Constellation Hunter Observing Program Introduction

Constellation Hunter Observing Program Coordinator:

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

Constellation Hunter Northern Skies Logo Constellation Hunter Southern Skies Logo

Introduction

Welcome to the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Program. The Constellation Hunter Program has two certifications and pins: The Northern Skies and the Southern Skies. The purpose of these programs is to provide an orientation to the sky for novice astronomers. They require no special equipment (other than a planisphere and a reference for the brighter star names), and no prior knowledge. The objective is to provide a forum for the novice observer to become more familiar with the constellations and brighter stars, to begin to learn to navigate among the stars, and to provide a solid foundation for moving on to other observation programs such as the Messier Program.

 

Rules and Regulations

To qualify for the AL's Constellation Hunter Certificates and pins, you need only be a member of the Astronomical League, either through an affiliated club or as a Member-at-Large, and observe and sketch all of the constellations on the included on the checklist that you are pursuing. No equipment is required other than a planisphere and reference information of the names of major stars and constellation boundaries. Binoculars, while not required, will give you a deeper look into the star fields that you sketch. You should not include these additional stars and objects on your sketches, but the view will give you an appreciation for all of the things that await you in the other Astronomical League Certification Programs. You should proceed constellation by constellation. For each constellation, you need to provide this data:

  • Date and time (either local or UT)
  • Latitude and Longitude of observation.
  • Constellation name.
  • Sky conditions: transparency and seeing.
  • A sketch of all stars that were visible to the unaided eye, out to the limits of the constellation's boundary. Named stars should be identified on the sketch.

 

The sketch should include other objects that are visible within the boundaries of the constellation, including but not limited to: galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters, and nebulas.

 

Submitting for Certification

You must be a member of the Astronomical League in good standing either as a member of an affiliated society or as a Member-at-Large.

To receive your Constellation Hunter Certificate and either a Northern Constellation Award Pin or a Southern Constellation Award Pin, simply send your sketches along with your name, mailing address, email, phone number, and society affiliation, either to your society's Awards Coordinator for review and approval, or to the Constellation Hunter Observing Program Coordinator.

Upon verification of your observations, your certificate and pin will be forwarded either to you or your society's Awards Coordinator, whomever you choose.

For information on which constellations to study and sketch, read the Constellation Hunter Northern Skies Observing Checklist or the Constellation Hunter Southern Skies Observing Checklist .

 

Constellation Hunter Observing Program Coordinator:

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

 

Links:

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Other Constellation Hunter Program Links
Constellation Hunter Northern Skies Program Observing Checklist
Constellation Hunter Southern Skies Program Observing Checklist
Constellation Sketching Form
Find Your Constellation Hunter Northern Skies Program Award
Find Your Constellation Hunter Southern Skies Program Award