I have found that “real astronomy” involves a lot of data processing. In addition, I have found that collaboration is a very important aspect of the process.
Everything [at the 2013 AAS] was new. The interesting piece was attending a press briefing and then comparing that to the scientist version.
The process of gathering and analyzing data was very important to help show my kids what real research is like. And since our data didn't come out nice and neat like some labs do, it really helped push my kids to think outside the box.