Stellar Society Lecture

The Stellar Society Lecture – Part of the N.C. Science Festival

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. This event is usually held in conjunction with the North Carolina Science Festival, and is held in the Auditorium of Koury Hospitality Careers Center, on GTCC’s Jamestown Campus. Koury is Building 19 on this campus map.

The 2019 Stellar Society Lecture will be held Friday, April 12, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of Koury Hospitality Careers Center, on GTCC’s Jamestown Campus.

“Our Sun:  Then, Now, and What Might Be”

Featuring Dr. Alicia Aarnio, UNC-Greensboro

This event was made possible by the GTCC Foundation, GTCC’s student astronomy club, the Stellar Society, and the N.C. Science Festival.

About the Talk

How do we know what the sun was like in its youth, and the conditions under which our unique blue planet came to be? What do we know about other stars like the sun that can give us more insight into its temperament now and into the future? The solar-stellar connection helps us piece together these puzzles, allowing us to look into the sun's past and into its future with fascinating and potentially catastrophic answers!

About the Speaker

Dr. Alicia Aarnio is an astrophysicist studying the sun, young suns, and young, intermediate-mass stars. She is currently assistant professor of physics and astronomy at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she works with students on research in her group, the UNCG-stars. magnetic fields, often blamed and sometimes feared in astrophysics, have long fascinated and been, in their various manifestations, the overarching focus of Dr. Aarnio's research throughout her career. In addition to her research, Dr. Aarnio is active in the American Astronomical Society leadership, co-chairing the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability as well as the departmental climate Site Visit Oversight Committee. You can find her on twitter @AliciaAarnio.

Visit Dr. Aarnio’s website.

Complete Calendar of N.C. Science Festival events to be held at GTCC in April 2019. 

  • On Friday, April 5, there will be an evening of interactive science demonstrations in Science Hall on the GTCC Jamestown campus, featuring presentations and demonstrations by faculty and students in GTCC’s astronomy, chemistry, geology, physics, and biology programs. 
  • Dr. Aarnio’s Stellar Society Lecture at 7:00 p.m. in Koury Auditorium on Friday, April 12.
  • Cline Observatory will be open for free public viewing on all of the Friday nights in April. On  Friday, April 12, after Dr. Aarnio’s lecture, we will be an NCSF Statewide Star Party site, and our session followed the Science Hall Open House (see above).
  • Visit the N.C. Science Festival website or follow @ncscifest on Twitter to find out more about this multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology in NC.



Dr. Katherine J. Mack, North Carolina State University, “Dispatches from a Dark Universe”


Dr. Stephen P. Reynolds, North Carolina State University, “Supernovae and You: Tracking Stellar Explosions through Their Remnants”


Sarah Hörst, Johns Hopkins University, “Titan:  Ingredients for Life”


Michael Solontoi, Lynchburg College, “Killer Death Rocks from Outer Space!”


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


Stacy Palen, Weber State University, “The Life & Death of Stars”


Enrique Gomez, Western Carolina University, “What is it about 2012? How We Misunderstand Ancient Maya Astronomy.”


Brad Newton Barlow, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Searching for Planets Using Pulsating Stars”


Anne Verbiscer, University of Virginia, “Cassini’s Exploration of Enceladus, Saturn’s Active Icy Moon”