Alt-Az Initiative


Alt-AZ Telescope Initiative
Telescope & Instrument Developments
Scientific Research Programs
Student Research & Development as Education

Alt-Az Books and Papers
References, & Links

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Small Telescope and Astronomical Research
is available for shipping
Click here to order

The cover photos are of some of the many professional, amateur, and student researchers involved in various aspects of the Alt-Az Initiative.

ublished by the Collins Foundation Press)

Lightweight Alt-Az Telescope Developments
will be available for shipping April, 2010
Click here to order


The cover photo is the 700 mm Corrected Dall Kirkham Nasmyth Alt-Az telescope, part of the Alt-Az Initiative & manufactured by PlaneWave Instruments

ublished by the Collins Foundation Press)


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

Part I  Introduction
1. Galileo’s Legacy
              Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson, and Vera Wallen

Part II   Small Telescopes for Research
2.  The Founding & Early History of Celestron Telescopes                       Robert Piekiel and Thomas J. Johnson
3.   Small Telescope Developments at Celestron
              Danyal J. Medley
4.   Coaxing a Meade LX10 Into the Digital Age

      George Alers, Brittany McCrigler, and Dan Pemberton

  Interlude:  Tom Johnson and Russ Genet Share Life Stories
Russell M. Genet

 Part III    Remote Access and Networks
5.  Regent Lane Observatory
              Robert D. Rea
6.  Internet Telescopes: Capabilities and Benchmarks
              Kelly Graves and Glen Mackie
7.  Commercial Remote Astronomical Observatories for
     Education and Research
              Richard J. Williams

8.  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
9.   Double Stars
               Robert W. Argyle

10.  Visual Double Star Measurements with Equatorial
       and Alt-Azimuth Telescopes
              Thomas G. Frey, Jolyon M. Johnson,
               Christopher J. Almich, and Russell M. Genet
11.  Considering Proper Motion in the Analysis of Visual Double
        Star Observations
               Dave Arnold

12.  All about the Journal of Double Star Observations

               R. Kent Clark
13.  Between-Eclipse UBV Photometric Observations of
        Epsilon Aurigae
               Thomas C. Smith and Russell M. Genet
14.  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
15.  One-Semester Astronomical Research Seminars
                Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson, & Vera Wallen
16.  Observational Astronomy Research at a Primarily
       Undergraduate Institution

Matthew M. Beaky
17.  A Global Astronomy Research and Education Initiative
                 Paul S. Hardersen
18. Pine Mountain Observatory Summer Research Workshop
                 Russell Genet, Richard Berry, Jolyon Johnson,
                 and Thomas Frey
19.  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

20.  Exoplanet Observations Reveal Early Ingress
                James Carlisle, Cindy Foote, Thomas C. Smith,
                Jolyon M. Johnson, Russell M. Genet,
                and Robert Nelson
21.  Photometry of XX Cygni at the 2009 PMO Summer
        Research Workshop
                 Richard Berry, Dan Gray, Jared Green, Danyal
                 Medley, Nicholas Rebol, and Richard Watkins
22.  A Comparison of the Astrometric Precision and
        Accuracy of Two Telescopes
                Pablo Alvarez, Amos E. Fishbein, Michael W. Hyland, 
                Cheyne L. Kight, Hairold 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,
                and Robin White
23.  Double Star Measurements with a Three Inch
       Tasco Telescope
                Darrell R. Grisham, Jolyon M. Johnson, Russell M.
                Genet, and David L. Arnold
24.  Light Curves of Two GNAT MG1 Survey Stars
                Noll Roberts, Casey Milne, and Neelie Jaggi

25.  Period Analysis of the Variable Star MG1-753840
                 Brittany McCrigler, Noll Roberts, & Russell M. Genet
26.  Student Estimate of the Rotation Period of Pallas

        Jolyon M. Johnson, Brittany McCrigler, Daniel
         Pemberton, and John Keller




Foreword                      Richard Berry
Preface                          Russell M. Genet, Jolyon M. Johnson,
                                        and Vera Wallen 

Part I     Introduction
1.  The Alt-Az Initiative
                Russ Genet
2.  Visit to Gemini & Subaru Telescopes on Mauna Kea
                Russ Genet, Dan Gray, Chris Carter, Sheehan,
                Daito Tomono, Hideki Takami, Cheryl Genet,
                and Jon Archambeau
3.  Return to Gemini: Ideas for a Lightweight Two-Meter
     Telescope and Active Mirror Control
                Russ Genet
4.   Small Telescope Astronomical Research Workshop 2007
                Russ Genet
5.  The Portland III Alt-Az Initiative Workshop
               Howard Banich, Russ Genet, & Richard Berry

