*Tri*Star* – The Triad Starfest

*TRI*STAR* 2019

TriStar 2019 Logo The Triad Starfest, *Tri*Star* for short, is a conference of astronomers of all types, from novice to professional, for a full day of presentations, displays, and observing. The event allows astronomy enthusiasts to share ideas, learn about a range of astronomical topics, get together with old friends, and make new ones. The event draws astronomers from North Carolina and surrounding states. 

*Tri*Star* is free and open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. There is a change in venue for this year’s edition of *Tri*Star*.  Becaise of ongoing renovation at GTCC, our traditional space in the Applied Technologies Center is not available, so we are shifting across campus to the Koury Hospitality Careers Center, site of our annual Jo Cline Memorial Lecture in the fall.  Koury is Building 19 on this Campus Map.  Park in Lot F.

*Tri*Star* 2019 will be held Saturday, March 2 and will feature a series of speakers scheduled throughout the day, as well as a wide range of astronomical displays, assorted astronomy-related vendors, prize drawings, "how-to" help for astronomy beginners, an astroimaging contest, and daytime and nighttime observing sessions. 

In addition to Saturday’s agenda, *Tri*Star* always includes a special Friday evening presentation held in the Koury Auditorium (the same location as Saturday’s activities).  Our 2019 featured speaker is Stella Kafka, director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.  Her Friday presentation, "Variable Stars and their Stories"  begins at 7:00 p.m.  Cline Observatory will be open for observing after the talk, weather permitting.

Note: In case inclement weather causes the Jamestown Campus of GTCC to be closed on the date of *Tri*Star*, please monitor campus status before coming to GTCC. Information is available at the GTCC web page, on Twitter, or by dialing the GTCC switchboard at 336-334-4822.

TriStar 2019 Speakers

Pre-*Tri*Star* Lecture

Friday, March 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium, Koury Hospitality Careers Center, GTCC
Stella Kafka, Director, AAVSO

Variable Stars and their Stories

Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability, both intrinsic and extrinsic, provides unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, help determine distances to nearby galaxies and add to our understanding of explosion physics and chemical enrichment of the Milky Way.

I will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. I will discuss their common light curves identifiers, and present work by AAVSO observers that has led to cutting-edge scientific discoveries throughout the years. Finally, I will discuss how you can participate in variable star observations from your back yard, contributing to the AAVSO International Database and to cutting-edge science.

*Tri*Star* Saturday Speakers

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Doors open at 8:30 a.m., presentations begin at 9:20 a.m.
Presentations are in the Koury Auditorium

Morning Presentations

9:30 a.m.  Mike & Larry Puzio (OSIRIS-REx Ambassadors)
OSIRIS-REx Arrival at Asteroid Bennu
11:00 a.m.  Ward Howard (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Do Superflares Make Proxima b & the Nearest Terrestrial Exoplanets Uninhabitable?

Lunch Break : 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Afternoon Presentations

2:00 p.m.  Stella Kafka (American Association of Variable Star Observers)
The AAVSO for the Amateur Community
3:30 p.m.  John O’Neal (NASA Ambassador)
The Past, Present and Future of the NASA Parker Solar Probe

Contact Information:

Tom English
Cline Observatory
336-334-4822 Ext. 50023

Stan Rosenberg
GAC President
336-299-0074

PAST EDITIONS OF *TRI*STAR*

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday AAS Shapley Lecture:  Donovan Domingue, Georgia College and State University, “Pre-Merger Galaxy Pairs as Star Formation Benchmarks in the Local Universe”

*Tri*Star* 2017 Saturday Speakers:

Jeff Regester, High Point University, “2014 MU69”
Donovan Domingue, Georgia College and State University, Infrared Astronomy”
Stephen van Vuuren, Independent Filmmaker, “In Saturn’s Rings”

Barbara Becker, University of California-Irvine, “I am almost certain… William Huggins and the First Attempts to Measure Stellar Motion in the Line of Sight”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: David Baron, author of AMERICAN ECLIPSE: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World“Nature’s Grandest Spectacle: How, Where, and Why to View the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse”

*Tri*Star* 2017 Saturday Speakers:

