Mars is here - are you ready to battle the god of war?

This apparition of Mars has begun.  It is still a bit small, and still a morning object (yawn), but now is the time to start honing your skills to meet the demands of the Mars Observing Program.  The Astronomical League developed this observing program to take advantage of Mars' closest approach (opposition in July).  To accomplish the requirements, you need to begin observing as soon as possible.  Some requirements may take some time to acquire.  If you miss this opposition of Mars, the next one is in 2020.

Astronomy Day 2018

Be sure to list your Astronomy Day events on

Wouldn’t it be great if clubs were recognized for their innovation and efforts in putting amateur astronomy directly in front of the public? The Astronomical League, with help from Sky and Telescope and the American Astronomical Society, presents three $150 cash awards, one each for the best event in a large, medium, and small populated service area. In addition, $50 is awarded to a club that consistently holds a quality event.

The Astronomical League is here to help. Wouldn’t it be great if there were helpful aids assisting clubs and individuals in their Astronomy Day and outreach endeavors? There are – download the Astronomy Day Handbook. Wouldn’t it be great if there were materials answering many common questions the public may likely ask? There are – download the numerous Astronomical League Outreach Downloads in either handout or poster format. 

With all the great reasons for participating in Astronomy Day (and other outreach activities), what might be the most important one is also one of the most critical for the continued success of our hobby: Light pollution awareness. Simply put, the more the public knows about the sky and its marvels, the more they will appreciate dark skies, and the more likely they will actively speak out against senseless outdoor lighting. This is a great opportunity for you to affect the course of our hobby and to help benefit your community.

During the weekend of April 21 bring the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars to the people on Astronomy Day. You may very well cause a few of them to want to experience more. You will have touched their lives!

Nominate one of your club members!

Nominate your newsletter editor for the Mabel Sterns Newsletter Editor Award

Nominate your club webmaster for the AL Webmaster Award

Nominate qualified youths for the Horkheimer Service, Imaging, and Journalism Awards

Remember, these awards are here to recognize those people who make amateur astronomy happen!