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2002 AL Observing Awards
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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.

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A Packet 
of Observing Programs
from the Astronomical League

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

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.


Doug Kniffen Earns Herschel II Certificate

December 1999 - Master observer Doug Kniffen from Warrenton, Mo. recently received his Herschel II certificate. This is a more advanced list of 400 deep sky objects after you observe the advanced list of 400 objects in the Herschel I program. Doug is only the seventh person in the country to receive this certificate, so this is quite an honor. We are proud to have Doug as an AAAA member.

Dick Adduci Earns Sunspotters Certificate

December 1999 - Dick Adduci of Eagle, Wi. just received his Sunspotters certificate. Dick had 25 of the most beautiful drawings of sunspot groupings that you have ever seen. The detail was exquisite, and this during solar maximum when activity is at its greatest. At times, I thought I was looking at a photograph. Dick is quite a talented artist.

John Wilder Completes Lunar Program

December 1999 - John Wilder of Mendocino, Ca. just completed his Lunar Certificate. John observed 100 features on the moon using his naked eye, 7x50 binoculars, and an eight-inch S/C telescope. John had to fight many nights of cloudy weather to get the certificate but his persistence paid off. Way to go, John.

Adduci Earns Arp Peculair Galaxy Certificate

September 1999 - A big congratulations to Dick Adduci of Eagle, WI, for receiving the Arp Peculiar Galaxy Certificate. Dick CCD imaged over 100 Arp Peculiar Galaxies using a 12-inch S/C telescope and an ST-7 CCD. Dick is only the seventh amateur in the country to image 100 Arp Peculiar Galaxies. Nice job, Dick. We are proud of you.

Jack Foster Earns Binocular Messier Certificate

September 1999 - Jack Foster of Rockford, IL, earned the AL's Binocular Messier Club Certificate for observing and logging over 50 Messier objects using 7x50 binoculars. Jack was very methodical as he planned out a program and then followed through season after season. Way to go, Jack.

Doug Kniffen Earns Herschel II Certificate

August 1999 - Herschel II Certificate #7M was awarded to AAAA Member Doug Kniffen of Warrenton, MO. Doug is also an Astronomical League Member-at-Large. The M designation means Doug found all objectes on the list manually, that is, without using setting circles or computer controls. Congratulations to Doug for completing this advanced observing program.

AAAA Members Earn Messier Certificates at TSP 99

Two AAAA members, Sonya Monier from McKinney, Texas, and Bruce Vitellaro from Arlington, Texas, actually completed their Astronomical League Messier programs at the 1999 Texas Star Party. Both received the Honorary Messier Certificate for observing all 110 Messier objects using a telescope. These are the first telescopic Messier Certificates awarded to AAAA members. Messier Certificates were presented at TSP by Kathy Machin, AL Observing Coordinator (right), and Steven J. O’Meara (left), an editor from Sky & Telescope Magazine. Bruce Vitellaro is standing next to Steven J. O'Meara, flanked by co-recipients Lucien Bolduc and Ray Knox. Unfortunately, Sonya Monier had to go home a day early, and missed the photo. We sure are proud of these two veteran observers and are glad they are AAAA members. You can also see this photo in the August 1999 issue of the Astronomical Leagues Newsletter, the REFLECTOR.

Sonya Monier Earns Messier Certificate

June 1999 - A hearty congratulations goes to AAAA member Sonya Monier from McKinney, Texas, for earning the AL Honorary Messier Club Certificate No. 1660 for observing all 110 objects on the Messier list using a telescope. Sonya finished her observing program during the 1999 Texas Star Party, and received her certificate that same weekend. Nice going, Sonya.

Bruce Vitellaro Earns Messier Certificate

June 1999 - A hearty congratulations goes to AAAA member Bruce Vitellaro from Arlington, Texas, for earning the AL Honorary Messier Club Certificate No. 1659 for observing all 110 objects on the Messier list using a telescope. Bruce finished his observing program during the 1999 Texas Star Party, and was presented his certificate during the TSP Saturday evening program. Great job, Bruce.

Brenda Clubertson Earns Lunar and Sunspotter Certificates

June 1999 - Brenda Culbertson from Mayetta, Ks. used an 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain and 8x40 binoculars to earn the Astronomical League’s Lunar Club certificate. After she observed 100 features on the moon, she turned right around and earned the AL’s Sunspotters Certificate by observing, following, sketching and even photographing 25 sunspot groupings. Very nice job, Brenda.

Stephen LaFlamme Earns Double Star Certificate

June 1999 - Stephen LaFlamme from Bridgewater, Ma. earned the Astronomical League’s Double Star certificate. Stephen observed and split 100 double stars using an 11-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. Way to go Stephen. We are happy to have you as an AAAA member.

Larry E. Robinson Earns Asteroid Certificate

March 1999 - The Astronomical League’s Asteroid Observing Club Certificate Number One in the Gold Member category goes to our own AAAA member, Larry Robinson, of Olathe, Kansas. Larry operates Sunflower Observatory, and observed and recorded 100 asteroids using his ten-inch Meade S/C and an ST7 CCD camera. Needless to say, we are very proud of Larry’s accomplishment and are glad he is a member of the AAAA. Well done, Larry.

An Asteroid Observation

From his own Sunflower Observatory near Kansas City, AAAA member Larry Robinson imaged Asteroid 4512, Sinuhe, near spiral galaxy NGC 2916 in Leo. It was images such as this one, recording the change in position of the asteroid over a period of time, that earned Larry the AL’s Asteroid Certificate Number One.

AAAA Members: When you have completed your AL observing projects, don’t forget to submit your observation logs to the AAAA for official certification. Be sure to send copies of your records only. Do NOT send originals of your observing logs.

If you are a newcomer to the hobby of astronomy, and have questions about equipment, eyepieces, telescopes, or astronomy in general, let us know and we will try to answer your questions, or find someone who does know. Send or e-mail your questions to Newbie News, AAAA, P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981, or send your e-mail to aaaa@astromax.com.

If your sleep patterns, complexion, and aversion to white light
have your co-workers convinced that you're a vampire ...

You MIGHT be an Amateur Astronomer!

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