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Awards and Recognition

Certificates, Scout Badges and Organizations

Want to have fun and learn at the same time? Several organizations give recognition for observing stars, planets, the moon and other celestial objects and discovering the cosmos by yourself. Back to Space Center

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Observing Awards

Jack Horkheimer Award

The Jack Horkheimer Award is presented to an Astronomical League member under the age of 19 on the date of the application deadline and based upon service to the League, either directly or service to any Astronomical League society. Service could be in the form of educational outreach, knowledge and skills at public star parties or other astronomical service. Young astronomers could apply for both National Young Astronomer Award (below) and the Horkheimer award.

Go to Star Gazer website The Horkheimer Award for Exceptional Service by a Young Astronomer is made possible thanks to the generosity of Mr. Jack Horkheimer, The Star Gazer on PBS television. The winner receives a check for $1,000 at the AL annual National Convention, ALCon. The award is named in Honor of Arthur P. Smith, Jr. Art Smith was the president of the Astronomical League from 1964-66, and he inspired Mr. Horkheimer to become active in astronomy.

National Young Astronomer Award

The National Young Astronomer Award recognizes outstanding work, by amateur astronomers of high school age, in the areas of research, public education, academic scholarship in astronomy or science, observing, imaging, telescope or equipment design or construction, publications and writing, local club activities, and regional and national organizational activities.

Go to Astronomical League websiteThe first place winner will receive a Meade 10 inch LX-200, Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope valued at about $3,000.00. This prize has been made possible by the generosity of the Meade Instruments Corporation who is also contributing significantly to the operation of the N.Y.A.A. In addition, the winner receives an all-expense paid trip to the Astronomical League's annual national convention to receive the award.

Astronomical League Observing Awards

Messier Objects
In September, 1758, French comet hunter Charles Messier came across a stationary object in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, while following the comet of that year. That object is now known as M1, the Crab Nebula. Over the next 30 years or so he came across many more objects during his comet hunting and decided to catalogue them so other comet hunters would not mistake them for comets. That list now contains 107 of the finest deep sky objects in the sky, especially for small scopes. Today, the Astronomical League offers a pin and certificate to members who successfully views all 107 objects.

Lunar Club
Because the moon is easier to see in urban areas, under poor seeing conditions and more days of the month than other objects it is well suited to inexperienced observers as well as more seasoned amateur astronomers. This Astronomical League program can be done by schools as well. The challenge is to observe 100 selected items on our moon. The list is divided into 18 naked eye items, 46 binocular features and 36 for telescope observation. The binoculars can be 7x35 or larger and the telescope can be as small as a 60 mm refractor.

Other recognition like the Double Star Club, Urban Club, Deep Sky Binocular Club, and/or Meteor Club Certificates are available, too.

Scout Badges

Here are some examples of activities that you can do to earn a Scout badge. Not all requirements are listed so you will need to contact your scout leader for more information.

Bear Cub Scout Space, Elective 1
Identify two constellations and the North Star
Read and talk about one man-made satellite and one natural one
Find a picture of another planet in our solar system and explain how it is different from Earth

Boy Scout Astronomy
Identify 10 constellations including four from the zodiac
Identify eight conspicuous stars (five first magnitude)
Explain what we see when we look at the Milky Way
Describe and explain the different types of telescopes
Spend 3 hours observing with a telescope or field glass and write a report

Brownie Scout Space Explorer
Try to find the North Star, Big Dipper, Milky Way, planets or constellations
Why does the Moon look like it changes shape?
Share something you have learned with someone

Junior Girl Scout Sky Search
Learn how to use a star map
Learn which planets are visible to the naked eye and try to find at least one
Using a star map, find six constellations
Observe valleys, ridges and mountain ranges on the moon through a telescope or binoculars
Ask how you can help your local astronomy club

Girl Scout Space Exploration
Find out about supernovas, cosmic clouds, globular clusters.
Demonstrate what happens during a solar or lunar eclipse
List five ways that you can maintain your interest in space and/or astronomy
Find out what careers are related to space exploration


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© 2011 Kid's Cosmos
© 2011 Kid's Cosmos
Kid's Cosmos