Archive for January 14th, 2010


Moon bling

January 14, 2010

As I related in an earlier post, on Thursday, Dec. 17, I made my final observation for the Astronomical League’s Lunar Club. I e-mailed in my completed observation log a couple of days later. Yesterday my loot came in the mail: a certificate and pin.

I felt a sense of accomplishment (and, in the spirit of full disclosure, relief) on the evening that I made my final observation, and it was nice to send off my log, but there’s something extra special about getting the official certificate and pin. You know why they give these things out? I think it’s for the same reason that judges wear black robes and baseball fans doff their caps for the national anthem. We are a symbolic species, and on some subconscious level that stuff works, whether we want it to or not.

The certificate is going on the wall over my astronomy bookshelf, and the pin is going on the Kepler mission cap I got at the JPL gift shop last week (I still need to blog about the JPL tour–so much to do!). There are many like them…but these are mine!

And I want more. I’ve been plugging away at the target lists for the Messier Club and Galileo Club, and tonight is the start of a new lunar cycle so in a couple of nights I can get back to my observations for the Lunar II club.

Good luck with your own observations. If you’re not doing a formal observing program, give it some thought, working through one is challenging, rewarding, and fun. The complete list of AL observing clubs is here, and there are lots of other observing programs out there in books, magazines, and on the web.

More missions coming soon!