Amateur Observers' Society of New York - Observing Awards and Programs


Having a goal and a purpose ahead of you when you go out at night to observe the sky will increase your enjoyment as you learn more astronomy! While many activities can be accomplished with the unaided eye, the purchase of equipment is not necessary as the AOS has an equipment library for members. In addition, more experienced AOS members will be happy to assist you in finding any sky object during observing sessions.

Contact the Membership Chair with any questions or comments about any of these programs.

Astronomical League Observing Award requirements can be found at The AOS provides interim awards for each of these programs when approximately half of the requirements have been met.

AOS Introduction to Astronomy Observing Program

To enhance your observing experience as well as to help you learn more about the night sky and all of its wonders, the AOS has developed a beginners observing program. All of the observations and activities on this list can be done during the evening hours. Click here for a PDF on the details of this observing award. The following sky charts and lunar maps will help you:

Click here for a PDF on the details of this observing award.
Planishpere files:

Some information to help:

AOS Radio Astronomy Observing Award Program

Presented to any AOS member who accomplishes, as a minimum, the following:
  • Performs a direct measurement of a Solar Flare or Noise Storm.
  • Direct measurement of the galactic center continuum radiation
  • Performs a direct measurement of radio emissions from the planet Jupiter
Click here for more details on this award program.


Explore the Universe Observing Certificate

From the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. This program is designed to provide the observer with a well-rounded introduction to the night sky visible from North America. Using this observing program is an excellent way to gain knowledge and experience in astronomy. Experienced observers find that a planned observing session results in a more satisfying and interesting experience. This program will help introduce you to amateur astronomy and prepare you for other more challenging certificate programs such as the Messier and Finest NGC. The program covers the full range of astronomical objects.
Click here for a PDF on the details of this observing award.


Messier Marathon

Try to observe all 110 Messier objects in one nights. Here is some information to help.


30 Objects You Never Heard Of

A collection of 30 items compiled by Sue French. There are 3 classes of awards, 10 items for 3 telescope sizes, small, medium and large.
The list, broken down by constellation and telescope size.
Findercharts for Downtown Coma, Haute Provence 1, Q1634+706, and Hickson 61.