16th Annual


Indiana Family Star Party
and Greatcon 2018

Guest Speakers

If you are a speaker and want to know about our presentation facilities, please click here.


Rafael Lang

Dark Matter
Rafael Lang is an associate professor in the Purdue Physics and Astronomy department.  He is on a quest to understand what the Universe is made of and so he is working to understand Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Ron Whitehead

Things you didn't know about astronomy
Ron has been an avid amateur astronomer approaching 66 years, and has been a collector of meteorites for over 25 years. He can be found observing at various star parties, dark sky sites and his backyard observatory.  He enjoys attempting to process astro-images and studying and growing his meteorite collection. Presentations to local and regional organizations, school groups, astronomy clubs, and others on a wide range of space and astronomical topics help promote interest in and appreciation for science and astronomy. Ron serves as the Chair of the Great Lakes Region of the Astronomical League and was the Executive Secretary of the Astronomical League.
B.J. Austin

Where We Have Been, Where We Are Going, and How We Are Going To Get There (Maybe)

B.J. Austin is president of IN Space, an aerospace propulsion research and development company in West Lafayette focusing on technologies to improve space exploration and space commercialization.  B.J.'s talk will review human exploration for space so far, discuss current plans by NASA and private companies to send people to low Earth orbit and beyond, and cover potential options for future missions.
Brian Tanner

Mars Next: Beyond the Telescope

Mars Next presents the future of Mars exploration and how astronomers and scientists in Indiana can become part of America's Great Adventure.  While Indiana has not traditionally been known as a "Space State", the ability of citizens to be directly involved in our journey to Mars is unlike any period of exploration in Americas history.  The conversation will look at how the commercial space industry is opening the door to new interactions between Astronauts and ground-based observers.