Binocular Master Observer Award

Binocular Master Observer Award Coordinator:

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


The Astronomical League has members who observe the sky with telescopes, binoculars, and with their unaided eyes.  The Binocular Master Observer Award was created to recognize those members who do not use a telescope.  Its intent is to challenge these observers to improve their observing skills and to seek out new and different 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 .

The Binocular Master Observer Award will be given to an AL member who has completed at least eight of the League’s binocular-based observing programs:
  1. Binocular Double Star Observing Program
  2. Advanced Binocular Double Star Observing Program
  3. Binocular Messier Observing Program
  4. Binocular Variable Star Observing Program
  5. Deep Sky Binocular Observing Program
  6. Galileo Observing Program – Binocular Certification
  7. Lunar Observing Program or the Lunar Binocular Observing Certificate
  8. Solar Neighborhood Binocular Certification
  9. Solar System Binocular Observing Certificate
  10. Southern Skies Binocular Observing Program

Once a member has completed eight of the Observing Programs, she or he will be awarded a certificate and pin.

Definition of Binoculars Allowed for Observations

The Astronomical League defines a binocular telescope as an observing device with two optical tubes and two eyepieces, where the eyepieces can be replaced with eyepieces of different focal lengths.  “Bino-Viewers” have a single optical tube, but two eyepieces.  “Bino-Viewers” and Binocular Telescopes may be used in any Observing Programs that are telescope-based.  They may not be used in binocular programs.

Observing devices with two optical tubes and two eyepieces, where you cannot change the eyepieces, are binoculars.  Binoculars may be used in any Observing Program requiring telescopes or binoculars.  Most binoculars do not have sufficient magnification to replace telescopes.

Submitting for Certification

The member should contact the Coordinator of the Binocular Master Observer Awards with information that includes:

  • A list of the Observing Programs and Certificates you have completed.
  • The 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).

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.

Binocular Master Observer Award Coordinator:

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


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