top of page

PHS Introduction to Astronomical Research

This course aims to provide students with hands-on experience in real scientific research. The students will work in teams and select a binary star from a list of Speckle Interferometry observations made on the 1.5-meter telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory. They will use Desmos to plot the previously published United States Naval Observatory orbit for their star and input the new Mt. Wilson observation along with any unpublished observations to plot a new orbit based on the new data. Once they have analyzed the orbital data, each team will write a scientific, peer-reviewed paper to report their findings. The papers will be published in the Journal of Double Star Observations.

Students will have additional opportunities in the summer to attend a STEM conference at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, CO. They will also have the chance to present their research at the Society for Astronomical Sciences' annual symposium, make first-hand observations at the Mount Wilson Observatory, which will be used for future orbital analysis by students, and attend an additional symposium in Magdalena, NM.

bottom of page