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?

Dr. Mark Bowen will be on hand to discuss the Fermi Paradox.  What is the Fermi Paradox you ask?  Well, physicist Enrico Fermi wondered why, given the immense scale of the galaxy and the many planets (3906 confirmed as of early December, 2019) within it, there isn't evidence of a single intelligent civilization beyond our's on Earth.  There's so much out there, and so many places life *could* thrive.  Where is that life then?  Good question!  Dr. Bowen will help you figure it out.

Mark Bowen is one of GCC's own:  He's been teaching the wonders of astronomy and physics to GCC students for the past 3.5 years.  Prior to his arrival, Mark was at Humboldt State University, UC Davis, The Berkeley Space Science Lab and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source.  He holds a Ph.D in Physics Education and will spend the evening educating us on the astrophysics of life in the Universe.

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