Developing an Undergraduate Astronomical Research Program

Genet, Russell M. (2007) Developing an Undergraduate Astronomical Research Program. In: The Society for Astronomical Sciences 26th Annual Symposium on Telescope Science. Society for the Astronomical Sciences, pp. 99-102.


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Time-series astronomical photometry is an area of scientific research well suited to amateurs and undergraduates, and their backyard and campus observatories. I describe two past one-semester community college research programs, one six year ago and one last fall (2006), as well as a program planned for this coming fall (2007). The 2001 program, a course at Central Arizona College, utilized a robotic telescope at the Fairborn Observatory. Results were presented at the 200th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This past fall, three students, in a 17-week, one-semester course at Cuesta College, were able to plan a research program, make several thousand CCD photometric observations, reduce and analyze their data, write up their results and, on the last day of class, send their paper off to a refereed journal, the JAAVSO. A course is being offered this coming fall (2007) that will involve about a dozen students (including high school students), several local amateur astronomers, and at least three CCD-equipped semi-automatic telescopes. Potential solutions to “scaling up” challenges created by increased class size are discussed.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: RTSRE Related Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2017 10:39
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:26

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