Stellar Society Lecture


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 2018 Stellar Society Lecture was held Friday, 13 April 2018, 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of Koury Hospitality Careers Center, on GTCC’s Jamestown Campus

“Dispatches from a Dark Universe”

Featuring Dr. Katie Mack, North Carolina State University

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

About the Talk

There’s more to the Universe than we can see — even more than we can ever see. I’ll give a tour of the edges of our knowledge of the cosmos, including where the frontiers are, and what might remain unknowable forever. Come for the Big Bang, stay for the possibility of the ultimate destruction of all of reality!

About the Speaker

Dr. Katherine (Katie) Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope,, and Cosmos Magazine, where she is a columnist. You can find her on Twitter as @AstroKatie.

Visit Dr. Mack’s website.

Complete Calendar of NC Science Festival events held at GTCC in April 2018.  
  • Mack’s Stellar Society Lecture at 7:00 p.m. in Koury Auditorium on Friday, 13 April.
  • On Friday, 20 April, there was 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 Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Biotech, and Engineering Programs. 
  • Cline Observatory was open for free public viewing on all of the Friday nights in April. On  Friday, 20 April, were an NCSF Statewide Star Party site, and our session followed the Science Hall Open House (see above).
  • Visit the NC Science Festival website or follow @ncscifest on Twitter to find out more about this multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology in NC.



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”