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InStAR Books

The Double Star Reader

Editors: R. Kent Clark, Russell M. Genet, Jolyon Johnson, 
Vera Wallen, Eric Weise

Softcover • $29.95

The majority of stars are gravitationally bound systems of two or more stars that are only distinguishable through a telescope. Their orbital periods range from days to millennia, often making double star research a multi-generational endeavor. Thus, astronomers today contribute measurements of systems that have been observed, in many cases, for centuries. Since the fundamentals of double star research are straight-forward and entry equipment is low cost, double star research is open to amateur and student astronomers. This book exposes the reader to a diverse sampling from the Journal of Double Star Observations detailing both historical and modern observations as well as the techniques and technologies used by amateurs, students, and professionals.


Hardcover • $29.95

About the Editors

R. Kent Clark is Professor of Physics at University of South Alabama and Editor of the Journal of Double Star Observations.

Russell M. Genet is the founder of the Astronomy Research Seminars. He is a Research Scholar in Residence at California Polytechnic University, an Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA, and an Editor of the Journal of Double Star Observations.

Eric Weise is an amateur astronomer and an aspiring scientist. He has been involved in the double star community since he was in high school and has had the opportunity to work with many of the fantastic people involved double star astrometry. He continued his following his interest in astronomy by studying math and physics at the University of California, San Diego. To pay the bills, Eric works as at a medical device start up where he develops and deploys software to detect cancer in mammograms. Through some hard work and lots of luck he's been given the responsibilities of lead developer. When he's not tinkering on code you can probably find him enjoying the outdoors. Backpacking, gardening, and surfing are his favorite ways to pass the time, but you can also find him with his nose buried in a good science fiction book.

Vera Wallen is a retired public school district superintendent and teacher with 40 years experience in education. Dr. Wallen focused her career on leading special students to achieve their full potential and maximizing faculty application of the latest learning research. A life-long dreamer of space travel, she took her first astronomy class from Russ Genet at Cuesta College in her 10th year of retirement on the central coast of California and has served as copy editor for the first two volumes of the Alt-Az Initiative books.

Jolyon Johnson is a physics teacher at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, Washington and also an Editor of the Journal of Double Star Observations. He was also a participant and long-time assistant instructor in the original Astronomy Research Seminars.

Double Star Reader Contents

I. Historical Studies 

  • Notes on the Double Stars of Father John W. Stein, S. J. (James A. Daley)

  • Relocating John Herschel's Binary Systems from the 1820's and 30's (William J. Burling)

  • 3. Binary Star Measurements with a 17th Century, Long-Focal, Non-Achromatic Refractor

  • (Alan Binder) 

  • CCD Measurements of Espin’s Neglected Double Stars: First in a Series

  • (Juan Luis Gonzalez Carballo)

  • Christian Mayer’s Double Star Catalog of 1779 (Joerg S. Schlimmer)


Interlude: R. Kent Clark


II. Research Methods

  • Comparison of Two Methods of Determining the Position Angle of the
    Visual Double Star 61 Cygni
     (Alexandra Baxter et al.)

  • Double Star Astrometry with a Simple CCD Camera (Wolfgang Vollmann)

  • CCD Double-Star Measurements at Altimira Observatory in 2007 (Robert Buchheim)

  • Lunar Occultation Observations of Known Double Stars – Report #1 (Brian Loader et al.)

  • New Double Stars from Asteroidal Occultations, 1971 - 2008 (Dave Herold et al.)

