Stellar Society Lecture – part of the NC 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 FestivalA complete GTCC NSCF Calendar is listed at the bottom of this page.

The 2016 Stellar Society Lecture was held Friday, 22 April 2016, 7:00 p.m. – details about the 2017 lecture will be announced later.
Auditorium, Koury Hospitality Careers Center, GTCC, Jamestown

“Titan:  Ingredients for Life”

Featuring Dr. Sarah Hörst, Johns Hopkins University

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

About the Talk

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is unique in our solar system. Below Titan’s thick organic haze layer, rivers of methane carve channels into an icy bedrock and flow into large hydrocarbons seas. Across the landscape, water ice mountains and extensive organic sand dune fields are simultaneously alien and reminiscent of Earth. Titan’s lake mottled surface and thick, organic rich atmosphere may be an ideal setting for life as we do not know it and there is certainly much yet to be learned about our own home from the study of Titan.

Cline Observatory will be open after the talk for telescopic viewing, weather permitting.

About the Speaker

Sarah Hörst is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her primary research interest is atmospheric chemistry, particularly the complex organic chemistry occurring in the atmosphere or on the surface of bodies in the solar system. Previously, Dr. Hörst was a NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado. She is a recipient of the Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. She has a BS in Planetary Science and a BS in Literature from the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona.

Visit Dr. Hörst’s research page.

Complete Calendar of NC Science Festival events held at GTCC in April 2016 (NOTE:  these events have already happened – the 2017 schedule will be posted later.  All GTCC NCSF events are FREE and open to anyone with an interest in science):

  • Our Public Viewing Session on Friday, 8 April 2016 is part of the Statewide Star Party (weather permitting)
  • There will be an evening of interactive science demonstrations in Science Hall on the GTCC Jamestown campus on Friday, 15 April 2016, featuring presentations and demonstrations by faculty and students in GTCC’s Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Biotech, and Engineering Programs.  The venue opens at 6:00, and sessions will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Science Hall is Building 24 on this campus map. Cline Observatory will be open for viewing after the event (weather permitting).
  • Dr. Hörst’s Stellar Society Lecture at 7:00 p.m. in Koury Auditorium on Friday, 22 April 2016 (with observing afterward, weather permitting). Koury is Building 19 on this campus map.
  • 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.

Past Stellar Society Lectures