NASA Observing Challenges Special Awards

NASA Observing Challenge Special Award Coordinator:

Richard Benson
3105 Lykes Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Telephone: 505-340-6691


The Astronomical League has been working with NASA to bring you Observing Challenges.  These are opportunities to participate in events associated with space missions to objects within the Solar System or related to celestial events.  New opportunities will be added as new milestones for various missions or noteworthy celestial events occur.


SPECIAL NOTE: If you are looking for information regarding the Observe the Moon Night Observing Challenges, they are listed as AL Observing Challenges since they are celestial events rather than related to NASA Missions.  Click here to go to that web page.  They are done in conjunction with NASA though.

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./li>
  • Do an outreach activity associated with the event in the challenge
  • The deadline varies for each challenge and is typically one month after the event.  Late submissions will

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 within a month after the deadline and may be printed by you.

Current NASA Observing Challenges:

  • There are currently no ongoing NASA Observing Challenges.

NASA Observing Challenges Special Awards Coordinator:

Richard Benson
3105 Lykes Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Telephone: 505-340-6691

Previous Challenges that have been included in the program are:

  • New Horizons rendezvous with Pluto on July 14, 2015 (deadline: August 14, 2015).
  • Comet Siding Spring rendezvous with Mars on October 19, 2014 (deadline:  November 19, 2015).
  • Rosetta Spacecraft rendezvous with Comet Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 11, 2014 (deadline: January 12, 2015).
  • TESS – Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (deadline: July 31, 2018)
  • Mars InSight Mission – landing is scheduled for 11/26/2018 (deadline: December 31, 2018)
  • Apollo – 50th Anniversary (deadline: August 31, 2019)
  • Mercury Transit of the Sun (deadline: December 11, 2019)
  • Landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars (deadline: March 18, 2021)
  • James Webb Telescope (deadline: July 20, 2022)

For details on the requirements for prior awards, click here.

Scroll to top Astronomical League