Lunar Club Introduction – Printable

Lunar Club Introduction – Printable

Lunar Club Chair:

Steve A. Nathan
A. L. Lunar Club Coordinator
45 Brewster Road
West Springfield, Ma. 01089
(413) 967-9435
Assisted by John Wagoner.


Welcome to the Astronomical League’s
Lunar Club. The Lunar Club introduces amateur astronomers
to that object in the sky that most of us take for granted,
and which deep sky observers have come to loathe. But
even though deep sky observers search for dark skies
(when the moon is down), this program gives them something
to do when the moon is up. In other words, it gives
us something to observe the rest of the month, and we
all know that the sky is always clear when the moon
is up.

The Lunar Club also allows amateurs
in heavily light polluted areas to participate in an
observing program of their own. This program is well
suited for the young, inexperienced observer as well
as the older observer just getting into our hobby since
no special observing skills are required. It is well
balanced because it develops naked eye, binocular, and
telescopic observing skills. Finally, the Lunar Club
was created as a project that can easily be done by
schools and school children, especially those in the
inner city.

Rules and Regulations

To qualify for the AL’s Lunar Club
Certificate and pin, you need only be a member of the
Astronomical League, either through an affiliated club
or as a Member-at-Large, and observe 100 features on
the moon. These 100 features are broken down into three
groups: 18 naked eye, 46 binocular, and 36 telescopic
features. Any pair of binoculars and any telescope may
be used for this program. As a matter of fact, to prove
that the Lunar Club could be done with small apertures,
we used 7×35 binoculars and a 60mm refractor. So, as
you can see, this program does not require expensive
equipment. Also, if you have problems with observing
the features at one level, you may go up to the next
higher level. In other words, if you have trouble with
any of the naked eye objects, you may jump up to binoculars.
If you have trouble with any of the binocular objects,
then you may move up to a telescope. But if you have
trouble with any of the telescopic objects, you are
on your own. You will have to arrange your own time
on the Hubble Space Telescope. Before moving up to the
next higher level, please try to get as many objects
as you can with the instrument required at that level.
Finally, when using binoculars, we recommend that you
tripod mount them for stability.

We have made it as simple as possible
to log your observations. Just list the instruments
that you used at the top of pages 2 and 3 of this flyer,
check off the features as you observe them in the "CHK"
column, and then list the date and time you observed
the feature in the columns on the right-hand side of
pages 2 and 3. That is all there is to it.

For those of you that still may have
some trouble observing the 100 original features of
the program, we have included 10 optional activities
on page 4. Each one activity counts as two of the observations
on pages 2 and 3, and may be substituted for those observations.

If you would like a good recommendation
for a lunar map to use with this program, we suggest,
for those of you on a budget, "Moon Map" (S0003) by
Sky Publishing Corp.
for $2.95. Sky Publishing Corp. can be reached at (800)

You must be a member of the Astronomical
League to receive this certificate. If you are not a
member now, click here
to view information on membership in our organization.

To receive your Lunar Club Certificate
and pin, simply send your observations along with your
name, address, phone number, and club affiliation, either
to your club’s Awards Co-ordinator for verification,
or to:

Steve A. Nathan
A. L. Lunar Club Co-ordinator
45 Brewster Road
West Springfield, Ma. 01089
(413) 967-9435.

Upon verification of your observations, your certificate
and pin will be forwarded either to you or your club’s
Awards Coordinator, whomever you choose. You will also
be added to the list of Lunar
Club Awardees.

For information on which lunar features to observe,
read the Lunar Club Observing

Astronomical League National Headquarters
9201 Ward Parkway; Suite 100
Kansas City, MO  64114


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