Sketching Observing Award

Why sketch at the eyepiece? Well the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" may apply here. Introducing the new Astronomical League Sketching Observing Award.
 
Before some of you say "but I can't sketch” understand that the Sketching Observing Award was not created for "artists". It is for everyone regardless of the level of observing experience or artistic ability.  If you can put a pencil mark to paper, if you can make a smudge with your finger, you have the ability to complete this award. The main focus of the program is not to make artists out of amateur astronomers but to help slow down the observing process and improve observing skills over time.
 
The process of sketching can be intimidating for some that have never attempted it before but with some patience and practice you will be surprised that over time your ability to record what you observe will improve. There are tutorial links and other resources listed on the AL Sketching Observing Award webpage that are highly informative and recommended for those new to sketching astronomical objects. There are also advanced tips for more detailed sketching and for those with more experience.
 
We hope this award will help you gain a greater appreciation for sketching astronomical objects and enhance your skills in recording the details of your observations.

What's Up with the Astronomical League - September 2014

Sep
04

In this issue:

  • 50 foot dish needs new home
  • Presentation of 4th place Horkheimer/O'Meara Journalism Award to Evan Andracek
  • AAS 2nd 2017 Eclipse Workshop in Columbia, MO

 Photo courtesy Tom Martinez
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What's Up with the Astronomical League - August 2014

Aug
09

In this issue:

  • Survey of night sky star gazing in Illionois
  • Update on League's Involvement with the Harvard Observatory Project
  • New Observing Award Programs Approved at ALCon 2014

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Survey: Stargazing at Illinois state parks.

Jul
30

Dear Illinois Astronomical League members and friends, and those who live in the neighboring states of Illinois:

In an e-mail conversation with Chicago Astronomical Society President Audrey Fischer, Elizabeth Norden of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has requested input from the Illinois Astronomy community.

If this is something in which you’d like to participate, please fill in the survey below  email to:

Elizabeth.Norden@illinois.gov

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Astronomical League Announces Youth Award Winners for 2014

Jun
30

Kansas City, MO)--The Astronomical League is pleased to announce the top finishers in its youth award programs for 2014. The first-place winner in the National Young Astronomer Award (NYAA) program is Pranav Sivakumar, from Tower Lakes, Illinois. A freshman at Barrington High School, Barrington, Illinois, his astronomical project uses a novel method developed to identify gravitationally lensed quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Understanding gravitational lensing can help decipher the properties of dark matter and dark energy.

The second-place winner is Katie Shen who lives in Potomac Falls, Virginia. Katie, a junior at Loudoun Academy of Science in Sterling, Virginia, titled her research project, “ Census of HII Regions in Sloan Digital Sky Survey.” These are regions of actively forming stars inside galaxies.

The top two finishers have each won an expenses-paid trip to receive their awards at ALCon, the national convention of the Astronomical League, being held in San Antonio, Texas, July 9-12, 2014. In addition, the first place winner will receive a special telescope from Explore Scientific, sponsor of the National Young Astronomer Award program.

The 2014 first-place winner of the League’s Jack Horkheimer/Smith Service Award, is Hagan Hensley, whose hometown is San Antonio. Hagan’s tremendous contribution to outreach activities for his astronomical society, the San Antonio League of Sidewalk Astronomers, earned him this award which is sponsored by the family of the late Jack Horkheimer, of the PBS astronomy program Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer. In addition to receiving his award, Hagan will receive a $1,000 check in recognition of this special achievement.

GE Austin, is the 1st place winner of the Jack Horkheimer/O’Meara Journalism Award for 2014. The title of his essay was “The Mass of Life”. He lives in the state of Oregon and will be receiving his award in person at ALCon 2014. He will also receive a $1,000 check for his special 1st place essay.

Our NYAA and Horkheimer Service awards are open to high school age youth. The Horkheimer Journalism award is open to youth ages 8-14. For specific entry guidelines, please refer to the Astronomical League website www.astroleague.org.

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