Explore Astronomy

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Astronomical A-List: Observing Awards

This page gives you details of the observing awards to be sponsored by the University of Manchester and the Society for Popular Astronomy.

There are three observing awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold which may be obtained by submitting observing logs either by post to:

A-List Awards

Jodrell Bank Observatory
The University of Manchester
SK11 9DL,
United Kingdom

or by e-mail to alistawards@jb.man.ac.uk

In the case of submitted logs that are deemed exceptional at any level, the sponsors of the awards may give a "starred" award.

We would particularly like astronomical societies to encourage their younger members to apply for the bronze and silver awards and we will be open to submission by groups of up to 12 young astronomers who may be all observing under guidance with the same instrument. In this case a group photo would be nice to include on the website - see below. In this case each member of the group will be given an individual award.

Should the observers wish, we would like to set up web pages showing pictures of the observers who gain awards with his or her binoculars or telescope and hope to build up an A-List observing log combining details given by many observers of the objects that they have observed with differing instruments.

The design of the award certificate is in progress and will be A4 is size. Ideally we would like to send a digital image to be printed out locally, but if this is not possible certificates will be sent by post.

The requirements to gain the individual awards:

For each observing session the log must include:

  1. The Date and Time
  2. The location of the observer.
    The Town, Country, Latitude and Longitude.
  3. The "seeing" conditions on a scale of 1 to 10.
    A visual representation of "seeing" conditions: Pickering Scale
  4. The sky transparency on a scale of 1 to 6.
    This can simply be given as the faintest magnitude star that you can see near to the zenith (directly above). It will normally be in the range 3-5, with 6 on exceptionally transparent nights.
  5. The specification to the telescope or binoculars if used
    For example 8 x 40 binoculars or 200mm f6 telescope.
  6. The details of the objects observed that session with the time of observation of each.
    If you can do a drawing or photograph which could be appended to the observing log then that could lift the log into the "starred award"