NOVAC Public Meeting, 10/8/23, 7:30pm EDT

Join NOVAC as we welcome Dr. Robert Parks, Assistant Professor and Deputy Observatory Director at George Mason University.   We’ll learn first-hand about the birth of new stars, interlaced with exciting updates from James Webb Telescope observations.   

This NOVAC meeting will be held both in-person at George Mason University as well as live-streamed via Google Meet.  Dr. Parks will be speaking to us in person at his favorite university – George Mason!   We encourage you to attend in person and watch the talk from there.  Here is information for both ways to connect.

In Person Option:

Meet at George Mason University, Exploratory Hall, Room 3301.  Check GMU web site for nearby parking options.  Some lots or garages do charge for parking.  Room will be open as early as 6:45pm.

Virtual Option: Join using Google Meet

Video call link:
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 484-430-1468‬ PIN: ‪486 839 001‬#
More phone numbers:

Presentation Details:

Talk Title: A Star is Born


The explosion of alien planet research has cast a stronger light (pun intended) on the need to understand their host stars.  In particular, attention needs to be paid to how these stars form creating the birthplace for these worlds.  This talk will cover the basic construction process of young stellar objects, otherwise known as protostars.  It will include updates on how the James Webb Space Telescope is providing unprecedented data and visuals on this complex process.


Dr. Rob Parks is an Assistant Professor and Deputy Observatory Director in the Physics and Astronomy Department at George Mason University.  He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Astronomy from the University of Florida in 1998 and 2000, respectively.  After teaching physics and astronomy at Emory University, he went back and earned his Ph.D. from George State University in 2014.  While Dr. Parks’ research interests concentrate on forming stars and planets, he is focused on astronomy outreach and science communication.


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