Deep Sky Binocular Program Introduction

DeepSky Bino Club LogoDeep Sky Binocular Observing Program Coordinator:

Cindy La Russa
111 W. Forrest Feezor St.
Corona de Tucson, AZ 85641-2109
(509) 995-9885


Welcome to the Astronomical League's Deep Sky Binocular Program. The Deep Sky Binocular Program is a list of sixty selected non-Messier objects, and picks up where the Binocular Messier Program leaves off. The purpose of the Deep Sky Binocular Program is not to put your observing skills to the test by including the toughest objects observable with binoculars, but to allow you to observe and enjoy sixty of the most beautiful objects in the heavens: objects other than those discovered by Charles Messier.

Just because the Deep Sky Program comes after the Binocular Messier Program, doesn't mean you have to do your Messier observations before your Deep Sky observations. However, it is recommended that you get your Binocular Messier Certificate first, before the Deep Sky Certificate since, let's face it, Messier got most of the good (easy) objects. Even though the sixty objects in the Deep Sky Program are the best objects for small binoculars, it doesn't mean that they are all easy. For some of the objects, you will have to go to a good dark sky site, on a clear night with good seeing, and then observe those objects at the meridian for best results. But luckily this is easy to do with binoculars since they are so portable. All objects in the Deep Sky Program were observed with 7X50 Orion Explorer binoculars retailing at around $117.00. For our northern observers, no object on the list is below minus 35 degrees declination, which is the declination of the most southerly Messier object, M7.

The Deep Sky Binocular Program:

To qualify for the Astronomical League's Deep Sky Binocular Certificate and award pin, you need only be a member of the Astronomical League, through either an affiliated club or as a Member-at-Large, and observe the sixty selected objects using only binoculars. Any pair of binoculars may be used, but those with objectives between 50mm and 80mm in diameter are recommended. To record your observations, you may use log sheets similar to those found in the back of the Astronomical League's manual Observe: A Guide to the Messier Objects.


To obtain an award you must observe the following rules:

Rule 1:

Observe the 60 deep sky objects with binoculars and keep a record of your observations. Your notes must show:

a. The object;
b. Date of observation;
c. Time of observation;
d. Seeing conditions;
e. Type of binocular;
f. A short note describing your observation of the object.

Rule 2:

Have your observations examined by an officer of your society (usually the Awards Coordinator) or a suitably qualified second party if you are not a member of a society. Have this party forward a letter to the effect that you have made the necessary number of observations. This letter should be addressed to: 

Deep Sky Binocular Observing Program Coordinator:

Cindy La Russa
111 W. Forrest Feezor St.
Corona de Tucson, AZ 85641-2109
(509) 995-9885

Only non-society members need to actually mail their observing log. A membership pin and Certificate of Membership in the Deep Sky Binocular Program will be forwarded to your society for presentation at a meeting. The letter should specify the address to which the Certificate should be mailed. The certificate is suitable for framing.

Related Links:

PDF File Format

Other Deep Sky Binocular Program Links
The Deep Sky Binocular Object List
Find Your Deep Sky Binocular Program Award