Advanced Observer Award

Advanced Observer Award Coordinator:

David Whalen
1828 East Gate Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(404) 505-4208


Welcome to the Advanced Observer Award step in the Master Observer Progression.  You have completed the Observer Award.  You have completed the Master Observer Award.  Where do you go from here?  The Advanced Observer Award.

The goal of the Advanced Observer Award is to encourage observers to expand their knowledge by observing specific types of astronomical objects.  With this goal in mind, the observer needs to add 5 more certifications to their portfolio from the certifications for specific types of objects.

Requirements and Rules

This certification is available to members of the Astronomical League, either through their local astronomical society or as members at large.  If you are not a member and would like to become one, check with your local astronomical society, search for a local society on the Astronomical League Website, or join as a Member-at-Large .

Additionally, the Observer must:

  • Earn the Observer Award
  • Earn the Master Observer Award
  • Join the Master Observers Network (MO-Net) .  Send an email to Aaron Clevenson at to request to be added to the list.  Please, include your Master Observer certificate number.

The observer must complete any five additional observing programs on this list:

  • The Asterism Observing Program.
  • The Asteroid (Gold) Observing Program.
  • The Bright Nebula (Advanced) Observing Program.
  • The Carbon Star Observing Program.
  • The Comet (Gold) Observing Program.
  • The Dark Nebula Observing Program.
  • The Earth Orbiting Satellite Observing Program.
  • The Globular Cluster Observing Program.
  • The Meteor Observing Program – 36-hour level.
  • The Open Cluster (Advanced) Observing Program.
  • Either The Binocular Variable Star Observing Program or the Variable Star Observing Program.
  • Either The Hydrogen-Alpha Solar Observing Program or the Sunspotter Observing Program.
  • Either The Planetary Nebulae (Advanced) Observing Program or The Southern Planetary Nebulae (Advanced) Observing Program.
  • Any one, but only one of these galaxy-based Observing Programs:
    • The Active Galactic Nuclei Observing Program.
    • The ARP Peculiar Galaxy Observing Program.
    • The Flat Galaxies (Honorary) Observing Program.
    • The Galaxy Groups and Clusters Observing Program.
    • The Local Galaxy Group Observing Program.
    • The Southern ARP Observing Program.

Please note that an observing program previously completed as part of the Observer Award or the Master Observer Award can not be counted again for the Advanced Observer Award except as part of the “total”.  However, certifications that are not specifically required for an award can be moved to Advanced if appropriate and if additional certifications meet the requirements.  When you have completed the requirements for the Advanced Observer Award, you will have completed at least 15 separate Observing Programs.

Submitting for Certification

Once a member has completed the observing programs, she or he will be given a certificate and pin.

The member should contact the coordinator of the Advanced Observer Award with information that includes:

  • A list of the certifications you have completed and their certificate numbers.  
  • Your name, as you want it printed on the certificate.
  • Your mailing address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your E-mail address.
  • Your club affiliation (If you are a Member at Large, please include that information, too).
  • The name and address of the person to whom the award should be sent (Awards Coordinator?).

Upon verification of your submission and of your active membership in the Astronomical League, your recognition (certificate, pin, etc.) will be sent to you or to the awards coordinator for your society, as you specified.  Your name will also appear in an upcoming issue of the Reflector magazine and in the Astronomical League’s online database.  Congratulations.  Good luck with your next observing challenge.

Advanced Observer Award Coordinator:

David Whalen
1828 East Gate Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(404) 505-4208


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