Observer Award

Observer Award Coordinator:

David Whalen
1828 East Gate Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(404) 505-4208


Welcome to the first step in the Master Observer Progression.  Everyone has to start somewhere, so the Astronomical League assembled this award to recognize those who are embarking on that journey.

This award has two purposes.  For the newcomer to astronomy, it provides a starting point.  Many times members ask, “Where do I begin?”  The answer is here!  For the experienced observers, this award identifies a valuable foundation that many of us may have missed by jumping into the hobby with both feet.

Requirements and Rules

This certification is available to members of the Astronomical League, either through their local astronomical society or as members at large.  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 (click here), or join as a member at large (click here).

The Observer Award will be given to a member who has completed five Observing Programs. If imaging is an option for completing an Observing Program then it is acceptable as part of the Observer Award.  The observer must complete these four Observing Programs:

  • Either the Constellation Hunter – Northern Skies Observing Program or the Constellation Hunter – Southern Skies Observing Program.
  • Either the Messier Observing Program (Honorary), the Binocular Messier Observing Program, or the Bennett Observing Program.
  • The Lunar Observing Program.
  • The Solar System Observing Program.

The observer must also choose and complete any one of these Observing Programs:

  • The Galileo Observing Program.
  • The Sketching Observing Award.
  • The Sky Puppy Observing Program
  • The Youth Astronomer Program Observing Program
  • The Beyond Polaris Observing Program.
  • The Two in the View Observing Program.
  • The Universe Sampler Observing Program.
  • The Urban Observing Program.

Please note that only the advanced award for the Messier Observing Program is acceptable for an Observer Award.

Submitting for Certification

Once a member has completed the five observing programs, she or he will be given a certificate and pin.

The member should contact the coordinator of the Observer Award with information that includes:

  • A list of the awards you have completed.
  • The certificate number.
  • Your name, as you want it printed on the certificate.
  • Your mailing address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your E-mail address.
  • Your club affiliation (If you are a Member-At-Large, please include that information, too).
  • The name and address of the person to whom the award should be sent (Awards Coordinator?).

Upon verification of your submission and of your active membership in the Astronomical League, your recognition (certificate, pin, etc.) will be sent to you or to the awards coordinator for your society, as you specified.  Your name will also appear in an upcoming issue of the Reflector magazine and in the Astronomical League’s on-line database.  Congratulations.  Good luck with your next observing challenge.

Observer Award Coordinator:

David Whalen
1828 East Gate Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
(404) 505-4208



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