Jamestown campus map. Park in Lot F.

Use the interactive map below to find the best route from where you are.

Local Lodging 

There are plenty of hotels around the area. Use this resource to find accommodations if you plan to stay overnight.

Abstract Submission 

If you would like to present an oral or display presentation at the NCA meeting, please fill out and submit an Online Registration Form by Wednesday, 19 September (extended).

Display Presentations 

There will be room for approximately 20 posters to be displayed. The available space is approximately 44 in. x 44 in. Access to power and tables will be limited, but there is local wireless access.

Oral Presentations 

The proposed plan is for standard oral presentations to be 10 minutes including Q&A, though this could change, depending on the number of submissions. A podium/microphone/computer/projector will be provided for oral presentations. A wireless microphone is also provided. Wireless internet access will be available in the presentation space.

Registration Forms are submitted to Tom English (336.334.4822, ext 50023).

You should receive confirmation of receipt within a day of submission – if not, call or e-mail to verify.

Special Sessions

The annual business meeting of the North Carolina Section of the International Dark Sky Association will be held during the lunch break. NCAM also acts as a Regional Teaching Exchange for an ASTRO 101 discussion/presentation session (part of the NASA Center for Astronomy Education) during the afternoon. Anyone who currently teaches introductory college astronomy, or who expects to teach in the future, is encouraged to attend. (If you have ideas for the discussion, contact Tom English.) You can register officially with the CAE for this session here.

Saturday Lunch Options

Lunch options include a variety of nearby restaurants. Some of the attendees plan to place a group order in the morning to Jerusalem Market for box lunches. You will have the opportunity to indicate your lunch preference on your registration form, and if you plan to participate in the group order, you should bring payment to the registration table the morning of the event. On-site orders MUST be verified and paid for before 10 a.m. All sandwiches from Jerusalem Market are served on thin, lavash bread with chips, brine pickle, and olive on the side. Lettuce and tomato are added to all sandwiches.  This year’s lunch options are:

  • $7: Falafel (Falafel Patties with hummos and tahini sauce.)
  • $8: Turkey (Oven roasted turkey breast with black pepper and provolone cheese.)
  • $9: The Turk (Soujuk, a spicy, dried beef sausage, sliced thin with provolone cheese melted on top.  Served with baba ghanouj and yogurt cucumber sauce on the sandwich.)

Refreshments will be offered throughout the day. If you have special dietary needs, mention them in the comments section of the registration form.

Meeting Agenda

Tentative Schedule 

Meeting opens 8:45 a.m.
Plenary Lecture 9:30 a.m.
Break 10:30 a.m.
Oral Session I 11:00 a.m.
The timing for the remainder of the day may change slightly, depending on late submissions.
Lunch  12:15 p.m.
NCIDA 1:15 p.m.
Oral Session II 2:00 p.m.
Teaching Exchange 3:15 p.m.



John Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, “From the Big Bang to the End of the Universe, and How We’ll Learn More with the James Webb Space Telescope”


David Charbonneau, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “The Compositions of Small Planets”


Sean Solomon, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Columbia Univ., “MESSENGER at Mercury: Technical Challenges and Implications for the Formation of the Inner Planets.”


Jocelyn Bell Burnell, University of Oxford, “Reflections on the Discovery of Pulsars”


Don Winget, University of Texas at Austin, “A Close-up Look at White Dwarf Stars: From Kiloparsecs to Centimeters”


Robert A. Benjamin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, “How to Map the Milky Way”


Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “IceCube: Particle Astrophysics with High Energy Neutrinos”


Giovanni Fazio, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “Observing the High Redshift (z > 5) Universe with the Spitzer Space Telescope”


Hal Levison, Southwest Research Institute, “The Early Dynamical Evolution of the Outer Solar System: A Nice Story”


Neil Gehrels, NASA Goddard, “Gamma Ray Burst Discoveries with the Swift Mission”


Michael Turner, University of Chicago, “Cosmic Acceleration: New Gravitational Physics or Mysterious Dark Energy”

Special Panel Discussion: The past 10 years in Astronomy and a Look to the Coming Decade
Moderated by Robert Naeye (NASA Goddard)

Panel: Jay Bergstralh (NASA Langley), Bruce Carney (UNC-Chapel Hill), Prasun Desai (NASA Langley), Virginia Trimble (U. Cal.-Irvine), Michael Turner (U. Chicago), John Wood (NASA Goddard)


Scott Ransom, NOAO-Charlottesville, “A Millisecond Pulsar (and Basic Physics) Bonanza with the GBT”


Jeff Hester, Arizona State University, “Understanding Our Origins:  Formation of Sun-like Stars in Massive Star Environments”


Paul Butler, Carnegie Institution, “Extrasolar Planets”


Prasun Desai, NASA Langley, “2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Return to the Surface”


Steve Murray, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Chandra, “Chandra 101: X-ray Astronomy Made Easy”