The heart of amateur astronomy is observing. We can read all we want about astronomical phenomena, but the real joy in astronomy is going out under the night sky and observing the objects about which we have read. But while most of us are casual observers of the sky, looking at the same few objects over and over, a few amateur astronomers develop their observing skills to the ultimate degree. They then use these skills to make careful observations of the sky and record them for scientific analysis. Peltier Award Plaque
Whether the observation is done with a photometer, CCD, spectroscope, or just the human eye, the ability to find an object and record scientifically useful detail is not a common trait. To recognize the amateur astronomer who is not only able to do this, but has contributed their observations to an ongoing observing program, the Astronomical League presents the Leslie C. Peltier Award. The Peltier Award was created in 1980 and the first was awarded in 1981.
The award is named after Leslie C. Peltier, the Delphos, Ohio, amateur astronomer who Harlow Shapley, one of the League’s founders, referred to as “the world’s greatest nonprofessional astronomer”. Born January 2, 1900, he discovered twelve new comets and four novae. But his real contribution was the over 132,000 variable star observations he made in his sixty-two year observing career. He also wrote many articles on astronomy and penned four books. To easy his observing, he built an enclosed “merry-go-round” observatory. He died in 1980.
It is in his memory, and to celebrate his life-long love of the heavens, that the Astronomical League presents the Leslie C. Peltier Award.
The League shall present an annual Leslie C. Peltier Award to an amateur astronomer who contributed to astronomy observations of lasting significance.
Procedure for Nomination.
1. A three (3) person Peltier Award Committee shall be established, which shall execute the nomination and selection process, and shall be responsible for the design and sponsorship of the representative plaque.
2. Nominations shall be sent to the committee chair, who will forward the name(s) to the committee members for their selection by simple majority vote. The committee chair shall maintain a permanent list of nominees not selected, for consideration in future years.
3. Dates for the implementation of this process shall be set by the committee. The award shall be presented at the banquet of the annual convention or, if none is held, at the largest gathering of League members at the convention.
Having been “bitten by the bug” as a young boy in the 1950s, Jim began his amateur astronomy “career” as a member of a “Junior Moon-Watch Team,” eagerly awaiting the launch of the first artificial Earth satellites during the International Geophysical Year toward the end of that decade. But, unlike the young man in Walt Whitman’s famous poem, he never tired of the “Learn’d Astronomer” and quickly grew tired of simply gazing up at the beauty of the stars. He wanted to “Do something to contribute.” read More
The Astronomical League held its annual meeting, ALCon 2013, Summer Skies, Southern
The annual awards banquet was held the evening of July 27, 2013. This year’s recipient of the Leslie C. Peltier Award is John E. Bortle.
|Year||Winner||Area of Achievement|
|1980||Leslie C. Peltier||Posthumous – Variable Stars|
|1981||Ed Halbach||Variable Stars|
|1982||Walter Haas||Planetary Astronomy|
|1983||Clinton Ford||Variable Stars|
|1984||Walter Scott Houston||Variable Stars – overall contr.|
|1985||Rev. Robert Evans||Supernova Discoveries|
|1986||Russell Genet||Photoelectric Photometry|
|1987||No Award Given|
|1988||David H. Levy||Overall Contributions to Observing|
|1989||Peter Collins||Nova Discovery|
|1990||No Award Given|
|1991||Tommy Cragg||Variable Stars|
|1992||Don Parker||CCD Work – Planetary Astronomy|
|1993||Janet Mattei||Variable Stars|
|1994||No Award Given|
|1995||Ron Parmentier||Overall Contributions to Observing|
|1996||Ed Oravec||Variable Stars|
|1997||Dennis di Cicco||Overall Contributions to Observing|
|1998||Roger Sinnott||Overall Contributions to Observing|
|1999||Bill Albrecht||Variable Stars|
|2000||Charles Scovil||Variable Stars|
|2001||Richard Berry||Overall Contributions – CCD|
|2002||Gene Hanson||Variable Stars|
|2003||Dr. Paul Comba||Minor Planets|
|2004||Wayne Johnson||Extra-Galactic Supernovae|
|2005||Edward Grafton||CCD Planetary Astronomy|
|2006||Elizabeth Waagen||Variable Stars|
|2007||Daniel M. Troiani||Planetary Astronomy|
|2008||Richard G. Hodgson||Minor Planets|
|2009||Gerhard Samolyk||Variable Stars|
|2010||Derald D. Nye||Occultations, Asteroid|
|2011||Arnie Henden||Variable Stars|
|2012||Mike Simonsen||Variable Stars|
|2013||John E. Bortle||Overall Contributions to Astronomy|
|2022||Dr. Barbara Harris|
Leslie C. Peltier Award Committee
Roger S. Kolman, Ph.D., Chairman
Barry Beaman, Member
Russ Maxwell, Member