GCC Planetarium

A Conversation with the Stars

"A Conversation with the Stars" is the GCC Planetarium's monthly lecture series.  Each evening features a professional astronomer speaking about their area of expertise.  New this year for the lecture series will be student musicians, artists and authors, all showcasing their talents.  

As always, after the talk, telescopes will be available through which the (admittedly limited) celestial sites of the Glendale sky can be observed in more detail.  Light refreshments will also be served, after the talk.

The evening conversations are free, but because seating in the planetarium is limited, reservations are required. Please visit the brown paper tickets website (linked below, for each speaker) to reserve your seat.

We look forward to seeing you in the dome


Our 2018-2019 Line up:

Friday, September 21st, 2018:  Dr. Joe Masiero - Asteroids

Friday, October 19th, 2018:  Dr. Jason Marshall - Black Holes, Starbursts, and Giant Telescopes of the Future

Friday, November 16th, 2018:  Dr. Susanna Kohler - Black Holes:  Stranger than Fiction 

Dr. Susanna Kohler received her PhD in astrophysics from University of Colorado Boulder in 2014. As a researcher, she studied the structure of the extremely energetic jets flung out from supermassive black holes lurking at the centers of galaxies.  Susanna now works to communicate recent astronomy research to the public as the editor of the American Astronomical Society’s website AAS Nova.  She moonlights on the side as a leader in various science communication initiatives, including ComSciCon, a science communication workshop series for graduate students.

Stranger Than Fiction: What we know about black holes.  You’ve seen them in books, movies, and TV shows — but the truth about black holes can be even stranger than the stories made up about them! How do we spot black holes? What happens when a passing star encounters a black hole? And what’s all the fuss about gravitational waves? The American Astronomical Society’s Susanna Kohler will answer these questions and more in this overview of what we know about black holes today.

Friday, December 14th, 2018:  Dr. Mark Bowen 

Friday, February 22nd, 2019:  Dr. Evan Kirby - An Archaeological Road Trip with the Keck Telescopes

The Keck telescopes have gone on an virtual archaeological road trip to the most remote neighborhoods of our Galaxy.  These neighborhoods are peppered with mini-galaxies-within-a-Galaxy that are sparsely populated with just handfuls of stars.  Although these galaxies used to harbor supernovae that produced of most of the elements in the periodic table, those factories were shuttered long ago.  Keck uncovers the history of these ghost towns--and their defunct manufacturing economies--by discovering what the few surviving stars are made of.

Evan Kirby graduated with a BS from Stanford in 2004 and a PhD from UC Santa Cruz in 2009.  He has been an assistant professor of astronomy & astrophysics at Caltech since 2014.  He specializes in using stellar spectroscopy to measure the content of stars in the nearby universe.  His research gives us insight on where and how the elements of the periodic table are created, as well as how they are dispersed into the universe to make stars and solar systems like our own.  His primary source of data is the Keck telescopes in Hawaii.

Friday, March 15th, 2019:  TBD

Friday, April 12th, 2019:  TBD

Friday, May 10th, 2019:  TBD 


View our past presentations