AL Herschel Society

Astronomical League

Welcome to the home of the Astronomical League Herschel Society.

If you have done the Herschel 400 Observing Program or the Herschel-II Oberving Program, then you are already a member.  Welcome home!

 

Herschel Society Coordinator:

Cliff Mygatt
P.O. Box 8607
Port Orchard, WA 98366
360-265-5418
cliffandchris@wavecable.com

 

The Purpose

The purpose of this society is to honor the amazing observations of William Herschel, and to recognize those members of the Astornomical League that have undertaken the challenge of repeating his observations.  For many years members have suggested that we needed more than just the Herschel 400 and the Herschel-II Observing Programs; they wanted more!  But up to this time, the AL felt that two of these challenging Observing Programs was enough.

 

Background

William Herschel was a prolific observer.  With the help of his daughter Caroline, his observing list contained thousands of objects.  The list varies from place to place, but we focused on a list with about 2500 objects.  Evaluation of those objects revealed that some are unknown, some do not exist, and some are stars, double stars, or triple stars.  We removed these from our list, and ended with a group of 2398 objects. (almost 2400).  The Herschel 400 and Herschel-II Observing Programs selected a total of 800 of the best and brightest objects on the list.  This leaves almost 1600 other objects.

 

The Offerings

None of these observing challenges are for the novice.  As you progress through the offerings from the Astornomical League Herschel Society, more skill and larger instruments will be required.

These options have existed:

  • The Herschel 400 Observing Program.  This Observing Program was adopted in 1967 and currently has about 600 certificate holders.  More information is available on its web page:  Herschel 400.  There are 400 objects to observe.
  • The Herschel-II Observing Program.  This Observing Program was adopted in 1998 and currently has over 100 certificate holders.  More information is available on its web page:  Herschel-II.  There are 400 additional objects to observe.
  • The Herschel Hustle Participation Certificate.  This is a certificate that is downloadable by anyone and represents an activity to honor Herschel’s big night of observing.  It can be downloaded from this web page:  Herschel Hustle Participation Certificate.

These options are new in 2018:

  • The Herschel Hustle Completion Certificate.  This certificate is awarded to those who have completed all 74 galaxy observations in a single night.  
  • The Herschel Society – Silver Certificate.  This certificate is awarded to those who have observed a total of 1200 objects on the Herchel list.
  • The Herschel Socitey – Gold Certificate.  This certificate is awarded to those who have observed a total of all 2398 objects on the Herchel list.

 

The Complete Herschel Observing List

The Astronomical League has assembled a list of the 2398 objects that we consider to be the complete list of Deep Space Objects observed by William Herschel.  It has been created in the form of a checklist for your use.  It is an Excel Spreadsheet and the yellow fields are to be filled in by you.  You can get a copy of the spreadsheet here.

 

Requirements

You must be a member of the Astornomical League either through an affiliated astronomical society or as a member at large.

  • The Herschel Hustle Completion Certificate.  To receive this certificate you must observe all 74 of the objects in one night as was done by William Herschel himself.  (Of course he was actually discovering them, you know where they are located…)  Create a list of all 74 objects and the date and time of your obsevations.
  • The Herschel Society – Silver Certificate.  You must have earned the Herschel 400 and Herschel-II Observing Program certifications. You must observe 400 additional Herschel objects (a total of 1200 objects).  Use the checklist, mark your observations with an “X”, and enter the date and time of your observations.
  • The Herschel Socity – Gold Certificate.  You must have earned the Herschel 400 and Herschel-II Observing Program certifications. You must observe all of the additional Herschel objects (a total of 2398 objects).  Use the checklist, mark your observations with an “X”, and enter the date and time of your observations.

 

Submitting for Certification

To receive any of these certificates, send the appropriate documentation to the Herschel Society Coordinator.  Your certificate will be emailed to you.

Please include:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your astronomy club affiliation
  • Your phone number (as a backup if needed)

 

Herschel Society Coordinator:

Cliff Mygatt
P.O. Box 8607
Port Orchard, WA 98366
360-265-5418
cliffandchris@wavecable.com

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