History of the Astronomy Research Seminar

The history of the Astronomy Research Seminar is deep and has impacted the lives of many students since its establishment in 2007. What follows is a chronological collection of representative photos of some of the students and faculty who have participated in the Seminar. The hope is that these photos will spur more students and teachers to become involved in the Seminar, to learn of its breadth of activity, to become active investigators and learners, and to gain the skills to be both a skilled researcher and critically thinking member of society. All photos and student work at tied to peer-reviewed publications, which are also listed for each photo or set of photos.



In 2016, students from the Army and Navy Academy measured the position angles and separations of three double star systems. They compared their results with that of previous workers to determine their ability to replicate the work of previous observers. Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 12, Number 1, page 45. In the photo at right, from left to right, are: Aren Dennis, Yongyao Li, Faisal AlZaben, and Dewei Li. 

The photo above shows the participants from the Vanguard Preparatory Academy who took part in the Apple Valley Double Star Workshop in 2015. The students measured position angles and separations for binary star Cor Caroli. In the photo, Back row (left to right): Reed Estrada, Leone Thompson, Lilian Martinez, Jonathan Housachenko, Ruth Schlosser, Matthew Gosney, and Chris Estrada. Front row (left to right): Serenity Anderson, Breck Buccola, Karen Garcia, and Wyatt Myskow


In the photo above, Paul Wren (left) and Tim Smith (right) worked to choose their binary target, BU 1292, for observations and telescope targeting. At top right, Russ Genet is pictured with the telescope. At right, Paul Wren (left) and Russ Genet (right) pose for the camera. This work was subsequently published in the Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 11, page 245. Observations were acquired at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

At left is a group of high school students who assisted in the first speckle observations of binary star BU 1292. Their research was subsequently published in the Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 11, Page 245, 2015.

At left are California Polytechnic Institute students (left to right): Jason Goad, Cameron Allen, Ryan Morshead, and Kaitlin McArdle, who conducted double star research via speckle interferometry, which was published in the Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 11, Page 214, using data obtained at the Orion Observatory.




Pictured above are members of Team "Dubhe or Not Dubhe" who conducted separation and position angle measurements of a binary and trinary star system. From left to right in the photo above are: Chandra Alduenda, Navarre Hernandez-Frey, Thomas Frey, Patrick King, Gabriela Key, Alex Hendrix, and Rebecca Chamberlain. Observations were conducted at Pine Mountain Observatory, near Bend, Oregon. This research was subsequently published in 2012 in the Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 8, Page 48. 



Comparing telescopes. Aubrey Schachter, right, watches the bright star, Vega, drift across the field of view of the 6” Newtonian telescope, while Molly Summers, center, times the drift with a stopwatch. Cheyne Kight, at left, records the time. The goal of this research was to compare the accuracy and precision of double star observations using two telescopes. Journal of Double Star Observations, Volume 5, Number 1, page 60.