Photographic Interlude  Galileo’s Legacy Hawaii

 Part II     Telescope Developments
6.   Alt-Az Telescopes for Research, Astrophotography,
      and Education
                Russ Genet, Dan Gray, Howard Banich, Tom
                Smith, and Tom Krajci
7.  Corrected Dall Kirkham 700 mm Nasmyth
                Dave Rowe, Rick Hedrick, Joe Haberman, Bob
                Peasley, Dan Gray, and Allan Keller
8.  An 18-Inch Direct Drive Alt-Az Telescope
                Russ Genet, Dave Rowe, Dan Gray, Billy
                Albertson, Wilson Chiu, Michelle Kirkup,
                Drew Murphy, John Ridgely, Josh Schmitt, 
                Matt Swanson, Rob Urban, Tong Liu, Howard
                Banich, Cary Chelborad, and Allan Keller
9.  SpicaEyes: A Unique Line of Metal Telescopes
                Tom Osypowski
10.  MAGIC: The Cherenkov Radiation Telescope
                Michele Doro
11.  Telescope Portability: Moving a Big Telescope
        Doesn’t Have to be Difficult 
                Howard Banich
12.  Sensible Telescope Enclosure Design
               Craig Breckenridge

Photographic Interlude Alt-Az Telescopes

Part III  Lightweight Mirrors
13.  Lightweight Mirror Developments - Overview
14.  Lightbucket Mirror Figures of Merit
                 Bruce Holenstein, Richard Mitchell, & Robert Koch
15.  Meniscus Mirrors
                 Mel Bartels
16.  Active Optics for Thin Meniscus Telescope Mirrors
                 Michael Connelley
17.  Hogging With Heat: Slumping Meniscus Mirrors in
       a  Homemade Kiln
                David Davis
18.   New Ideas for Mounting Thin Meniscus Mirrors and
         Related Advances in Glass Foam Composite Mirrors
                Andrew Aurigema and David Davis
19.  Graphite Fiber Nano-Composite Mirror Technology
                Peter C. Chen
20.  Replica Process for Mirror Manufacturing
                Rodolfo Canestrari, Mauro Ghigo, and
                Giovanni Pareschi
21.  Replica Polyurethane Foam Mirrors for
        Photometric Applications
                Kiran Shah
22.  Experiments with Pneumatically-formed Metalized
        Polyester Mirrors
                Bruce Holenstein, Robert Koch, Richard Mitchell, &
                        Kevin Iott
23.  The Bath Interferometer
                Vladimir Galogaza

Photographic Interlude Mirrors and Instruments

Part IV   Instruments, Techniques, and Software
24. Lucky Imaging for High Resolution Measurements
       of  Double Stars
                Rainer Anton
25.  High Speed Photometry: Detection & Analysis
                John Menke and Gary A. Vander Haagen
26.  Automated Time-Series Spectroscopy with a Small
                Gary M. Cole
27.  Spectroscopy for Eclipsing Binary Light Curve
                Robert H. Nelson
28.  RTS2: Open Source Autonomous Observatory
                Petr Kubanek



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Alt-Az Initiative Papers and Articles

Alt-Az Aerospace Telescope (Amateur Astronomy-Winter 2007 - pdf 1.4 MB)    click here

Dallas Alt-Az Telescope Workshop - What is a Revolution?
Astronomy Technology Today - pdf 1.01 MB)   click here

18 Direct Drive Telescope-Cal Poly (2008 - Word doc. 2.09 MB)   click here

Gemini-Subaru Tour (Amateur Astronomy-Winter 2007 - pdf 5.61 MB)   click here

Portable CDK Alt-Az Telescope (Amateur Astronomy-Spring 2008 - pdf 1.06 MB) click here

STAR Workshop (Astronomy Technology Today 2007 - pdf 3.64 MB)   click here

The Small Research Telescope Challenge: National Academies Astro2010 Position Paper click here

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Other References

Bely, Pierre Y. 2003. The Design and Construction of Large optical Telescopes.
New York: Springer.

Berry, Richard, and Burnell, James. 2006. The Handbook of Astronomical Image 
        Processing, Second Edition
.  Richmond, VA: William-Bell, Inc.

Buchheim, Robert. 2007. The Sky is your Laboratory. Chichester, UK: Springer-Praxis.

Kriege, David and Richard Berry. 1999-2001.  The Dobsonian Telescope: A practical
        Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes.
1st English ed. Richmond, VA:

Tanguay, Ronald. 1998. The Double Star Observer’s Handbook. Saugus, MA:
        Double Star Observer.

Teague, Tom. 2004. Simple techniques of measurement. Observing and Measuring
        Visual Double Stars
. ed. Bob Argyle. London: Springer.

Warner, Brian D. 2006. A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis.
        New York: Springer

Wilson, R.N. 1999. Reflecting Telescope Optics II: Manufacturing, Testing, Alignment, 
        Modern Techniques.
Corrected 2nd printing 2001. Berlin: Springer.

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Celestron - Torrance, California:

Collins Foundation Press (CFP):

Journal of Double Star Observations – University of South Alabama:

Plane Wave Instruments - Torrance, California: 

Orion Observatory – Santa Margarita, California:

Orion Telescopes - Watsonville, California:

Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG):

Sidereal Technology - Portland, Oregon:

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