Astronomical League - Awards


The Astronomical League presents awards to deserving people who have advanced the goals of the Astronomical League. These include promoting astronomy, contributing to the League, and advancing the science of astronomy. There are many awards that are presented. If you know someone who qualifies for an award, please contact the appropriate award administrator to get more information on nominating that person for the award. AL Awards Graphic

The awards are presented to recognize people for their hard work and accomplishments and to encourage youngsters to study astronomy. Those wishing to receive awards for various observing programs should visit our observing club pages to determine who to contact.

We congratulate the winners of these awards and hope that someday you too will be listed among their ranks.


The Astronomical League Award

The Astronomical League Award is presented to any person, either amateur or professional, who has made worthwhile contributions to the science of astronomy on a national or international level.

G. R. "Bob" Wright Service Award

This award honors current or past League volunteers for service to the Astronomical League.

The Leslie C. Peltier Award

The Leslie C. Peltier Award is presented to an amateur astronomer who contributed to astronomical observations of lasting significance. This award is supported by  Explore Scientific.

National Young Astronomer Award

N.Y.A.A. recognizes outstanding work, by amateur astronomers of high school age, in the areas of research, academic scholarship in astronomy or science, observing, and telescope or equipment design or construction.  Applicant must be a U.S. citizen (or enrolled in a U. S. High School), must be 14 to 19 years of age, and may not be enrolled in more than one college course at the time of application. This award is supported by  Explore Scientific.

Jack Horkheimer Awards






The Astronomical League offers four Jack Horkheimer Awards that are open to young astronomers.

The Horkheimer/Smith and Horkheimer/D'Auria Service Awards are open to League members under the age of 19 who engage in educational outreach and/or service to League Member Societies of the Astronomical League itself.  Applicants for Horkheimer Service Awards are considered for both the Smith and the D'Auria awards.  The Horkheimer/Smith winner receives a plaque, a $1,700. cash prize, and an expense-paid trip to the League's annual convention.  The Horkheimer/D'auria winner receives a plaque and a $1,000. cash prize.

The Horkheimer/Parker Imaging Award is open to League members under the age of 19 who achieve excellence in astronomical imaging.  The winner receives a plaque and a $1,000. cash prize.

The Horheimer/O'Meara Journalism Award is open to League members between 8 and 14 years of age who are engaged in science-related writing.  The winner receives a plaque and a $1,000. cash prize.  Second and third place finishers receive $500. and $250. cash prizes respectively.

Mabel Sterns Award

The League presents an annual Mabel Sterns Award for outstanding editing of a League-society newsletter. Newsletters from League-member institutions, such as planetariums, museums and event boards, are not eligible.

Special Award

From time to time the Astronomical League presents special awards to people who have contributed greatly to astronomy and/or the League, but do not fall into any of the other award categories. These special awards are generally administered by the President.

Webmaster Award

With the increased popularity of the Internet, the Website is an important asset to astronomy clubs. Most web sites are designed, administered and updated by the club's Webmaster.
The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the club Webmaster who does an outstanding job of web site design and administration.

Astronomics Sketching Award

Sketching the details of a celestial scene allows the observer to see more and to better understand what he or she sees. In short, it makes one a better observer while making the hobby more satisfying.

This award recognizes the remarkable work of sketchers who patiently depict what appears in the eyepiece.

Today’s sketchers use all types of media, from the standard pencil and paper to electronic drawing, and they sketch all types of celestial scenes from intriguing lunar features to subtly shaded nebula. All are fair game for the sketcher and for the Sketching Award.

While one does not need to be an artist to succeed at sketching, it does take practice. So, why not begin tonight and try your hand at drawing what you see in the eyepiece? For more general information about sketching, please visit the Astronomical League Sketching Observing Award webpage:


Williamina Fleming Award


The Williamina Fleming Imaging Award was founded in 2021 to recognize achievement in deep sky, Solar System, and wide-field astronomical imaging by female League members who are 19 years of age and older The purposes of the award are to encourage women to undertake astronomical imaging and to recognize women who excel at such imaging. This award is generously sponsored by Explore Scientific. 

Explore Scientific Imaging Awards

The Astronomical League's imaging competition is currently being developed.

Photography of celestial features has brought the wonders of the sky to millions of people and has stirred the imaginations of many. Today, advances in electronic imaging technology have made the field accessible to more amateur astronomers than ever.

This award program recognizes the remarkable work of Astronomical League imagers who answer the challenge of capturing incredible scenes in the heavenly realm.  Explore Scientific is generously sponsoring this award.  Award details will be released soon.