The Mabel Sterns Award - 2007

Mabel Sterns was the Astronomical League's first newsletter editor. This is the ninth year of granting the Mabel Sterns Newsletter award in her honor. The award is a way of recognizing one of the most important people in any club, a person who is a primary source of beneficial information to club members.

Most of the time our clubs/ newsletter editors don't get much recognition as they do their steady task of keeping the membership informed about what goes on in their astronomy clubs. They manage to publish the newsletters in spite of often not having enough articles to fill the edition, often magically creating interesting articles at the last minute.

Our 2007 judges had a challenge in ranking these outstanding submissions. All of our judges are former newsletter editors.

Our 2007 Winners are:

First Place Winner: Larry Deal

Larry is newsletter editor of The Rosette Gazette, the newsletter of the Rose City Astronomers in Portland, Oregon. He has been editing this fine publication for the past four years.

The front cover of the newsletter is attractive and well-designed. A concise table of contents on the cover makes it easy to find items inside the newsletter. The month's moon phases were shown in color at the bottom of the cover, with the Astronomical League's logo prominently displayed as well.

The newsletter is filled with useful information. The club officers' contact information is listed in a prominent position early in the newsletter. On that same page is a note to the members about the discounted memberships they can get to Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazines. The president's message in this particular issue mentioned the many benefits of League membership, such as access to the many observing programs offered by the League, the Reflector, which all members receive quarterly and discounts on buying astronomy-related books.

"The Observer's Corner" article in the sample newsletter was well-written, with suggestions on how to see the Owl Nebula in light-polluted skies by using UHC and OIII filters.

The club's library was publicized in this edition. One helpful item mentioned for members is a library Web page where they can peruse the library inventory at their convenience. A book review of The Immortal Fire Within, "The Life and Work of Edward Emerson Barnard," was a nice component of this edition..

Board meeting minutes, news of an upcoming telescope workshop and a contribution barometer for the club's observing site fundraising campaign rounded out this excellent publication.

The club's Web site address is


Second Place Winner: Pam Warren
Pam Warren has edited The Hypoxic Observer, the newsletter of the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society, for many years. She is responsible for design, publication and distribution

The cover of the submitted newsletter displayed a good deal of current information in a concise format, such as the next meeting location and topic, a description of the month's cover photo that was displayed on the right side of the cover, and the president's message just below the photo. The Web site address is listed for viewing the calendar of events. Phone numbers of elected officers were listed, and the names of appointed officers listed. And finally, relevant Web site addresses were listed, such as the club Web site, the League Web site and International Dark-Sky Association.

Featured inside the publication were such practical items as a "How to Find" page, which featured NGC 6121, the Cat's Eye and M-4. Under the "Member Article" page was a article about a member who built his own observatory. A note under "For this Tuesday's Meeting."encouraged members to attend the optics cleaning workshop and bring the needed supplies.

This is certainly an informative newsletter. The Web site address for the club is


Third place winner: Duane Deal

Duane Deal edits the Rochester Skies for the Rochester (Minnesota) Astronomy Club. The club reorganized about two years ago and began publishing the newsletter just over one year ago.

The submitted newsletter was packed full of information for club members. It included an article on outreach at an elementary school, a club member's account of how he became interested in astronomy, an interesting article about the Mercury transit from last year, an "across space and time" astronomical crossword puzzle and a book review.









Fourth place winner: George Hatfield

George Hatfield has been editing The High Desert Observer, the newsletter of the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces, for just over a year. He has focused on publicizing the society's activities, with the goal of increasing membership participation. Most members choose the electronic version of the newsletter.

The submitted newsletter included an interesting article on Asteroid 4 Vesta, a club member's images from last year's Mercury transit, a constellation exploration column featuring Monoceros, Puppis and Gemini and a book review about astrophotography with digital SLR cameras.

For more information please refer to the club's website







Fifth place winner: Christian Bruggeman

Christian Bruggeman has published the Gazer's Gazette for the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club for just a few months, but he has filled the void very well after the previous newsletter editor resigned. He has been able to post monthly articles on current scientific breakthroughs, public outreach events the club has been involved in, long term development plans for the club and personal happenings of club members.

The newsletter that was submitted included an interesting introduction to an upcoming club program entitled "Binary Asteroids: Two for the Price of One.".

For more information please refer to the club's website








For information about the 2008 Mabel Sterns Award program, please contact Mr. Carroll Iorg, Vice President (816-444-4878) or visit the League's website The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2007. The president of the club should send four paper copies of a recent newsletter, along with four copies of a letter of recommendation to the League's Vice President, 7241 Jarboe, Kansas City MO 64114. A photo of the newsletter editor, preferably taken in an astronomical type setting, should also be submitted in the packet. In addition, the postal address of the newsletter editor should be included.

It is strongly recommended that the Astronomical League's logo be prominently displayed in the newsletter, preferably on the front page

Related Links

Return to the Mabel Sterns Award Page
Return to the Astronomical League Awards Page

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