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InStAR Books

Small Telescopes and
Astronomical Research

Foreword by Alex Filippenko
Publisher’s Note by Cheryl Genet and Dwight Collins
Preface by Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson, and Vera Wallen

Softcover • $19.95


This book chronicles the remarkable resurgence in small telescope astronomical research sparked by three technical breakthroughs: compact Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, personal computers, and affordable CCD cameras. Every night, cosmic mysteries are being probed by thousands of “backyard Galileos.” Increasingly, professionals and amateurs as well as college and even high school students are engaging in original research and preparing papers for publication. The Galilean tradition of small telescope astronomical research continues – you are invited to join in!


Softcover • $19.95

About the Editors

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.

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.

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.

Small Telescopes and Astronomical Research Contents

Part I. Introduction

  • Galileo's Legacy (Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson, and Vera Wallen)


Part II. Small Telescopes for Research

  • The Founding & Early History of Celestron Telescopes (Robert Piekiel and Thomas J. Johnson)

  • Small Telescope Developments at Celestron (Danyal J. Medley)

  • Coaxing a Meade LX10 Into the Digital Age (George Alers, Brittany McCrigler, and Dan Pemberton)


Interlude: Tom Johnson and Russ Genet Share Life Stories

Part III. Remote Access and Networks

  • Regent Lane Observatory (Robert D. Rea)

  • Internet Telescopes: Capabilities and Benchmarks (Kelly Graves and Glen Mackie)

  • Commercial Remote Astronomical Observatories for Education and Research (Richard J. Williams)

  • Effects of Optical Miniaturization on Occultations (Scott Degenhardt)


Short Story Interlude: The Demotion of Pluto: How It Actually Happened (Megan Hoffman)


Part IV. Small Telescope Research

  • Double Stars (Robert W. Argyle)

  • Visual Double Star Measurements with Equatorial and Alt-Azimuth Telescopes
    (Thomas G. Frey, Jolyon M. Johnson,Christopher J. Almich, and Russell M. Genet

  • Considering Proper Motion in the Analysis of Visual Double Star Observations (Dave Arnold)

  • All about the Journal of Double Star Observations (R. Kent Clark)

  • Between-Eclipse UBV Photometric Observations of Epsilon Aurigae 
    (Thomas C. Smith and Russell M. Genet)

  • An Investigation of Exceptions to the Solar Hemispheric  Patterns of Chirality
    (Sara F. Martin and Alexander Wen)


Photographic Interlude: Small Telescope Student Research


Part V. Research as Undergraduate Education

  • One-Semester Astronomical Research Seminars (Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson, Vera Wallen)

  • Observational Astronomy Research at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (Matthew M. Beaky)

  • A Global Astronomy Research and Education Initiative (Paul S. Hardersen)

  • Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Research Workshop
    (Russell Genet, Richard Berry, Jolyon Johnson, Thomas Frey)

  • Student Astronomical Research: A Personal Story (Jolyon M. Johnson)


Short Story Interlude: Titan: Mission Gone BOOM! (Megan Hoffman)


Part VI. Examples of Undergraduate and High School Research

  • Exoplanet Observations Reveal Early Ingress
    (James Carlisle, Cindy Foote, Thomas C. Smith, Jolyon M. Johnson, Russell M. Genet, Robert Nelson)

  • Photometry of XX Cygni at the 2009 PMO Summer Research Workshop
    (Richard Berry, Dan Gray, Jared Green, Danyal Medley, Nicholas Rebol, Richard Watkins)

  • A Comparison of the Astrometric Precision and Accuracy of Two Telescopes
    (Pablo Alvarez, Amos E. Fishbein, Michael W. Hyland, Cheyne L. Kight, Harold Lopez,
    Tanya Navarro, Carlos A. Rosas, Aubrey E. Schachter, Molly A. Summers, Eric D. Weise,
    Megan A. Hoffman, Robert C.Mires, Jolyon M. Johnson, Russell M. Genet, Robin White)

  • Double Star Measurements with a Three Inch Tasco Telescope
    (Darrell R. Grisham, Jolyon M. Johnson, Russell M. Genet, David L. Arnold)

  • Light Curves of Two GNAT MG1 Survey Stars (Noll Roberts, Casey Milne, and Neelie Jaggi)

  • Period Analysis of the Variable Star MG1-753840 (Brittany McCrigler, Noll Roberts, Russell M. Genet)

  • Student Estimate of the Rotation Period of Pallas 
    (Jolyon M. Johnson, Brittany McCrigler, Daniel Pemberton, John Keller)

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