Since 2006, Dr. Russell Genet has taught an innovative astronomy research seminar at Cuesta College in which students conduct original scientific research primarily on visual double stars. As an authentic scientific investigation, these students co-author papers published in academic journals—a rare feat for undergraduates and high school students. The astronomy research seminar supplements the normal science education these students receive in school by offering them a glimpse of what real scientists do. In 2015, a number of students across the country formed small, local teams, each led by an assistant instructor to the seminar. These teams collaborated with experts in the field to complete their projects and in the process created a networked community of practice. Each team focused its research on visual double stars by contributing observations using a visual eyepiece, CCD camera, or speckle interferometry. A few teams studied techniques of finding orbital solutions. This book serves as a compilation of all student papers produced during the spring 2015 seminar.
About the Editor. Jolyon Johnson is a former student and long-term advisor of the astronomy research seminar. Jolyon attended Cuesta College prior to receiving a Bachelor of Science in Geology from California State University, Chico. He has taught high school science in various capacities and just completed a Master in Teaching with an endorsement in science at the University of Washington, Seattle. He currently has eighteen co-authored publications in the Journal of Double Star Observations through his work with the astronomy research seminar and he co-edited The Double Star Reader: Selected Papers from the Journal of Double Star Observations.