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 

Friday, December 14th, 2018:  Dr. Mark Bowen - The Fermi Paradox, where are all the alien civilizations?

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

Friday, March 15th, 2019:  Dr. Igor Andreoni - Look & Listen to the Violent Universe

Friday, April 12th, 2019: Dr. Matthew E. Orr - How to Build Galaxies 

Friday, May 10th, 2019:  Dr. Marie Ygouf - Observing Aliens Worlds

Did you know that astronomers found thousands of planets orbiting around other stars than our sun? Come to the planetarium and explore these alien worlds with Dr. Marie Ygouf!  Together you will learn how exoplanets form, how far away they are, what they might look like, and how we discover them.

Dr. Marie Ygouf is an astrophysicist working on planets that orbit other stars (not our sun). These objects, also called exoplanets, are extremely difficult to image for two main reasons: 1) they are situated further than 10 thousands of billion kilometers from us and 2) they emit several billion times less light than their host stars. Taking a picture of a planet around a star at such distances is equivalent to spot a mosquito close to a lighthouse at a distance of several hundred of kilometers. This requires state-of-the art telescopes that block the light from the star and innovative techniques of post-processing to extract the light from the planet. Marie’s work consists in improving the performance of telescopes for exoplanet science. She is currently preparing observations of exoplanets with the future NASA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project (Hubble Space Telescope successor) that will be launched in space in 2021. JWST will help us to better understand the atmosphere of exoplanets, which is the first step to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.

View our past presentations