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AL Observing Programs in PDF Format
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AL Observing Programs in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format


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AAAAA members  are eligible to earn the Astronomical League's Messier Observing Award for observing all objects on the Messier list, or to participate in any of the AL's many other observing programs. Upon completion of any of the AL programs and proper certification through the AAAA, members will be awarded an official Certificate of Participation, and receive a beautiful lapel pin for each program they complete.

As a member of the AAAA, not only are you eligible to earn any of these observing awards, but you will also get your own subscription to the Astronomical League's newsletter, the REFLECTOR, as well as our own quarterly newsletter, The American Astronomer.

AAAA Members: When you have completed your Astronomical League observing projects, submit your observations to AAAA  for certification. Be sure to send copies of your records only. Do NOT send originals of your observing logs.

gl1.jpg (14340 bytes)a4primer.jpg (42104 bytes)
A Packet 
of Observing Programs
from the Astronomical League
and

A Primer  
for the Beginning Astronomer
Five Lessons to Help You learn the Sky

AL Observing Programs

PDF File Name
Get Adobe Acrobat 3.02

Messier Club - 70 object and 110 object levels for the telescope. Astronomer's Messier Journal
Binocular Messier Club - 50 of the best Messier objects for binoculars. al-binom.pdf  
(796 KB)
Deep Sky Binocular Club - 60 additional deep sky objects for binoculars. al-binod.pdf  
(487 KB)
Southern Skies Binocular Club - 50 of the finest objects in the Southern Hemisphere. al-binos.pdf 
(511 KB)
Herschel Club - 400 deep sky objects for the telescope. Astronomer's Herschel 400 Journal
Herschel II Club - 400 more challenge deep-sky objects for the telescope. Buy Manual from AL Sales
Double Star Club - 100 of the finest double & multiple stars in the heavens. al-dstar.pdf  
(581 KB)
Lunar Club - 100 features on the moon for naked eye, binoculars, and telescope. al-lunar.pdf  
(500 KB)
Meteor Club - observe a series of meteor showers, and record your observations for ALPO. Buy Manual from AL Sales
Sunspotters Club - observe and study sunspots and their cycles. Buy Manual from AL Sales
Arp Peculiar Galaxy Club - CCD image or observe 100 Arp galaxies. al-arp.pdf  
(767 KB)
Urban Club - observe 100 objects in heavily light-polluted areas. al-urban.pdf  
(726 KB)
Asteroid Club - learn to identify and observe asteroids and minor planets. al-asteroid.pdf
(257 KB)
Universe Sampler - a journey through the universe for the beginner. Buy Manual from AL Sales
Planetary Club - 27 selected projects to introduce the pleasures of planetary observing. alplanet.pdf  
(338 KB)
AAAA Observing Log - Record essential information during your observing session. 10 objects per page. a4-obsfm.pdf
AAAA Observation Log and Sketch Template - Make drawings at the eyepiece. 1 object per page. a4-sketch.PDF


The Astronomer's Journal. 
Newly Revised and Updated by AAAA


Astronomer's Messier
Journal

Organize your Messier Observations!


Astronomer's Herschel 400 Journal

The Herschel 400 Club Just Got Easier!

These observing programs are distributed FREE by the Astronomical League and are provided here in PDF format at no charge as a service to members of the AAAA, the Astronomical League, and the astronomical community at large. Observing Programs listed without a PDF must be obtained from Astronomical League Sales, PO Box 572, West Burlington, IA 52655.

You MUST be a member of the Astronomical League, either through membership in an affiliated astronomical society or as a Member-at-Large, to receive certification for AL Observing Programs. 

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers is a member society of the Astronomical League.

Join the AAAA, the Internet Astronomy Club for All Amateur Astronomers.

 

The Astronomical League's
UNIVERSE SAMPLER

A Journey Through the Universe for the Beginner

An Observing Program for Small Telescopes or Naked-Eye Observing

by

Amelia Goldberg
5115 Stillbrooke
Houston, TX 77035
goldberg@infohiwy.net

Houston Astronomical SocietyThere is a serious need for an introductory observing program for the beginner. The Universe Sampler will fill that need.

The Universe Sampler is a program that can be used as a teaching tool in club novice programs. It is unlike any other League observing program in that it is not designed to measure one's observing skills, but is designed as a teaching program that will give the newly interested person a taste of what our hobby is all about. It is not a difficult program to complete, but it is challenging enough to make the beginner feel that he/she has really accomplished something. It is a stepping-stone to teach the new observer the skills needed to tackle the other League observing programs. Offering an alternate list of naked-eye deep sky objects for the newly interested person who has access to dark skies but does not have a telescope is an important feature of the program.

