News

Observing Program Division Announcement – Meteor Observing Program changes

If you are currently working on your Meteor Observing Program observations – this pertains to you!  The certifications for this Observing Program have changed to Silver Level for 12 hours total observing, and Gold Level for 36 total hours of observing (formerly called Honorary).  There are no other changes to the Observing Program.

For more information of if you are concerned about how this might affect you, please contact the Coordinator.  Meteor Oberving Program web page:  https://www.astroleague.org/meteor-observing-program/

If you have already earned your 36 hour certification, this has no affect on you.

Observing Program Division Announcements – Naked-Eye Observing Options

The Observing Program Division is excited to announce new options for Naked-Eye observers.  No equipment?  No Problem!

We already have Observing Programs that require no equipment:

Three additional Eyes Only levels have been added to existing Observing Programs:

And to crown this new effort, the Master Observer Progression has also created a For Your Eyes Only Certification: https://www.astroleague.org/for-your-eyes-only-observing-award/.

For more details and information, click on the links above.

No equipment?  No problem!

Your Help Needed – All of you

The Database Managers and the Webmaster have been working very hard to clean up the on-line Observing Programs awards database.  We have reached the point where we need help from all of you who have earned awards.  Please send any corrections or issues to Aaron Clevenson at aaron@clevenson.org

Please check your listing of awards by starting on this page:  https://www.astroleague.org/award-search/.  Keep the search parameters as simple as possible.

We are looking for these issues:

  • Spelling errors in your first or last name.
  • Alternate spellings of your first or last name.
  • Use of nicknames.
  • Inconsistencies such as Middle Initial vs. Initial is missing.
  • Missing awards.
  • Awards in your name that are not yours…
  • If you have a child in the database as well as yourself, we want to be sure that each of you get recognition for your own awards.  Suffixes such as “, JR.” are a good way to do this.
  • Anything else that is inconsistent or incorrect.
  • We plan to correct all errors in the database.

We are also working on standardization, so keep these things in mind.

  • We prefer to NOT use honorifics as prefixes.
  • We prefer to NOT use suffixes associated with titles or honors.
  • Nicknames can be used for first names if appropriate.
  • First initials, middle initials or middle names may be used.

Name changes and Society changes:

  • If your name has legally changed, and you want the awards shown under your new name, this we will do.
  • If you have switched to a new society, we do NOT change the name as it appears on your previous awards.  We always show the name of the Society in which the award was earned.

Please do this as soon as possible.  Thank you for your help.

Observing Program Division Reminders – Two Observing Special Observing Award Challenges

In two days (June 26, 2024), the Parker Solar Probe NASA Observing Challenge will open.  This Special Observing Award will include a certificate and pin.  More information is available on our website:  https://www.astroleague.org/nasa-observing-challenges-special-awards/.  Don’t forget the Outreach component.

Also, be sure to get your “before the Nova” observation of T Coronae Borealis done BEFORE it goes Nova.  Do this now!  It could happen at any time…  This is also a Special Observing Award and will include a certificate and pin.  More information is available on our website:  https://www.astroleague.org/al-observing-challenge-special-observing-award/.  This too requires an outreach component.

ALCon 2024 – Room Reservations

ALCon 2024

Room reservations are now open for the special ALCon rate at the beautiful Overland Park DoubleTree Hotel:

https://group.doubletree.com/hp0506

or scan the QR code to take you to the Double Tree booking site. Once you are on the site, click “edit stay” on the upper right of the page to adjust your room nights. (The default is 6 nights!)

Why stay at the DoubleTree? Sure, you have other choices, but You will avail yourself to having chance conversations and unexpected, but very enjoyable encounters with presenters, vendors, exhibitors, and other attendees who share your passion about astronomy. And, of course, you will have the convenience of being situated where the action is – at “astronomy central.” Fully experience the spark, enthusiasm, and excitement that ALCon brings!

See you at ALCon 2024!

To see the flyer, click here.

Observing Program Division Announcement – Links to the Hubble Telescope’s Messier and Caldwell Image Collection

The Astronomical League is working closely with the NASA Hubble Telescope Team on future collaborative efforts (Observing Challenges, etc.).  As opportunities become available we will announce them here.  We hope you will take advantage of these Challenges.  Our first step in this process is to include links to the Hubble Telescope collections of Messier and Caldwell Objects.  Links to these collections are now at the bottom (in the Links section) on the web pages for the Messier Observing Program, the Binocular Messier Observing Program, and the Caldwell Observing Program.  Enjoy!

ALCON ’24 – Imaging Competition

League vice-president, Chuck Allen, will be conducting an astrophotography competition on behalf of the ASKC at our national convention in Kansas City. Winners will receive three-inch engraved medals and accompanying certificates. Here are samples of the medals awarded at a recent regional convention:

Competitions will be held in five categories as follows:

  • Deep Sky (>500 mm focal length; no solar system)
  • Solar System (>500 mm focal length)
  • Rich Field (201-500 mm focal length)
  • Wide Field (up to 200 mm focal length)
  • Art and Sketching

Images will be voted on by convention attendees using anonymous ballots distributed in registration packages. Voters will be asked to select and rank their top three images in each category. Zipf’s Law will be used to accumulate points (1 point for a first-place vote, 1/2 point for a second-place vote, 1/3 point for a third-place vote). Up to 5 images may be entered per category, but each image stands alone in the voting. 

Instructions will be conspicuously posted by 9 am on Thursday. Here is the competition schedule:

  • Image registration begins at 9 am on THURSDAY
  • Images must be on display by 9 am on FRIDAY
  • Voting takes place from 9 am to 3 pm on FRIDAY  

Awards will be presented at the banquet on Saturday evening. If you have any questions, please contact Chuck at vicepresident@astroleague.org. 

Best of luck!

– Chair, ALCon ‘24 

To see the flyer, click here.

AL Live! – June 14

AL LIVE!
Friday June 14, 7 p.m. EDT on www.facebook.com/Astronomical.League/   

Join host Terry Mann for this intriguing program – Stargazing and Hiking in the National Parks.   

Astronomer Dean Regas shares his adventures as the Astronomer in Residence at the Grand Canyon. What is it like to live, work, and hike in America’s most famous National Park? Dean gives amazing tales of exploring the canyon and the night sky as well as a preview of the annual Grand Canyon Star Party (a week-long telescope festival under the Milky Way). He will also highlight visits to other National Parks like Joshua Tree, Bryce Canyon, Crater Lake, and Yosemite.

To see the flyer, click here:  https://www.astroleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/AL-LIVE-6-14-24.pdf

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