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Over the past decade, research during the confines of a single school semester or summer camp by undergraduate and high school student teams in various Astronomy Research Seminars has produced 150 published papers by some 500 coauthors. Teams plan their own project, submit a proposal, gather and analyze data, present results in a published paper, and give a public presentation. Publication advances science and benefit students through school admissions, often with a scholarship. The nonprofit Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR) supports the many different versions of the Astronomy Research Seminars by maintaining a supportive community of practice, organizing conferences and workshops, publishing the Small Telescope Astronomical Research Handbook and other helpful books, providing open-source training material, and maintaining this supportive website. 


The key to the Astronomy Research Seminar’s success is the immersion of student research teams within an existing extensive astronomical pro-am research community of practice and the development and maintenance of that community. 

Research Areas

InStAR actively supports research in the following areas

Seminars, Workshops, and Conferences

InStAR offers a variety of courses (online and in-person) and online instructional resources that provide participants with the knowledge and information they need to successfully conduct astronomical research. Seminars and workshops include:

• Astronomy Research Seminars (double stars, exoplanets)

• Onsite mountain-top research experiences

• Observational Astronomy

• Astronomical Instrumentation

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