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The multiple alpha Geminorum, "Castor" (32 x 33 msec). The inset shows a close-up of the binary AB, recorded with shorter exposure time (82 x 0.5 msec). 

The multiple alpha Geminorum, "Castor" (32 x 33 msec). The inset shows a close-up of the binary AB, recorded with shorter exposure time (82 x 0.5 msec). 

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As part of the Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Research Workshop 2009, high school and college students joined with an experienced double star observer and an engineer from Celestron to test a portable observatory utilizing a Celestron NexStar 6 SE with a Celestron Micro Guide eyepiece. This was the first time the students operated a telescope to...

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... pair should show systematic, rather than ran- dom; changes of theta and rho over time would be functions of orbital motion (Aitken, 1935). To see if the techniques used here could uncover such behavior, I analyzed data for the known binary 00373-2446BU 395. The scatter plot is a nice picture of the orbital mo- tion ( Figure 4). Further, a plot of the residuals versus Epoch of observation shows the systematic variation of the residuals ( Figure 5). One can even roughly esti- mate the orbital period of about 25 years. I then ana- lyzed the residuals from only part of one orbit. This shows that the residuals display a non-random pattern of residual variation ( Figure 6) with later measures following earlier measures in a coherent time series in the y versus x scatter plot. STF 648AB shows a similar non-random residual pattern (Figure 7). This suggests that STF 648AB may be binary albeit with a very long period. However, unlike BU 395, the order of meas- ures in the y versus x scatter plot do not form a consis- tent time series (later dates do not always follow ear- lier dates along the apparent path), so the resulting non-random behavior of the residuals may simply be tracking noise. How to parse this out without using weighting functions will require study of additional ...
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... the WDS catalog, 5 components are listed. The components AB and AC are known as STF2427, AD is listed as CTT 11 and AE is listed in the WDS catalog as SP 2. At a distance of about 83 a.s. from the bright- est component E, I found a further background star with a brightness of magnitude 11.0 ( Figure 7). ...
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... several cases, systematic deviations from pre- dicted positions became apparent, which are also docu- mented by recent measurements from other authors, especially in the speckle catalog [5]. A striking example is STF 3050 in Andromeda (note #139), which is illus- trated in fig. 3. Currently, the separation increases faster than expected from the ephemeris. The differ- ence has now grown to greater than +0.1", which is much larger than the error margin of both speckle data and results from lucky imaging. Other binary systems with obvious deviations from calculated orbits are the following: -STT 21 in Andromeda (note #10), -iota Cassiopeiae AB (note #25, see fig. 7), -STF 305 in Aries (note #27), -STT 531 in Perseus (note #29), -zeta Cancri AB-C (note #43, see fig. 9), -STT 215 in Leo (note #56), -STF 1555 AB (note #66), -35 Comae AB (note #74, see fig. 11), -kappa Bootis (note #84), -20 Draconis (note #106), -STF 2199 in Draco (note #111), -zeta Aquarii AB (note #133, see also a more detailed discussion in an earlier paper in this Journal ...


... Although they used smaller telescopes for their double star observations, students and instructors pose in front of the 32-inch telescope at the University of Oregon's Pine Mountain Observatory 2009 Student Research Workshop.A total of eight papers have been published in the Journal of Double Star Observations from these Pine Mountain Observatory workshops. Most papers report on the separation and position angle of a double star such as Iota Boötes(Schrader et al., 2010), Beta Lyrae, 61 Cygni, and Delta Boötis. However, andAlduenda et al. (2012) reported observations of multiple star systems. ...
Conference Paper
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Double stars have been systematically observed since William Herschel initiated his program in 1779. In 1803 he reported that, to his surprise, many of the systems he had been observing for a quarter century were gravitationally bound binary stars. In 1830 the first binary orbital solution was obtained, leading eventually to the determination of stellar masses. Double star observations have been a prolific field, with observations and discoveries - often made by students and amateurs - routinely published in a number of specialized journals such as the Journal of Double Star Observations. All published double star observations from Herschel's to the present have been incorporated in the Washington Double Star Catalog. In addition to reviewing the history of visual double stars, we discuss four observational technologies and illustrate these with our own observational results from both California and Hawaii on telescopes ranging from small SCTs to the 2-meter Faulkes Telescope North on Haleakala. Two of these technologies are visual observations aimed primarily at published "hands-on" student science education, and CCD observations of both bright and very faint doubles. The other two are recent technologies that have launched a double star renaissance. These are lucky imaging and speckle interferometry, both of which can use electron-multiplying CCD cameras to allow short (30 ms or less) exposures that are read out at high speed with very low noise. Analysis of thousands of high speed exposures allows normal seeing limitations to be overcome so very close doubles can be accurately measured.
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In 2008, as an extension of the Cuesta College astronomical research seminar for undergraduate students, Russ Genet initiated a student summer research workshop at University of Oregon' s Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO) near Bend, Oregon. The workshop' s primary objective was to complete several re-search projects that would result in published papers in a short length of time, initially one week. Pine Mountain Observatory has two main functions: research and public outreach. The research program concentrates on CCD photometry of galaxies with low surface brightness. This research is carried out primarily by the Di-rector of the Pine Mountain Observatory, Dr. Gregory D. Bothun, University of Oregon, Department of Physics. Most of the observations are made by the Resident Observer, Alan Chambers, with a 32-inch Sigma Research telescope located inside a large dome. The summer research workshops also became part of the research program at Pine Mountain Observatory, albeit with smaller telescopes and rather modest scientific goals. The public outreach program at PMO features public nights every Friday and Saturday evening during portions of the year when the observatory is open to the public (the observatory is closed to the public during the winter). Kent Fairfield gives public lectures on these nights, and the visiting public views objects through the 24-inch Boller and Chivens telescope as well as smaller telescopes often set up by amateurs. Dan Gray recently retrofitted the 1950s 24-inch Boller and Chivens telescope with a modern control system from Sidereal Technology (which Dan owns). Keeping a remote, mountaintop observatory functioning is a major task that is handled primarily by Mark Dunaway, the on-mountain Manager for the observatory. The first PMO summer research workshop was held in July of 2008 and consisted of several students, astronomers, and engineers. A week before the workshop started, Russ Genet met with Kent Fairfield to visually measure double stars. They used the 24-inch Boller and Chivens telescope with an astrometric eyepiece and later with a CCD camera. Russ also set up his 6-inch Celestron Nex-Star 6 SE to do preliminary trials, using it as a portable observatory for science.