Astro Notes: Astronomical Vignettes

Astro Notes are designed to be a concise description of some aspect of astronomy, amateur astronomy or the Astronomical League. Each is, by necessity, rather narrow in scope. Although Astro Notes are produced by the Astronomical League as a service to its members, permission is granted to copy the notes for redistribution or inclusion in society newsletters, provided the note is copied in its entirety with the Astronomical League cited as its source. The information contained in the Astro Notes is generally available from a variety of sources. Regional officers may make copies available at Regional Conventions with fees to cover their duplicating costs. Additional information on Astro Notes is available in Astro Note 20.


1 -- Polar Alignment in the Field

  • Two techniques to polar align before you begin observing.

2 -- Astronomical League Services

  • A list of the services available to you with your League membership.

3 -- Observing Data Sheet.

  • A template for a form you can use to record your observations.

4 -- Astronomical League History and Organization

  • Background information on the League.

5 -- Astronomical League Membership and Benefits

  • The membership categories and benefits of each.

6 -- Club Constitution or Bylaws

  • Basic information on writing your own guiding documents.

7 -- Astronomical Pronunciation Guide - I

  • How to pronounce the names of constellations and bright stars.

8 -- Winter Star Watching Project - Pleiades

  • Participate in a project to measure the effects of light pollution.

9 -- Tax Exempt Status

  • Basic information to making your organization non-profit and tax exempt.

10 -- What Time Is It?

  • Different ways that time is measured in astronomy.

11 -- Celestial Coordinate Systems

  • The various ways that an object's position in the sky can be stated.

12 -- Observing Programs of the Astronomical League I -- Deep Sky

  • List of the deep sky observing awards of the League and the qualifications for achieving each.

13 -- Using Setting Circles

  • How to find objects in the sky using setting circles.

14 -- Astronomical Pronunciation Guide - II

  • How to pronounce the names of the planets, their satellites and prominent surface features.

15 -- Accurate Polar Alignment

  • Two techniques to accurately align your equatorial mounting for astrophotography.

16 -- Astrophotography I - Star Trails

  • How to take star trail and constellation photographs with an unguided camera.

17 -- Astrophotography II - Projection Systems

  • Projection systems to obtain a larger image scale for lunar, planetary and other narrow field astrophotography.

18 -- Basic Astronomical Data

  • Quick reference guide to the solar system, nearest stars, the Milky Way, and other embarrassing questions that come up at star parties.

19 -- So, You Want to Buy a Telescope?

  • A ready answer for those queries around Christmas or at Astronomy Day.

20 -- Index and Order Form

  • This index to Astro Notes issued so far.

21 -- Organizing an Astronomy Club

  • Basic information on getting a new club started.

22 -- Preparing and Presenting a Paper

  • Tips on presenting a paper at your local club, regional or national conventions.

23 -- Reporting a Discovery

  • How to properly report that new comet or supernova.

24 -- Professional Astronomer

  • Think you want to turn pro? Here are some tips.

25 -- Observing Programs of the Astronomical League II -- Solar System

  • List of solar system observing awards of the League and the qualifications for achieving each.

26 -- Fund Raising

  • Some steps to take to ensure success in raising funds for your astronomy club.

27 -- Observing Variable Stars: Beta Lyrae

  • The constellation Lyra is located overhead for mid-northern latitudes in the pre-midnight hours from late spring to late fall. While Lyra is most known for the Ring Nebula, some astronomers consider the eclipsing binary (double) star β Lyrae a far more interesting object.

28 -- Observing Programs of the Astronomical League - III Deep Sky Programs, part 2

  • The award programs presented on this ASTRONOTE are for advanced deep sky programs. See ASTRONOTE 12 for part 1 of the deep sky programs, ASTRONOTE 25 for solar system observing programs and ASTRONOTE 29 for Activity Award programs.

29 -- Activity-based Award Programs

  • The award programs presented on this ASTRONOTE are for activity-based awards. If you would like to further your efforts in the preservation of dark skies or public outreach or earn some recognition for such endeavors, check out the following Activity Awards you can earn. See ASTRONOTEs 12 and 28 for the deep sky programs and ASTRONOTE 25 for solar system observing programs.