Louisville Astronomical Society

Louisville Astronomical Society

Astronomical League Observing Programs

The Astronomical League observing programs range from one for kids called Sky Puppy Observing Program and the Beyond Polaris Observing Program for those new to astronomy, to more advanced programs like the Messier Observing Program and the Herschel 400 Observing Program. Equipment needed vary from nothing but your eyes to larger aperture telescopes and everything in between. Most observing programs have award certificates for completion and may have pins as well. After completion of a program your name is also listed in the quarterly Reflector magazine. To receive an award, you must be a member of the Astronomical League, which is part of your LAS membership.

 The Astronomical League observing programs also include every type of observing target. Examples include Earth Orbiting Satellite Observing Program, Globular Cluster Observing Program and the Asterism Observing Program. After reading several of the programs and their requirements I would like to recommend observing programs for those new to astronomy.

 For those 10 years or younger we have the Sky Puppy Observing Program. A manual is available at no cost to help the budding astronomer on their way to completing this program. This program can be found at Sky Puppy Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 For those 17 years and younger there is the Youth Astronomer Observing Program. This program introduces the young astronomer to the many observing program of the Astronomical League. This program can be found at Youth Astronomer Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 The Beyond Polaris Observing Program will help you to learn terminology, the solar system, identifying constellations and more. It is for observers of all ages. This program can be found at Beyond Polaris Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 The Universe Sampler Observing Program is another program designed for the beginning observer. Once this program has been completed you should be well acquainted with the night sky.  This program can be found at Universe Sampler Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 The Lunar Observing Club is excellent for those who live in a light polluted area but still want to develop their skills. It does require the use of a small telescope (60mm or more) and binoculars. This program can be found at Lunar Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 The Messier Observation Program is a good introduction to using a telescope or binoculars for finding and observing many of the brighter objects in the night sky. Every one of the 110 objects in the Messier Catalog can be seen with a small telescope from our dark site at Curby. Many are observable from the city environment. This program can be found at Messier Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 There is also a Binocular Messier Observation Program. Most of the objects can be seen with 7x35 binoculars. This program can be found at Binocular Messier Observing Program | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 Another program of interest is the Outreach Award program. Many of us have done outreach before COVID shut these efforts down. If you were involved with public outreach and kept a log of these events you can submit information and be recognized for your efforts dating all the way back to 2006. For long-term LAS members I have an extensive log of events that I submitted for my award. This program can be found at Outreach Award | The Astronomical League (astroleague.org)

 An alphabetical listing of the Astronomical League programs can be found at their website, go to The Astronomical League | (astroleague.org) and click on the Observe tab.

 I hope that this information is helpful. If any questions arise do not hesitate to contact me at ppeaklas@gmail.com.

 Regards,

Pat Peak

Copyright 2021 The Louisville Astronomical Society, Inc.

The Louisville Astronomical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 17554, Louisville, KY 40217


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