Observer's Challenge

The purpose of the Observer’s Challenge is to encourage the pursuit of visual observing. It’s open to everyone that’s interested, and if you’re able to contribute notes, and/or drawings, we’ll be happy to include them in our monthly summary. We also accept digital imaging. Visual astronomy depends on what’s seen through the eyepiece. Not only does it satisfy an innate curiosity, but it allows the visual observer to discover the beauty and the wonderment of the night sky. Before photography, all observations depended on what the astronomer saw in the eyepiece, and how they recorded their observations. This was done through notes and drawings, and that’s the tradition we’re stressing in the Observers Challenge. We’re not excluding those with an interest in astrophotography, either. Your images and notes are just as welcome. The hope is that you’ll read through these reports and become inspired to take more time at the eyepiece, study each object, and look for those subtle details that you might never have noticed before.

To participate in the Observer's Challenge, submit your observations to Fred Rayworth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Challenge Objects for 2017 are listed below:

Month   Object   Description
January   NGC 1545   Open Cluster in Perseus
February   Winter Albireo    Double Star in Canis Major
March   M67 - NGC 2682           Open Cluster in Cancer
April NGC 3395-3396   Interacting Galaxies in Leo Minor
May M98 - NGC 4192 Galaxy in Coma Berenices
June NGC 6015 Galaxy in Draco
July M14 - NGC 6402 Globular Cluster in Ophiushus
August M24 Star cloud in Sagittarius
September NGC 6905 Planetary Nebula in Delphinus
October M15 - NGC 7078 Globular Cluster in Pegasus
November NGC 772 Galaxy in Aries
December NGC 925 Galaxy in Triagulum
Click here for more detailed information on the objects.

March 2014 Challenge Object - Thor's Helmet by Jim Dire  

The Challenge Objects for 2014 are listed below:

December   NGC 672   Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum
November   NGC 404   Elliptical Galaxy in Andromeda
October   NGC 7640   Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda
September   M30   Globular Cluster in Capricorn
August   NGC 6822   Barnard Galaxy in Sagittarius
July   NGC 5457   Galaxy in Ursa Major
June   M53 &NGC 5053   Globular Clusters in Coma Berenices
May   NGC 4290   Galaxy in Ursa Major
April   NGC 3893/3896   Galaxy Pair in Ursa Major
March   NGC 2359   Thor's Helmet in Canis Major
February   NGC 1664   Open Cluster in Auriga
January   NGC 1491   Diffuse Nebula in Perseus