AL Observing Challenge - Special Observing Award

AL Observing Challenge Special Award Coordinator:

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

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The Astronomical League has identified opportunities to commemorate special astronomical events and bring you AL Observing Challenges.  New opportunities will be added as significant celestial events are identified.

 

Requirements and Rules

To earn the certification, you need to meet these requirements:

  • Image or sketch the required object(s)
  • Submit that image or sketch as indicated by that challenge.  These should show as much detail as possible.
  • Do an outreach activity related to observing Challenge.  Include the date, time, and details of this activity in the same email to the coordinator.  Due to concerns with COVID-19, and in recognition that traditional outreach events are not COVID-19 safe, broadcasts to encourage the public to observe the event will be accepted as well as live streaming video broadcasts of the event, and even post-event public sharing of videos and images from the event are acceptable.

 

  • The deadline for submitting to meet this challenge is one month after the event, or as indicated by the specific Observing Challenge  Late submissions will not be accepted.

You do not need to be a member of the Astronomical League to receive this certification.   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 click here.

The certificates, which are suitable for framing will be emailed to you, and may be printed by you.

 

The AL Observing Challenges

Current Challenges:

1. Astronomical League Globular Cluster Observing Challenge (start date: July 1, 2022, end date: September 30, 2022, deadline for submission: October 31, 2022)

  • Introduction
    • Yet another challenge suggested by John Goss, former AL President, and Coordinator of the Dark Skies Observing Program.
    • You do not need to be a member of the Astronomical League to receive this certification.
    • July through September is a prime time to observe globular clusters.  The constellations of Ophiuchus (17 clusters) and Sagittarius (21 clusters) provide 38 globular clusters brighter than magnitude 10. 
    • This challenge is designed to be available to people in the northern as well as the southern hemispheres.
    • All of the clusters should be available in an modestly sized telescope.
  • Observing Challenge
    • Your challenge is to observe at least 12 of the globular clusters on the object list.
    • The list of Observing Challenge clusters is located here.
  • Observing Requirements
    • All observations must be made no earlier than July 1, 2022.
    • All observations must be done before the end of September 30, 2022.
    • All observations must be submitted before the end of October 31, 2022.
    • Observations done prior to this challenge may NOT be included.  However, these observations may be used as part of other observing program requirements as long as all required details are included.
    • Observations may be done Visually or with Imaging.
    • Observations may be Manually or with Go-To Telescopes.
    • Remote Telescopes are allowed.
    • This information must be included with each observation:
      • Index Number and name of the object.  The observations should be submitted in order of the Index Number.
      • Date and Time (either Universal Time or Local Time).
      • Seeing and Transparency (for more information, check out the definitions located here).
      • Latitude and Longitude (fractional degrees or degrees, minutes, and seconds).
      • Instrument used, eyepiece, and magnification. Camera used (if one is used).
      • Brief description.  This is a description of what you saw, it is NOT what we include as comments on the object list.
      • A sketch (if done visually) or an image (if done through imaging) of the object.
    • Submissions must include this information:
      • ​Observer's name.
      • Observer's address.
      • Observer's astronomy club affiliation.
      • Observer's phone number.
      • Observer's email address.
      • Name and email address of the person the award should be emailed to for presentation (if desired).
    • Special Notes
      • All certificates will be the same regardless of how the observations were done.
      • Certificates will NOT be numbered.
      • Certificates will be emailed to the observers AFTER the completion of the challenge and the submission deadline.

2. International Observe the Moon Night 2022 Observing Challenge  (start date: October 1, 2022, end date: October 9, 2022, deadline for submission: November 9, 2022)

