Objective of the Astronomical League



The Astronomical Leagues objective is to promote thescience of astronomy

  • by fostering astronomical education’
  • by providing incentives for astronomical observation and research;
  • by assisting communication among amateur astronomical societies.

The Astronomical League is composed of over two hundred and forty local amateur astronomical societies from all across the United States. These organizations, along with our Members-at-Large, Patrons, and Supporting members form one of the largest amateur astronomical organizations in the world.

Our basic goal is to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially amateur astronomy) throughout America. Many people have seen pictures of the other planets in our Solar System from spacecraft, but have no idea that they too can see these objects with a telescope. We want people to get access to telescopes, whether it is through their local astronomical society, school, or their own instruments, and use them to view the beauty in the heavens.

The mission of the Astronomical League is clearly stated in the masthead: to promote the science of Astronomy. The major benefit of belonging to this organization is receiving the quarterly newsletter, The Reflector, which keeps you in touch with amateur activities all over the country. The chance to meet the people you read about there occurs during our annual National Convention, or at one of the ten regional conventions that the AL sponsors.

The easiest way to become part of the AL is to join one of our member societies close to you. A benefit of membership in this society is membership in the Astronomical League and part of your society dues goes to pay for your Reflector subscription.

The application for a new member society is located at here. If it is not convenient for you to join one of these societies, you might consider becoming a Member-at-Large. If all you desire is a subscription to the Reflector, please fill in the subscription form and return it to us, along with your payment and we will enter your subscription. Astronomical League members can order astronomy-related books at a 10% discount through the Book Service if not already sold through League Sales. Books and other material published by the Astronomical League as well as clothing and jewelry can be purchased from the A.L. Sales Office. The Observing Clubs offer encouragement and certificates of accomplishment for demonstrating observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. These include the Messier Club; Binocular Messier Club and the Herschel 400 Club.

About Our Logo…

Our original logo was designed in 1952 by James H. Karle of Portland, Oregon. Mr. Karle was an instructor in astronomy at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He was League Secretary starting in 1951.

About the design he says:

“This design has been developed in an endeavor to present at first glance its meaning and association with astronomy as represented by the many amateur societies which comprise the League. These societies devote their attention to several branches of the science and my design depicts the more important ones.

“Solar is shown by the setting sun. Lunar is represented by the crescent moon, while sparkling Venus, just above the Moon, pays tribute to the planets. The streak of a meteor just below the word LEAGUE tells of another interesting branch followed by many amateurs. Then the vastness of the wide expanse of a night sky brinks in the “deep sky wonders,” to which so many devote their observing hours, the constellation of Ursa Major and Cassiopeia being clearly shown in the margin.

“Then there is a large and important section of members of our societies who follow the cult of the telescope and instrument maker; it would be a fatal omission to forget them. So there is shown what is obviously an amateur’s observatory, the size of it being indicated by the size of the door.

“Finally, the words comprising our official name, ASTRONOMICAL LEAGUE, it stands out, dominating the design in a pleasing form. The entire design is in only two colors, blue and white, which is again appropriate to the theme, and it is confined within a circle, suitable for stationery or lapel pin.”

– From the Yakima (Washington) Amateur Astronomers newsletter The Observer, Vol. 13 No. 5, May, 1952.

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