Observing - Where to Begin?

Welcome to the exciting and beautiful universe!

This is where you can travel through the Observing Programs of the Astronomical League.  Currently there are over 70 Observing Programs to choose from, and this can seem a bit overwhelming.  The purpose of this webpage is to help someone new to amateur astronomy navigate the many optionsavailable.

Some observers  set up their telescope and just peruse the night sky.  They follow the path of the Milky Way Galaxy looking for celestial wonders hiding there.  But we believe that the experience can be more fun and more rewarding if the observer has a path and a goal in their observing.  This is what the Observing Programs provide.  Most of the Astronomical League's Observing Programs contain a list of objectives (typically 100) to seek out throughout the year.  The lists provide objects of interest to give direction to your observing.

The different Observing Programs are designed to provide something for any astronomer, no matter where they maybe in their observing life.

  • There are programs for the first time observer through the most experienced observers.
  • There are programs for those with no equipment, binoculars, small telescopes, to very large telescopes.
  • There are programs that are devoted to famous astronomers and their achievements.
  • There are programs dedicated to specific celestial wonders.

So, where should you begin?  We hope this chart will provide a bit of guidance.  We would also recommend talking to other astronomers in yoru local astronomy society.  They have been where you are now.