  • Introduction
    • For our second year, we are working closely with NASA's International Observe the Moon Night team.
    • For more information about the International Observe The Moon Night:  https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night/
    • The objective is to get everyone out and looking at the Moon.
    • The official date is Saturday, October 1, 2022.
    • Participants do not need to be a member of the Astronomical League to participate in either level of this certification.
    • Once again we are offering a downloadable official participation certificate.  These are appropriate to distribute to people at your outreach events.  It may be found by clicking here.
    • We are also offering a challenge again this year.
  • Observing Challenge
    • Each participant in the Challenge must do an Outreach Activity to spread the word about the International Observe the Moon Night.
    • Each participant must observe 15 targets, using binoculars, and document those observations.  You will likely need a map of the moon to locate these targets.  Specific Targets are:
      • ​Mare Crisium
      • Mare Fecunditatis
      • Mare Frigoris
      • Mare Nectaris
      • Mare Tranquilitatis
      • Mare Serenitatis
      • Sinus Asperitatis
      • Lacus Somniorum
      • Lacus Temprois
      • Crater Copernicus
      • Crater Tycho
      • Crater Theophilus
      • Crater Aristoteles
      • Crater Endymion
      • Crater Langrenus
  • Observing Requirements
    • All observations must be made no earlier than October 1, 2022.
    • All observations must be done before October 9, 2022.
    • All observations must be submitted before November 9, 2022.
    • Observations done prior to this challenge may not be included.  However, these observations may be used as part of other observing program requirements as long as all required details are included.
    • Observations may be done Visually or with Imaging.
    • This information must be included with each observation:
      • The name of the target.  
      • Date and Time (Local Time).
      • Seeing and Transparency (for more information, check out the definitions located here).
      • Instrument used, magnification, and camera used (if one is used).
      • Brief description.  This is a description of what you saw..
      • A sketch (if done visually) or an image (if done through imaging) of the target.
      • Information about your Outreach Activity.
    • Submissions must include this information:
      • ​Observer's name.
      • Observer's address.
      • Observer's astronomy club affiliation as appropriate.
      • Observer's phone number.
      • Observer's email address.
      • Name and email address of the person the award should be emailed to for presentation (if desired).
    • Special Notes​
      • All certificates will be the same regardless of how the observations were done.
      • Certificates will not be numbered.
      • Certificates will be emailed to the observers AFTER the completion of the challenge and the submission deadline.

3. Astronomical League - Moons Observing Challenge  (start date: October 1, 2022, end date: November 30, 2022, deadline for submission: December 31, 2022)

  • Introduction

Moons abound in our solar system.  Many are too small and too far away to be seem by amateur astronomers.  Some are easy to observe, and some require a large telescope, Imaging, and an occulting bar.  Our goal is to get people out looking at moons.  You can also combine this with the Observe the Moon Challenge (see above), but some additional observations are required.

  • Observing Challenge
    • Each participant in the Challenge must do an Outreach Activity to spread the word about moons of the solar system.
    • Each participant must observe 12 targets, using your eyes, binoculars, or a telescope where needed, and document those observations.  Specific Targets are:
      • ​The Earth's Moon (eyes, binocular, or telescope).
      • Jupiter's 4 Galilean Moons (binocular or telescope): Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
      • 7 of Saturn's moons:  Titan, Rhea, Tethys, Dione, Iapetus, Enceladus, and Mimas.
    • ​Extra Credit - Not required (although we are not sure what this gets you...) for observing these moons:
      • ​Mars' two moons: Deimos and Phobos (telescope and occulting bar will be required).
      • Uranus' 5 brightest moons: Titania, Oberon, Ariel, Umbriel, and Miranda.
      • Neptune's brightest moon: Triton.
  • Observing Requirements
    • All observations must be made no earlier than October 1, 2022.
    • All observations must be done before November 30, 2022.
    • All observations must be submitted before December 31, 2022.
    • Observations done prior to this challenge may not be included.  However, these observations may be used as part of other observing program requirements as long as all required details are included.
    • Observations may be done Visually or with Imaging.
    • This information must be included with each observation:
      • The name of the target.  
      • Date and Time (Local Time).
      • Seeing and Transparency (for more information, check out the definitions located here).
      • Instrument used, magnification, and camera used (if one is used).
      • Brief description.  This is a description of what you saw..
      • A sketch (if done visually) or an image (if done through imaging) of the target.
      • Information about your Outreach Activity.
    • Submissions must include this information:
      • ​Observer's name.
      • Observer's address.
      • Observer's astronomy club affiliation as appropriate, or "none".
      • Observer's phone number.
      • Observer's email address.
      • Name and email address of the person the award should be emailed to for presentation (if desired).
    • Special Notes​
      • All certificates will be the same regardless of how the observations were done.
      • Certificates will not be numbered.
      • Certificates will be emailed to the observers AFTER the completion of the challenge and the submission deadline.

 

Past Challenges:

1. The Great Conjunction Observing Challenge (deadline for submission was February 21, 2021)

2.  Observine The Moon Observing Challenge - 2021 (deadline for submission was October 16, 2021)

3.  The AL 75th Year Anniversary Observing Challenge (deadline for subission was December 31, 2021)

4.  Astronomical League Galaxy Season Observing Challenge (deadline for submission was June 30, 2022)

 

AL Observing Challenges Special Awards Coordinator:

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