Southern Sky Binocular Observing Program Coordinator:
Cindy La Russa
111 W. Forrest Feezor St.
Corona de Tucson, AZ 85641-2109
The Astronomical League's Southern Skies Binocular Program is dedicated to my dear friend Jim Curry, without whose support this program would not have been possible.
Welcome to the Astronomical League's Southern Skies Binocular Program. The first question that comes to mind is "If we all live in the Northern Hemisphere, why do we need a program whose list of objects can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere?". Well, probably the best answer is that this was something that I just had to do. The Binocular Messier Program in tandem with the Deep Sky Binocular Program presents a complete list of binocular objects that can be reasonably observed in the Northern Hemisphere. Likewise, the Southern Skies Binocular Program presents a complete list of binocular objects that can be reasonably observed from the Southern Hemisphere. Together, this trilogy of binocular programs gives one an all-sky survey of deep sky objects that are within range of small aperture binoculars.
But if you happen to be going to the Southern Hemisphere on business, why not drop a pair of binoculars in your suitcase and do some observing while you are there? Or if you are going to the Southern Hemisphere on vacation, again, take along your binoculars and sneak in some observing. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere for a Total Solar Eclipse, this would be an ideal time to do some deep sky observing with binoculars as well as observe the eclipse. If you are going to the Southern Hemisphere on an observing trip, what better way to travel light and observe the wonders of the southern skies, while getting credit for your observations by picking up an Astronomical League Southern Skies Binocular Program certificate? Finally, if you are traveling to the Southern Hemisphere for the sole purpose of observing, but with a telescope, why not take this list along as a guide to the best showpiece objects to observe, without wasting the limited time you have there on commonplace objects?
Over two hundred Southern Hemisphere deep sky objects were surveyed to come up with this list of seventy-three objects readily observable with 7x50 binoculars. All objects on this list had to be below minus forty degrees declination to qualify as a Southern Hemisphere object. To qualify for the Astronomical League's Southern Skies Binocular Program Certificate, you need only observe 50 of the 73 objects on this list!!! You may choose which 50 objects you want to submit for your certificate. The reason for this is that many of us will only have limited access to the Southern Hemisphere, maybe only one or two visits in a lifetime, while, at the same time, we may not have control over the best time of the year to observe in the Southern Hemisphere. An experienced binocular observer with two good nights of observing any time during the year should be able to acquire this certificate.
Rules and Regulations
To qualify for the AL's Southern Skies Binocular Certificate, you need only be a member of the Astronomical League, either through an affiliated club or as a Member-at-Large, and observe your 50 selected objects using only binoculars. Any pair of binoculars may be used, but those with objectives between 50MM and 80MM in diameter are recommended. To record your observations, you may use log sheets similar to those found in the back of the Astronomical League's manual Observe: A Guide to the Messier Objects. For more information on purchasing this book, you can read about the merchandise available from the Astronomical League Sales Office. If you use your own log sheets, they should include: object name, date and time (local or UT), seeing and transparency, observing location (latitude and longitude), type of binocular and power, and observing notes.
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.
Submitting for Certification
To receive your Southern Skies Binocular Certificate and award pin, simply send your observations along with your name, mailing address, email, phone number, and society affiliation, either to your society's Awards Coordinator for verification, or to the Southern Skies Binocular Observing Program Coordinator. Please indicate to whom the certification should be sent.
Southern Sky Binocular Program Coordinator:
Cindy La Russa
Upon verification of your observations, your certificate will be forwarded either to you or your society's Awards Co-ordinator, whomever you choose.
For information on what objects to observe, read the Southern Skies Binocular Object list.