Enrique Gómez, Western Carolina University, “The Great American Eclipse of 2017 over North Carolina”
David Baron, Author of American Eclipse, “Edison and the Eclipse That Enlightened America”
Barbara Becker, University of California-Irvine, “Photographing the Corona without an Eclipse:  the Forgotten Efforts of William Huggins”
Gayle Riggsbee, Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, “When an Eclipse Trip Cost was only a Dollar”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday AAS Shapley Lecture: Dr. Patrick Miller, Hardin Simmons University, “Asteroid Threats to Earth:  How You Can Make Discoveries”

*Tri*Star* 2016 Saturday Speakers:

Peter Prendergast, MD, “Robotic Observing:  Challenging Established Dogma”
Brad Barlow, High Point University, “The Influence of Planets and Brown Dwarfs on Late Stellar Evolution”
Patrick Miller, Hardin Simmons University, “Debris Fields in the Solar System”
Michael Solontoi, Lynchburg College, “Killer Death Rocks from Outer Space”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Dr. Tom Brown, Space Telescope Science Institute, “Deepest Hubble Images Expose the Violent History of Our Galactic Neighborhood

*Tri*Star* 2015 Saturday Speakers:

Tom Brown, STScI, “On the Trail of the Missing Galaxies:  the Oldest Stars in the Neighborhood”
David Pitonzo, High Point University, “Musings on the Likelihood of Extraterrestrial Civilizations”
Chris Richardson, Elon University, “The Crab Nebula:  Our Local Young Supernova Remnant”
Maria Temming, Elon University, “A Summer at Sky & Telescope

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Shapley Lecture: Dr. Gordon Emslie, Western Kentucky University, “Spinning Pliers, the Chaotic Obliquity of Mars, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

*Tri*Star* 2014 Saturday Speakers:

Don Smith, Guilford College, “Designing a Neural Network to Process APDA Spectra”
Gordon Emslie, Western Kentucky Univ., "Acceleration of High Energy Particles in Solar Flares”
Kristen Thompson, Davidson College, “The Role of Magnetic Fields in the Star Formation Process”
Grant Thompson, Georgia Regents Univ., “Active Galactic Nuclei and the Nature of Their Tori”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Dr. Dan Reichart, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Birthing Black Holes: PROMPT and the Skynet Robotic Telescope Network

*Tri*Star* 2013 Saturday Speakers:

Steve Danford, UNC-Greensboro, “What Can Globular Clusters Tell Us about the Universe?”
Barbara Becker, U. Cal-Irvine, “Unravelling Starlight: William and Margaret Huggins and the Rise of the New Astronomy”
Jonathan Ward, NASA Solar System Ambassdor, “MESSENGER at Mercury: Unlocking the Secrets of the Innermost Planet”
Matthew Fleenor, Roanoke College, “Multiwavelength Astrophysics: How Non-optical Light Informs Our Understanding of the Universe”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Dr. Terry Oswalt, Florida Institute of Technology, “It’s Later than You Think: How Astronomers Measure the Age of the Universe

*Tri*Star* 2012 Saturday Speakers:

Tom English, GTCC, “Historical Oppositions of Mars: The Rise of the Martians and the Fall of the Canals”
Terry Oswalt, Florida Institute of Technology, “Chicken Little was Right!  The Sky IS Falling”
Brad Barlow, Penn State University, “Starquakes! Probing Stellar Evolution using Asteroseismology”
Also – a series of short presentations/demonstrations/workshops, with topics including Cooking a Comet, Optimizing Your Observing Experience, Telling Time by the Stars, and a Siberian Impact Crater.

No Pre-*Tri*Star* Lecture in 2011

*Tri*Star* 2011 Saturday Speakers:

Mike Malaska, SCYNEXIS Organic Chemist, “Titan’s Earthlike Landscape”
Steven van Vuuren, Greensboro Filmmaker, Preview clip from his IMAX film, “Outside In”
Steve Reynolds, NC State University, “Supernova Remnants, Cosmic Rays, and Cosmology”
Sheila Kannappan, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Galaxy Life Stories:  Growing Up in a Violent Universe”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Neil Comins, University of Maine, “Science Errors on TV: A Personal Story