  • On the Accuracy of Double Star Measurements from “Lucky” Images, a Case Study of Zeta Aqr and Beta Phe (Rainer Anton)

  • Estimation of Double Star Parameters by Speckle Observations Using a Webcam
    (Roberto Maria Caloi)

  • A Method of Measuring High Delta m Doubles (James Daley)

  • A New Video Method to Measure Double Stars (Richard Nugent & Ernest Iverson)


Interlude: R. Kent Clark


III. Telescopes and Instruments

  • Visual Double Star Measurements with an Alt-Azimuth Telescope (Thomas Frey)

  • A Novel Method of Double Star Astrometry Using a Webcam and
    Self-Calibrating Measurement Software (Ed Hitchcok)

  • Measuring Neglected Double Stars with Two Alt-Az Telescopes (Lucian Curelaru & Florin Marc)

  • Photographing and Measuring Double Stars with Unconventional Imagers (Rod Mollise)

  • Double Star Imaging and Measurement with Unconventional Cameras, Part II: Binary Imaging with the Meade LPI and DSI Cameras (Rod Mollise)

  • Comparison of the Astrometric Measurements of SHJ355 and STF3022 Obtained with Different Techniques and Software (Lorenzo Preti and Giuseppe Micello)

  • Observation of STF 2686 from Haleakala (Stephen McGauphey & Russell Genet)


Interlude: R. Kent Clark 


IV. Observing Programs 

  • Divinus Lux Observatory Bulletin: Report #1 (Dave Arnold)

  • Double Star Measures for the Year 2004 (James Daley)

  • Double Star Measures Using a DSLR Camera (Ernõ Berkó)

  • Double and Multiple Star Measurements in the Northern Sky with a 10” Newtonian and a Fast

  • CCD Camera in 2006 through 2009 (Rainer Anton)

  • Observation Report 2003-2004: Humacao University Observatory (Rafael J. Muller et al.)

  • CCD Double Star Measures: Jack Jones Memorial Observatory Report #1 (James Jones)

  • Neglected Double Observations 2006 No. 1: With Notes on Use of a Robotic Telescope
    (E. O. Wiley)

  • 33 Double Star Measures Using a CCD Camera in Corona Borealis (Morgan Spangle)

Interlude: R. Kent Clark

V. Astrometry

  • R. G. Aitken's Criterion to Detect Physical Pairs (Francisco Rica Romero)

  • Determining the Nature of a Double Star: The Law of Conservation of Energy and
    the Orbital Velocity (F. M. Rica)

  • Measures and Relative Motions of Some Mostly F. G. W. Struve Doubles (E. O. Wiley)

  • Criteria to Determine the Nature of Double Stars: the Stellar Masses
    (Francisco Rica Romero)

  • Determination of the Nature of Visual Double Stars Using Probability Theory
    (Francisco Rica Romero)

  • A Mathematical Model to Predict the Resolution of Double Stars by Amateurs and
    Their Telescopes (Tim Napier-Munn)

Interlude: R. Kent Clark


VI. Student Research

  • Investigation into the Motions of “Neglected” Double Star WDS 01477+6351
    (R. Kent Clark et al.)

  • Visual Measurements of Double Stars with a NexStar 6 SE at the Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Research Workshop 2009 (Austin B. Schrader et al.)

  • A Comparison of the Astrometric Precision and Accuracy of Double Star Observations
    with Two Telescopes (Pablo Alvarez et al.)

  • Chico High School Students' Astrometric Observations of the Visual Double Star STF 1657
    (Jonelle Ahiligwo et al.)

  • Visual Astrometry Observations of the Binary Star Beta Lyrae (S. Jananne Collins et al.)

  • Student Measurements of 3 Binary Star Systems (Mark Brewer et al.)


Interlude: R. Kent Clark


VII. Catalogs

  • The U.S. Naval Observatory Double Star Program: Frequently Asked Questions
    (Brian D. Mason and William I. Hartkopf)

  • On Line Double Star Resources at the US Naval Observatory (Brian D. Mason)

  • Finding New Common Proper-Motion Binaries by Data Mining (Rafael Caballero)

  • New Suspected Common Proper Motion Pairs (Massimiliano Martignoni)


Interlude: R. Kent Clark


Epilog: Russell M. Genet


Author: List Vera Wallen and Eric Weise

Index: Vera Wallen and Eric Weise

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