AL Observing Challenge - Special Observing Award

AL Observing Challenge Special Award Coordinator:

Aaron Clevenson
19411 Cluster Oaks Drive
Humble, TX 77346-2918
Telephone: 281-852-4667
E-mail: aaron@clevenson.org

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

The Astronomical League has identified opportunities to commemorate special astronomical events and bring you AL Observing Challenges.  New opportunities will be added 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 Galaxy Season Observing Challenge (start date: March 1, 2022, end date: June 30, 2022, deadline for submission: July 31, 2022)

  • Introduction
    • This challenge was 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.
    • April through June is a prime time to observe galaxies.  The Virgo and Coma Berenices galaxies are rising in the East in the evening.  (Galaxies are available throughout the year.)
    • The question is where should I begin my trek through the galaxies. This AL Observing Challenge is for you.
    • This challenge is designed to be available to people in the northern as well as the southern hemispheres.
    • All of the galaxies should be available in an 8-inch telescope.
  • Observing Challenge
    • Your challenge is to observe at least 12 of the galaxies on the object list.
    • The list of Observing Challenge galaxies is located here.
  • Observing Requirements
    • All observations must be made no earlier than April 1, 2022.
    • All observations must be done before the end of June 30, 2022.
    • All observations must be submitted before the end of July 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).
    • Observations should be sent to the Coordinator for this Challenge:

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

  • 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. Astronomical League's 75th Anniversary Challenge (deadline for submission: December 31, 2021)

 

  • Introduction:
    • The Astronomical League is 75 years old in 2021.  To commemorate this grand occasion, the Astronomical League and the Observing Program Division are offering a challenge to all of our observers.
    • Due to the timing of the mechanics of our Solar System, 2021 also coincides with almost a complete apparition of Jupiter (January 29, 2021 at 1213 through March 5, 2022).
    • We want to encourage every one of our members who can, to go out and do these observations, and earn the 75th Astronomical League Anniversary Certification.  Are you up to the challenge?
  • Observing Challenge:
    • Participants may either image or observe and sketch the 75 requirements for this certification. 
    • Do an outreach activity related to Jupiter.  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.
    • Submit your observations and images, plus the details of your outreach activity, by the deadline, to the coordinator.
  • The Detailed Observational Requirements:
    • The Great Red Spot Observations (20 observations)
      • Do these observations over at least a month's time.
      • Up to two per night, at least an hour apart.
      • Capture as much detail as possible of the Great Red Spot to be able to note changes in its size, shape, and appearance.
      • They contain the most detail if done close to opposition.
      • The objective of this series of observations is to observe and document changes in the size and shape of the Great Red Spot.
    • Rotation Period of Jupiter at the Latitude of the Great Red Spot
      • Part 1:  Limb to Transit, or Transit to Limb (10 observations)
        • Do two sequences of 5 observations each.
        • Sequence may either be from the limb to the meridian or from the meridian to the limb.
        • Capture an observation when the Great Red Spot is crossing the Meridian (Transiting).
        • Capture an observation when the Great Red Spot is on the limb.
        • Assuming this to be 1/4 of the rotation period for the planet for the Great Red Spot, calculate the Rotational Period  (For comparison:  The actual period of the rotation of Jupiter's Great Red Spot is 9 hours and 56 minutes).
      • Part 2:  Near Transit (5 observations)
        • For one transit of the meridian.
        • For the tim period of an hour before to an hour after meridian transit.
        • Based on this data, calculate the rotation rate for the Great Red Spot.
        • Compare to your result for Part 1.
      • The objective of this series of observations is to try to determine the rotation period of Jupiter at the latitude of the Great Red Spot.
    • Orbits of the Galilean Moons (20 observations)
      • Observe on four or five different nights.
      • Do four or five observations each night, at least 30 minutes apart.
      • Plot the location of the moons relative to the planet and show the actual orbits to determine which moon is which from this data.
      • The objective of this series of observations is to try and determine which moons are which.  It may also be possible to determine their orbital periods.
    • Changes in Jupiter's Atmosphere (10 observations)
      • On 10 different nights, make a detailed observation of features of Jupiter's atmosphere.
      • The most detail will be visible close to opposition.
      • The objective of this series of observations is to observnd document changes in markings of Jupiter's atmosphere.
    • Jupiter's TOES (Transits, Occultations, Eclipses, and Shadow Transits between Jupiter and its Galilean Moons.  For the Astronomical League Galileo's TOES certification, click here.) (10 observations)
      • Transit
        • Observe and note the time of the start of a transit of a moon
        • Observe and note the time when the moon transits Jupiter's meridian
        • Observe and note the time of the end of a transit of a moon
      • Occultation - start, end
        • Observe and note the time of the start of an occultation of a moon
        • Observe and note the time of the end of an occultation of a moon
      • Eclipse - start, end
        • Observe and note the time of the start of an eclipse of a moon
        • Observe and note the time of the end of an eclipse of a moon
      • Shadow Transit - start, transit, end
        • Observe and note the time of the start of a shadow transit of a moon
        • Observe and note the time when the moon's shadow transits Jupiter's meridian
        • Observe and note the time of the end of a shadow transit of a moon
    • Special Challenge:  Observe Jupiter's moons naked-eye.  The Astronomical League would like to know which ones you can see and how difficult it is.  There will be a notation on the certificate for those who accomplish this optional requirement.
  • Special Notes:
    • All observations MUST be done during the 75th anniversary year for the Astronomical League (2021).  None may be from prior years.
    • Some observations may be used to meet more than one requirement as long as all of the details are noted.
    • Some observations may be used as part of the requirements for other Observing Programs as long as all of the details are noted.

 

Past Challenges:

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

2. The AL 75th Year Snniversary Obsersving Challenge (deadline for subission was December 31, 2021)

 

AL Observing Challenges Special Awards Coordinator:

Aaron B. Clevenson
19411 Cluster Oaks Drive
Humble, TX 77346-2918
(281) 852-4667
E-mail: aaron@clevenson.org