The Universe Guide is available for $7.00 from:

Astronomical League Sales
P.O. Box 572
West Burlington, IA 52655
http://www.astronomicalleague.com


INTRODUCTION

The Universe Sampler observing program for the beginning observer was created by Amelia Goldberg and Barbara Wilson, both members of the Houston Astronomical Society. They co-chaired the club's Novice Committee from 1994-1996. Avid supporters of visual astronomy, they had success using the Messier list of objects as the basis for an observer participation program in 1994. While discussing plans for the 1996 novice program, both agreed that they wanted to again use an observing program with active observer participation. Since there was no program available to fit their needs, Barbara suggested that they create their own program and chose the name; hence, the Universe Sampler was born.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction

  • Acknowledgments

  • Lesson 1 - Basic Sky Movement

  • Lesson 2 - How To Find North in the Sky

  • Lesson 3 - Star Charts and Constellation Patterns

  • Lesson 4 - Angular Measures of Distance

  • Lesson 5 - Stating the Location of Objects in the Sky

  • Lesson 6 - Star-Hopping

  • Lesson 7 - Eyepiece Field Orientation

  • Lesson 8 - Recording Your Observations

  • Lesson 9 - The Art of Seeing

  • Lesson 10 - The Moon

  • Lesson 11 - Variable Stars

  • Lesson 12 - The Sun

  • Object List I - For Telescope Users and Naked-Eye Observers

  • Object List II - For Telescope Users Only

  • Object List III - For Naked-Eye Observers Only

The Universe Sampler observing program is a unique observing program designed specifically for the beginning observer. It is designed to expose the beginner to a sample of the many different types of objects that the Universe has to offer for our observing enjoyment. It is designed to help the new observer learn his or her way around the sky and to teach some of the basics of astronomy. It offers an alternate naked-eye list of deep sky objects for those who are interested in astronomy but shy away because they do not have a telescope or binoculars.

The Universe Sampler will take you on an exciting journey through the heavens. You will meet many of the brightest stars, learn their names and the constellations in which they are found. You will visit our moon and some of the planets that share our solar system. You will greet at least one of the comets that leave the outer reaches of the solar system to visit the neighborhood of the sun. You will become acquainted with double stars, variable stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.

Once you have completed the Universe Sampler observing program, you should be well acquainted with the night sky and be able to find your way among the stars with no problem. You should be in a position to know what type of objects interest you most and be ready to continue your observing with one or more of the Astronomical League's other observing programs, e.g., the Messier List, the Double Star program, the Lunar program, etc.

Rules and Regulations

  • You must be a member of the Astronomical League either through an affiliated club or as a Member at Large.
  • Use of setting circles, computer driven telescopes (except for tracking purposes only) or any electronic device used to locate objects is not allowed. The purpose of the Universe Sampler program is to help the beginner .learn his or her way around the sky. Use of the devices mentioned above would defeat the purpose of the program. Instead, use the star-hop method to locate objects. Refer to the lesson on star-hopping.
  • You must complete Object List I as naked-eye observations. You must complete either Object List 11 as telescopic/ binocular observations or Object List III as naked-eye observations.
  • You must keep a log of your observations stating the object number or name, date/time and location, seeing conditions, size of instrument and magnification (or naked-eye observation) and your description of the object. You may copy the log sheets in the back of the manual for your use.

Upon completion of the program, submit your log sheets to an officer or appointed person from your club for verification. A letter from that person should be sent to the address below requesting your certificate and pin. Members-at-Large should submit copies of log sheets directly to the address below since originals will not be returned unless you supply a postage-paid return envelope.

Universe Sampler Certificate

To receive your Universe Sampler Certificate and pin, simply send a copy of your logs along with your name, address, phone number and club affiliation to:

Amelia Goldberg
Universe Sampler Coordinator
5115 Stillbrooke
Houston, TX 77035
goldberg@infohiwy.net

Upon verification of your observations, your certificate and pin will be forwarded to you or your club's Award Coordinator, whomever you choose.

Happy Observing!

Amelia Goldberg


Home ] Up ] Binocular Messier ] Binocular Deep Sky ] Double Star Club ] Urban Club ] Lunar Club ] [ Universe Sampler ] Planetary Observers Club ] Asteroid Club ] Southern Skies Binocular Club ] New AL Observing Programs ] Arp Peculiar Galaxies ] AL Observing Program Contact Info ] Observing Forms and Sketch Log ]

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You MUST be a member of the Astronomical League, either through membership in an affiliated astronomical society or as a Member-at-Large, to receive the Universe Sampler Certificate.

As a member of the AAAA, not only are you eligible to earn this observing award, but you will also get your own subscription to the Astronomical League's newsletter, the REFLECTOR, as well as our own quarterly newsletter, The American Astronomer.

Join the AAAA, the first nationwide astronomy club for all amateur astronomers.



AAAA
P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981
www.AstroMax.com

Formerly Corvus.com

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