Master Observer Progression

Master Observer Progression Coordinator:

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


The Astronomical League currently sponsors over 75 Observing Programs that are available for the membership.  They represent the diverse field of astronomy that is accessible to amateur astronomers as well as significant depth in many of those specialties.  The Astronomical League has developed a progression related to the Master Observer Award.  Its goal is to:

  • Integrate more of the observing programs.
  • Create a logical progression from newcomers to experts.
  • Make the levels of the Master Observer Progression meaningful, not simply more certifications and pins.
  • Reward and recognize those who are taking on the breadth and depth of the astronomy represented in the AL Observing Programs.
The progression includes these levels:

  • Observer Award
  • Master Observer Award
  • Master Imager Award
  • Advanced Observer Award
  • Master Observer – Silver Award
  • Master Observer – Gold Award
  • Master Observer – Platinum Award
  • Binocular Master Observer Award

First a few details about the Master Observer Award:

  • There are no changes in the requirements or recognition of the Master Observer Award.
  • The Binocular Master Observer Award is independent of the Master Observer Progression.
  • The Master Imager Award is independent of the Master Observer Progression (at this time).
  • We plan to continue to give out the plaques when a Master Observer goes to an AL-Con.

We know that many observers are not interested in some specific Observing Programs and Awards.  We also recognize that the necessary equipment or expertise required by some of these Observing Programs may not be easily available to all members of the Astronomical League.  We encourage those members to work with other more experienced members of their local astronomy club, perhaps borrow equipment, and try something new.  But the Master Observer Progression is not for everyone, and we know that there may be members who decide not to chase after some of the certifications.  If you are in this category, we are happy that you are a member of the Astronomical League, and we hope there are still many Observing Programs that are of interest to you.  Enjoy!  Clear Skies!

Master Observer Progression Coordinator:

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


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