*Tri*Star* 2010 Saturday Speakers:
Neil Comins, University of Maine, “What if the Earth Were a Moon?”
Tony Crider, Elon University, “2012: Exploitation of the Maya Long Count”
Roger Ivester, Cleveland County Astronomical Society, “Visual Observing in a Digital Age”
Tim Martin, Greensboro Day School, “Arctic Impact”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Harry Shipman, University of Delaware, “Planets Beyond the Solar System

*Tri*Star* 2009 Saturday Speakers:
Harry Shipman, University of Delaware, “A Collaboration between Amateur and Professional Astronomers Investigates the Interiors of Dying Stars”
Johnny Horne, Fayetteville Observer/Sky & Telescope, “Earth & Sky”
Johannes Kepler, Portrayed by John McFarland, “Galileo’s Heavenly Discoveries”
Elise Weaver, Guilford College, “Gamma Ray Burst 080711 Afterglow Detection and Analysis”

Friday Shapley Lecture: Heidi Hammel, Space Science Institute, “Telescopes in Space

*Tri*Star* 2008 Saturday Speakers:
Heidi Hammel, Space Science Institute, “Deconstructing the Ice Giants”
Joe Foy, Hampden Sydney College, “The Crab Nebula”
Ted Forte, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers, “The Astronomical League’s Planetary Nebula Club”
Jeff Regester, Greensboro Day School, “All This Way for Two Minutes of Data”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Larry Marschall, Gettysburg College, “Deconstructing Pluto

*Tri*Star* 2007 Saturday Speakers:
Larry Marschall, Gettysburg College, “Hunting Killer Asteroids”
Don Smith, Guilford College, “Robots Chasing Stars”
Christina Lacey, University of South Carolina, “Exploding Stars – Better than a Hollywood Movie”
David Herrick, Maysville Community & Technical College, “Getting Tight with Titan”

Friday Shapley Lecture: Rob Knop, Vanderbilt University, “Galaxies In Collision

*Tri*Star* 2006 Saturday Speakers:
Rob Knop, Vanderbilt University, “A Modern Picture of the Expanding Universe”
Elizabeth Warner, Deep Impact Mission & University of Maryland, “Results from the Deep Impact Mission”
Dan Reichart, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Discovery of the Most Distant Explosion in the Universe”
Dennis Hands, Greensboro Astronomy Club, “My Two Weeks on Mars”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Robert Naeye, Sky & Telescope, “Go Spirit!  Go Opportunity! NASA’s Intrepid Rovers

*Tri*Star* 2005 Saturday Speakers:
Robert Naeye, Sky & Telescope, “Ringworld Rendezvous”
Stef McLaughlin, Deep Impact Mission & University of Maryland, “Amateur Observing Opportunities for the Deep Impact Mission”
Jonathan Keohane, Hampden-Sydney College, “Cosmic Explosions Inside Coffins of Massive Stars”
Mike Castelaz, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, “Exploring Young Stars in the Orion Nebula”

Friday Shapley Lecture: Larry Fredrick, University of Virginia, “The Great Impactor

*Tri*Star* 2004 Saturday Speakers:
Larry Fredrick, University of Virginia, “Parallax:  Chasing a Very Small Angle”
Dan Caton, Appalachian State University, “ASU’s Dark Sky Observatory: Opportunities for Students and Amateurs”
David Moffett, Furman University, “1300+ Pulsars”
Tom English, GTCC, “Transits of Venus”

Pre-*Tri*Star* Friday Lecture: Van Abernethy, Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club, “Saturn

*Tri*Star* 2003 Saturday Speakers:
Johnny Horne, Sky & Telescope, “Backyard Universe Gallery”
Dan Reichart, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Stonehenge as an Astronomical Observatory”
Tony Crider, Elon University, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”
Dana Crider, Catholic University of America, “What Happened to the Water on Mars?”

Friday Shapley Lecture: Robert Rood, University of Virginia, “Searching for Unicorns and Extraterrestrial Civilizations

*Tri*Star* 2002 Saturday Speakers:
Robert Rood, University of Virginia, “Looking at the Guts of Globular Clusters with the Hubble Space Telescope”
Gayle Riggsbee, Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club, “The History of the Building of the 200-inch Hale Telescope”
Jerry Watson, NCSU & Raleigh Astronomy Club, “Weather Systems on Other Planets”
Steve Danford, UNC-Greensboro, “What Is the Future of Space Exploration?”